Archive for the ‘Aviation’ Category

AT – 802U Multi-Mission Aircraft On Display At SOFIC 2018

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

OLNEY, Texas – Air Tractor, Inc. announced today its participation in the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC), 21-24 May 2018 in Tampa, Florida.

During the conference, Air Tractor’s AT-802U Multi-Mission Aircraft will be on static display adjacent to the Channel Entry and Sail Pavilion at the Tampa Convention Center. This first-of-its-kind exhibition will allow SOFIC attendees direct access to the aircraft’s wide array of mission systems, sensors and armament. Air Tractor representatives will be on hand to provide information about the AT-802U to help conference participants gain an appreciation of its best-in-class payload and endurance.

“We are very enthusiastic about our participation in SOFIC. The AT-802U Multi- Mission Aircraft, along with the AT-802L Longsword, are both uniquely able to contribute to USSOCOM and AFSOC foreign internal defense (FID) and combat aviation advisor (CAA) missions, as well as direct action missions against our nation’s most dangerous terrorist threats,” said Jim Hirsch, President of Air Tractor.

While at SOFIC, the AT-802U will display its multi-sensor payload capability and will be configured with electro-optical infrared sensors, synthetic aperture radar and signals intelligence sensors. Each of these can be simultaneously employed on the Air Tractor – L3 Aerospace Systems AT-802L Longsword and integrated on its highly agile and interoperable L3 ForceX Widow Mission Management System. The advanced interoperable sensor configuration on display at SOFIC will include:

• Horizon Technologies’ Flying Fish XPOD (Sat-phone SIGINT System) with integrated L3 Wescam MX-15 EO-IR sensor

• Thales I-Master GMTI SAR

• BAE Systems Tactical SIGINT Payload

• Raytheon Multi-Spectral Targeting System (MTS-A) EO/IR sensor with new mounting pylon designed specifically for the AT-802U

Even while carrying all these sensors, five additional wing stations will be loaded with precision munitions. This configuration effectively meets the operational needs of US Special Operation Forces and US partner nations. Additionally, the AT-802U is specifically designed for austere field operations and benefits from Air Tractor’s existing international sustainment system.

Drawing on a 50-year heritage of rugged, reliable, and cost-effective made-for- the mission aircraft, the AT-802 Multi-Mission Aircraft Series is a versatile aerial solution for managing evolving security environments. From illegal border crossings, narcotrafficking and wildlife poaching, to food security and wildfires— the AT-802U provides unrivaled versatility, performance and value.

more about Air Tractor and the AT-802U Multi-Mission-Aircraft and the AT- 802 aircraft series, follow us online: and

Arnold Defense Returns to Nashville’s Army Aviation Summit with Next Generation Rocket Launchers

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

Nashville, April 25, 2018: Arnold Defense, the US St Louis-based international manufacturer and supplier of 2.75-inch rocket launchers, is displaying its ultra-light LWL-12 2.75-inch/70mm Weapon System at the 2018 Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit in Nashville, Tennessee, from April 25- 27.

Arnold Defense is the world’s largest supplier of rocket launchers; the Company has manufactured more than 1.1 million 2.75-inch rocket launchers since 1961 for the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and many NATO customers and allies. Arnold Defense designs and manufactures rocket launchers that can be customized for any size, weight, capacity or form factor for platforms in the air, on the ground or at sea.

UH-60MAWS, equipped with Arnold Defense’s M261 rocket launcher (image courtesy of Arnold Defense)

Arnold Defense’s rocket launchers are designed and built with combat-proven technology and they comply with U.S. airworthiness and safety standards. The Company’s products include the ultra-light LWL-12 (on display on a UH-60 Black Hawk on the L3 WESCAM stand 1607) that weighs just over 60 pounds (27 kg) empty. Other core products include the 19-round M261 which is commonly used by helicopters; the thermal coated 7-round LAU-68 variants and LAU-61 Digital Rocket Launcher are used by the U.S. Navy and Marines; and the 7-round LAU-131 and SUU-25 flare dispenser are used by the U.S. Air Force and worldwide. The A-10 Warthog is being upgraded to include the Arnold LAU- 131/AA fitted with laser-guided rockets, making the A-10’s combat capability more effective than ever. Additionally, the FA-18 is undergoing an upgrade program involving the LAU-131/AA, for which tests are currently taking place.

Traditionally, 2.75-inch rocket systems have been used as an area suppression weapon, ordinarily deployed by aviation assets. The Arnold Defense team is currently developing the FLETCHER smart, laser-guided launcher system, which will be available during 2018. A special forces, vehicle-mounted FLETCHER prototype, unveiled in 2017 at both AUSA and DSEI, utilizes the advancement of laser- guided rocket technology to meet the modern demands of air, land and marine-based, mounted and dismounted asymmetric warfare, for special and conventional forces.

Chris Frillman, Arnold Defense’s Program Director Weapons Systems said: “After a busy year, where Arnold Defense has been introducing our combat-proven rocket launchers in various parts of the world, it is now good to be back on home turf. The Army Aviation Summit is close to our hearts and our roots and we look forward to meeting many old friends here, as well as making new ones ”. He added: “We like to say that the sky is NOT the limit. Through our experience and innovation, we are developing the next generation of laser-guided weapons systems for missions on land, sea, and air. Working together, we protect the warfighters of today and tomorrow, just as we have for the past half-century.”

Meet the Arnold Defense team on stand 1042, where you can fire virtual rockets from an Arnold Defense LWL-12 via an Apache combat flight simulator video game. Arnold Defense staff are on hand to explain their systems to visitors and specific briefings/interviews can be facilitated.

See Arnold Defense’s LWL-12 rocket launcher on a UH-60 Black Hawk on L3 WESCAM’s stand 1607.

Army bans use of a COTS UAS system

Saturday, August 5th, 2017

Urgent operational usage of commercial electronic equipment is nothing new.  Early in the GWOT, FRS “walkie talkie” equipment was frequently purchased by individual troops or with unit funds to address a shortage of comms at the squad level.  Later, theater orders were issued prohibiting their usage due to grievous OPSEC/COMSEC issues and this shortfall was addressed with TPE (theater provided equipment) issue of ICOM and other commercial radio systems.

In a similar vein,  Army organizations have procuring  commercial hobbyist UAV systems to provide situational awareness and ISR capabilities “on the cheap.”   However, such systems introduce a multitude of operational and cyber vulnerabilities.   For the most common systems made by DJI, telemetry, audio, video, and locational data  is sent back by default to the Chinese manufacturer.

On 2 August, the US Army prohibited the use of DJI drones:






WASHINGTON, DC 20310-0400



2 August 2017

SUBJECT: Discontinue Use of Dajiang Innovation (DJI) Corporation Unmmaned Aircraft Systems

1. References:

a. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) report, “DJI UAS Technology Threat and User Vulnerabilities,” dated 25 May 2017 (Classified).

b. Navy memorandum, “Operational Risks with Regards to DJI Family of Products,” dated 24 May 2017.

2. Background: DJI Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) products are the most widely used non-program of record commercial off-the-shelf UAS employed by the Army. The Army Aviation Engineering Directorate has issued over 300 separate Airworthiness Releases for DJI products in support of multiple organizations with a variety of mission sets. Due to increased awareness of cyber vulnerabilities associated with DJI products, it is directed that the U.S. Army halt use of all DJI products. This guidance applies to all DJI UAS and any system that employs DJI electrical components or software including, but not limited to, flight computers, cameras, radios, batteries, speed controllers, GPS units, handheld control stations, or devices with DJI software applications installed.

3. Direction: Cease all use, uninstall all DJI applications, remove all batteries/storage media from devices, and secure equipment for follow on direction.

4. Point of Contact: Headquarters, Department of the Army G-3/5/7 Aviation Directorate, 703-693-3552

Lieutenant General, GS
Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7

Exploitation of data collected by these drones can provide an adversary with a inductive picture of friendly force operations, locations, and tempo.  Much like watching surges in pizza deliveries to headquarters buildings at night, an adversary can infer forward operations by spikes in data traffic.

While the technical specifics are beyond the scope and span of SSD, this decision is still quite relevant to our readership.

For further information, check out this article from our peers at SUASnews.

Saturday Night at the Movies: “Friends and Neighbors-People You Know”

Sunday, June 4th, 2017

Here’s a fantastic 1970 USAF educational documentary covering the mobilization, trainup, and deployment of USAF Air National Guard F-100 units. Narrated by the late Bob Crane of the television show Hogan’s Heroes, the film chronicles the mobilization of four F-100 equipped ANG squadrons in response to the Pueblo Crisis during 1968. One particular two-ship mission is covered from pre-flight briefing to post-flight celebration.

The Super Sabre, better known as “The Hun” was the USAF’s first supersonic fighter and formed the backbone of the USAF and many NATO and allied Air Forces prior to the arrival of the F-4 Phantom.  The last Huns were retired from the Taiwanese and Danish air forces in the early 1980s, following USAF ANG retirement in 1979.

The squadrons mobilized and highlighted in the film are:

  • 120thTactical Fighter Squadron (TFS) Bobcats of the Colorado ANG (tail VS)
  • 174th TFS Bats of the Iowa ANG (tail HA)
  • 188thTFS Tacos of the New Mexico ANG (tail  SK)
  • 136th TFS Rocky’s Raiders of the New York ANG (tail SG).

These four squadrons collectively logged more than 30,000 sorties during their deployments to Southeast Asia during 1968 and 1969, with some aircraft pulling up to five CAS sorties per day.

While the film may predate many of the SSD readership, many of our fathers and uncles likely owe their lives to “Weekend Warrior” CAS.


BE Meyers Helo and HMMWV Combat Application

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

BEM Helo Still 1

BE Meyers and Dillon Aero join forces to showcase the capabilities of the BE Meyers IZLID and Glare RECOIL combined with the Dillion Aero M134D. The IZLID works as a high powered targeting laser pointer, while the Glare RECOIL acts as an intelligent eye-safe Hail and Warning (less than lethal) laser which automatically adjusts it brightness to eye safe levels up to maximum distance.

BE Meyers Helo and HMMWV Combat Application from B.E. Meyers & Co. Inc. on Vimeo. – Boeing’s Stealth Bird of Prey

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014


This week’s post from covers the Boeing Bird of Prey. The YF-118G program, known informally as the ‘Bird of Prey’ due to its distinctive gull-shaped wings, was an advanced stealth aircraft project. Although the Bird of Prey itself was retired, technologies embodied in its design continue to be applied to current black projects.

For the full story, visit

SOFIC – Sikorsky

Friday, May 17th, 2013


I just thought it was interesting. It kind of looks like a Kamov and a Cheyenne had an illicit rendezvous. This would have been cool in the 60s.


Constrictor Cargo System

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

The first thing the guys at MATBOCK ever showed me was the Constrictor Cargo System. As soon as I saw it, I knew what genius looked like. If you’ve ever had to build a pallet you know what a PITA the netting system is. The 463L cargo handling system design goes back to the 1950s and it shows. The real issue is with the HCU-7/E side net, the HCU-15/C top net, and the CGU-1/B Device or cargo straps. They can be assembled backward and take a lot of time to lay out for proper use due to the asymmetric construction of the pallet.

portrait instructions12x14

The Constrictor Cargo System is much simpler to use. Once you’ve built your pallet, you throw the bag on top of the load and pull the netting down. Then, you ratchet it tight to the pallet. No more misaligned net segments and no more tangled nets because the CCS stores in its own bag.

MATBOCK continues to work with interested companies and commands to field this system. Interested parties should visit their site for additional information.