The War Report Vol. 10, May 1, 2017

Welcome to The War Report, your weekly roundup of articles by James Drew, defense editor at Aviation Week & Space Technology.

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U.S. Army Needs FVL Light Recon More Than Black Hawk Successor

The U.S. Army sorely needs an armed scout rotorcraft to conduct missions previously performed by the Bell OH-58 Kiowa Warrior. The service has applied a short-term fix—pairing Textron RQ-7 Shadow UAVs with Boeing AH-64 Apache gunships for reconnaissance missions. While that might be working for now, Army officials say the service still needs a dedicated light attack/reconnaissance platform…

U.S. Army Hopes For Decision On Lakota Appeal By Fall

The U.S. Army wants to move past its legal dispute with Leonardo Helicopters (formerly AgustaWestland) over the sole-source purchase of UH-72A Lakota helicopters from Airbus, with hopes of a court decision on the government’s appeal by this fall. The Army is moving 187 Lakotas to its training base at the Army Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker, Alabama, to replace outdated TH-67 and OH-58A/C helicopters, as prescribed under the Army’s Aviation Restructure Initiative…

Boeing Locks in Dutch Chinook Order

Boeing has secured a $541 million contract for 15 heavy-hauling CH-47F Chinook rotorcraft for the Netherlands as it eyes other opportunities with Saudi Arabia, Israel and Germany. The Royal Netherlands Air Force operates the D-model Chinook and has already taken delivery of some CH-47Fs, but is moving forward with plans to modernize its entire fleet. The April 28 foreign military sale for the Honeywell T55-powered tandem-rotor aircraft gives Boeing something to celebrate on the last day of the Army Aviation Association of America’s annual meetup here…

U.S. Air Force Seeks EELV Propulsive Rideshare Ring

The U.S. Air Force has begun a competition for one of its most significant new space launch rideshare initiatives. The service wants to competitively buy up to three new secondary payload adapters with “power, attitude control, and propulsive capabilities,” allowing the adapter ring to continue supporting non-separating satellites throughout their mission…

New U.S. Army Helo Engine Threatened By Budget Woes

Development of new engine for the U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk and AH-64 Apache could grind to a halt if Congress cannot reach a budget deal for fiscal 2017. Funding for the Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP) was meant to more than double this year as two industry teams mature their competing designs…

AVX Pitches Attack ‘MV-22E’ For Marine Escort Role

Rotorcraft design shop AVX Aircraft has long been poaching Bell Helicopter employees, and now it wants their V-22 Osprey wing and rotor system too. In October 2016, the U.S. military sought information on potential clean-sheet or modified next-generation aircraft that could perform a variety of missions, including armed escort roles for the Marine Corps MV-22B tiltrotor. The survey is meant to inform an ongoing Future Vertical Lift (FVL) analysis of alternatives…

Lockheed Locking In First Fury UAV Customer

Lockheed Martin is finalizing the sale of six Fury UAVs to an undisclosed Middle East customer. The company is responding to a sole-source request for proposal for the initial batch of middleweight unmanned aircraft, potentially resulting in the first direct commercial sale of Fury…

Lockheed Books Counterfire Radar Deal Amid ‘Shorad’ Push

The U.S. Army has awarded Lockheed Martin a multiyear contract worth up to $1.6 billion for full-rate production of the truck-mounted TPQ-53 counterfire radar. The award comes as Lockheed pitches new software updates that will allow the active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar to target multiple classes of enemy threats simultaneously…

Lockheed Advances North Korea-facing Radar

As the Trump administration warns North Korea against developing a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile capable of striking mainland America, the Lockheed Martin-developed radar that would help thwart such an attack is moving into the detailed design phase. The first-of-its-kind solid-state, dual-polarization super high-frequency radar was ordered by the Missile Defense Agency in 2015 to direct anti-ballistic missile interceptors against their targets on the edge of space, specifically those from North Korea…

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