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Czech Mi-171 taking part in the Gap Tallard multinational helicopter exercise sponsored by the European Defense Agency, March 2009. Photo by Alexander Drevet

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Generic Avionics to Set Path for the Network Centric IAF
Dutch Apache Upgrade
Erieye AEW&C Aircraft to be Delivered soon
Weaponized AT-6 to Fly WIth an Uprated Engine
Boeing Offers Apache and Chinook Helicopters to India
Apache Block III Ready for Testing
Morocco is interested in buying three Chinooks
Malaysia to Retire MiG-29s by next year
NATO to Collectively Support HIP Helicopter Operations
Army Aviation Expands Helicopter - UAV Cooperation
Brownout Blamed as the Cause of the Fatal Helicopter Crash

According to information released by the U.S. Defense Department Oct 28, the cause for the MH-47 crash in AFghanistan was a combination of factors caused by very low visibility. (more...)

Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) Apahce helicopters taking of on a mission in Afghanistan. These helicopters will soon be upgraded with Block II avionics, configured to Block II standard. Photo: RNLAF.

Photo above depicts the EriEye 2000 aircraft in flight. Photo: Courtesy of Saab)


Generic Avionics to Set Path for the Network Centric IAF

The Israel Air Force is embarking on an ambitious avionics enhancement program that has the potential to upgrade the air force's entire combat fleet, including fighter, transport and helicopters, facilitating advanced network centric services and capabilities throughout the air force's combat assets, new and old. (read more...)

Dutch Apache Upgrade

The Dutch military plans to upgrade AH-64D Apache attack helicopters into 'Block II' level. The Apaches of the RNLAF currently conform to 'Block I' configuration. The modernization will introduce some of the services determined as essential operations, introducing datalink capability capable of handling live video from external sources, and data transfer to and from the helicopter. The €116 million upgrade will comprise a digital map display, supporting blue-Force Tracking (BFT) capability, minimizing the risk of fratricide and enhancing the helicopter's role in ground support operations. First modified Apache is expected within 3 years 2012 with upgrading of the entire Dutch Apache fleet to be completed by 2015.

Weaponized AT-6 to Fly WIth an Uprated Engine

The first flight followed with flight envelope expansion of the heavily instrumented AT-6 prototype, along with performance and handling qualities assessments with various external store configurations. The aircraft is scheduled to complete aerodynamic handling quality and flight envelope expansion tests by late this year (2009), with additional mission system integration and testing to follow. The primary objective of the second prototype aircraft is integration of the new, higher horsepower PT-6A-68/10 engine for improved performance, with initial flight testing to begin in the spring of 2010. (read more...)

Apache Block III Ready for Testing

The AH-64 Apache Block III attack helicopter will be undergoing a Limited User Test in November 09, evaluating the helicopter's new avionics suite. The test is a key milestone prior to the April 2010 decision on low-rate initial production, remanufacturing 53 Apache helicopters. By 2013 Boeing will shift from Block II manufacturing to produce new built Block Iii platforms. Fielding of the first Block III Apache is scheduled for June 2011. Among the new capabilities to be tested are the capability to control unmanned aerial systems by the helicopter's air crew.

Malaysia to Retire MiG-29s by next year

Malaysia plans to phase out the Russian made MiG-29N fighter aircraft rather then upgrade them through costly life extensions. According to Malaysian MOD estimates, some 260 million Ringgit ($76 million) could be saved by decommissioning the fleet of 16 aircraft procured in the 1990s. Their missions would be taken by the Sukhoi SU-30MKM. Malaysia has ordered 18 Su-30MKM and is expected to order more once the MiGs are phased out. Malaysia acquired the MiG-29s in the mid 1990s, during the cash-starved Russians put their fighter fleet for sale. But the MiG-29s have demonstrated poor reliability, primarily due to rapid engine wear out, short life cycle of components and systems requiring massive and costly support from Russia. Since then the Russians introduced upgrade packages and more attractive support packages to improve operability of this fighter. To support the aircraft the Russian Aircraft Company (RAC) and export agency Rosoboronexport established a local support agency in Malaysia. The plant supports Malaysian MiG 29N/UB aircraft providing maintenance, repair and overhaul services at every 200, 400, 600, 800 and 1000 operating hours.



Final Tests of First Erieye AEW&C Aircraft for Pakistan Have Started

After four years in the making Pakistan could be getting closer to field the long awaited Airborne Early Warning capability, as the Saab Erieye AEW&C (Airborne Early Warning and Control) aircraft is entering the final series of testing in Sweden. The company is expected to deliver the aircraft to Pakistan later this year, where it will complete acceptance testing. These tests will evaluate the complete system, including aircraft, radar, command, control and communication. In Pakistan the aircraft will be integrated within the Pakistan Air Force’s Command & Control Ground Environment offering live situational display while airborne. The Erieye system consists of three parts; an airborne segment, a ground based segment and logistics and support service. The airborne segment includes four Saab 2000 aircraft equipped with the airborne early warning radar system Erieye.

Boeing Submits Proposals to India for Apache and Chinook Helicopters

Boeing has formally submitted two proposals offering the AH-64D Longbow Apache and CH-47F Chinook for the Indian Air Force. India is seeking 22 attack helicopters and 15 transport helicopters for attack and heavy-lift transport helicopters.

Chinook for Morocco

The Pentagon has asked the U.S. Congress to approve the sale of three CH-47D Chinook helicopters to Morocco, as part of a $135 million Foreign Military Sales (FMS) package. 

Malaysian MiG-29N parked at the ATSC, Malayisan aircraft support center for the MiG-29s. Photo: ATSC.


NATO to Collectively Support HIP Helicopter Operations

NATO intends to establish a multi-national helicopter unit, to be supported by nine NATO alliance countries, to augment the airlift capability already established by the alliance and assist the smaller members of the alliance, primarily Easter European countries that do not have the resources to sustain helicopter units to support of their own forces. (read more...)