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Archive for the ‘Aviation’ Category

GA-ASI Awarded Gray Eagle ER Modernization Contracts

Sunday, December 15th, 2019

SAN DIEGO–General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) has teamed with the U.S. Army to enhance the capabilities and survivability of the MQ-1C ER Gray Eagle Extended Range (GE-ER) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). The Army awarded GA-ASI multiple contracts to upgrade the Gray Eagle ER’s avionics, datalinks and software in order to improve the UAS’s operational capability in contested environments. The modernization initiative provides an open architecture concept on the aircraft that is capable of hosting government-owned software, as well as increased autonomy required to support Scalable Control Interface and the rapid integration of long-range sensors. These enhancements will enable the Army’s vision for Multi-Domain Operations (MDO).

“GE-ER provides the U.S. Army with a UAS that adjusts to the changing threat environment and mission needs with unmatched endurance.”

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“The Army is investing in the Gray Eagle system because they get a tremendous performance increase as a return on their investment,” said David R. Alexander, president, GA-ASI. “GE-ER provides the U.S. Army with a UAS that adjusts to the changing threat environment and mission needs with unmatched endurance.”

GA-ASI recently completed an open competition to modernize the datalinks on the platform. Tenets for the “best of breed” datalink competition included modular architecture with government-owned interfaces, reduction in size, weight, and power, with increased reliability, Soldier maintainability, and growth for future MDO requirements. Vendors selected include L3Harris Technologies, Airbus, Hughes Network Systems, LLC and Ramona Research, Inc. The modernized datalink solution, while significantly more capable, will cost less per aircraft than the current datalink suite.

Rheinmetall to modernize international client’s air defence systems in multimillion-euro project

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

An international client has awarded Rheinmetall a contract to modernize its air defence systems. The total value of the order, now official, comes to around €120 million. Delivery is scheduled to commence in the third quarter of 2020.

The modernization measures will enhance the combat effectiveness of existing Skyguard air defence systems. Among other things, the upgraded systems will have an improved capability against drones. The order also encompasses spare parts, technical documentation, training and instruction support as well as state-of-the-art ammunition.

A world leader in the field of ground-based air defence technology, Rheinmetall networks the full array of sensors, effectors, platforms and command&control assets into overarching, scalable system. This results in a highly effective, modularly designed, flexibly deployable ground-based air defence capability – a system of systems covering the entire operational spectrum.

Milipol 19 – German Aircrew Helmet Study

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

Schuberth is displaying a helmet concept they’ve created in conjunction with an aircrew helmet study they are undertaking for the German military.

The entire concept is modular with the ability to choose different shells for different applications such as frag protection for pilots but more robust ballistic solutions for door gunners.

The rail system is also modular as can be fitted to the different shells.

Additionally, it incorporates a fully adjustable inner lining rather than the custom lining currently in use which is very time consuming to order, manufacture and deliver.

Finally, it features an Integrated CBRN solution which has been adapted from the standard issue protective mask.

Versatile. Lethal. Sustainable. Bell Announces 360 Invictus For US Army Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft Competition

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019

Next-generation rotorcraft is designed to provide attack, reconnaissance, and intelligence to shape the tactical environment and deliver operational overmatch in highly complex multi-domain operations

Fort Worth, Texas (October 2, 2019) – Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, has announced a new rotorcraft, Bell 360 Invictus, as the company’s entrant for the U.S. Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) Competitive Prototype program. Bell’s innovative approach to designing the Bell 360 Invictus combines proven low-risk technologies with advanced processes to deliver soldiers an affordable, agile and lethal solution to win on the modern battlefield. The Bell 360 Invictus meets or exceeds all requirements as laid out under the FARA contract.

“The Bell 360 will deliver advanced battlefield situational awareness, as well as lethal options, in support of the maneuver force at an affordable cost” said Vince Tobin, executive vice president of Military Business at Bell. “The multi-domain fight will be complex, and our team is delivering a highly capable, low-risk solution to confidently meet operational requirements with a sustainable fleet.”

The Bell 360 Invictus’ design emphasizes exceptional performance using proven technologies to fulfill the Army’s FARA requirements at an affordable cost and on schedule. One example is the Invictus’ rotor system. This design is based on Bell’s 525 Relentless rotor system which has been tested and proven at speeds in excess of 200 Knots True Air Speed (KTAS). By incorporating proven designs and the best available technologies from commercial and military programs, Bell delivers a low-risk path to a FARA program of record. 

This advanced aircraft will have a transformative impact through next-generation flight performance, increased safety and greater operational readiness—all to deliver decisive capabilities.

Some of the key 360 Invictus features include:

·         Lift-sharing wing to reduce rotor lift demand in forward flight, enabling high-speed maneuverability

·         Supplemental Power Unit increases performance during high power demands

·         Robust articulated main rotor with high flapping capability enabling high speed flight

·         Fly-by-wire flight control system—synthesizes technologies, reduces pilot workload and provides a path to autonomous flight

·         Speed: >185 KTAS

·         Combat radius: 135nm with >90 minutes of time on station

·         Achieves 4k/95F Hover Out of Ground Effect (HOGE)

·         Armed with a 20 mm cannon, integrated munitions launcher with ability to integrate air-launched effects, and future weapons, as well as current inventory of munitions

·         Provisioned for enhanced situational awareness and sensor technologies

·         Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) enabled by a Digital Backbone from Collins Aerospace

·         Robust design integrating lifecycle supportability processes early to ensure high OPTEMPO availability in multi-domain operations

·         Design-as-built manufacturing model and digital thread enabled tools to enhance affordability, reliability, and training throughout the lifecycle of the aircraft

“Bell is committed to providing the U.S. Army with the most affordable, most sustainable, least complex, and lowest risk solution among the potential FARA configurations, while meeting all requirements,” said Keith Flail, vice president of Advanced Vertical Lift Systems at Bell. “360 Invictus is an exciting opportunity for us to continue our support of Army modernization. This is the next solution to ensure soldiers have the best equipment available for the multi-domain fight.”

Bell has decades of experience providing attack and reconnaissance aircraft to the warfighter, such as the Kiowa Warrior which delivered high reliability and availability through more than 850,000 flight hours. The Bell 360 Invictus design builds from that legacy, Bell’s commercial innovations, and from the success in the development and manufacturing capabilities required for Future Vertical Lift (FVL) as part of the Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstration (JMR TD) over the past six years.

To learn more about Bell 360 Invictus and FVL, please visit our booth at the AUSA Annual meeting (#2124) or

Capewell Aerial Systems Becomes ASU’s Master Distributor

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

August 6, 2019

Meadows of Dan, VA- Capewell Aerial Systems is recognized as a global leader in aviation and life support. We are a respected provider of engineered products for aerial delivery, life support, and tactical gear for military, law enforcement agencies worldwide. Capewell is proud to announce we are the Master Distributor of Aviation Specialties Unlimited, Inc. (ASU) AERONOX NVG Mounts & Battery Packs. Capewell serves designated domestic customers conducting military, law enforcement, and homeland security agencies.

As a forerunner in night vision, ASU’s new AERONOX NVG Mounts & Battery Packs set the standard in aviation. The lightweight reinforced system provides reliable operation under the toughest conditions. Its modular design is easily repairable which further reduces costs over the product’s lifetime. Compatible with a variety of both flight and ground style helmets, this mount is second to none.

Capewell is the proud distributor of the AERONOX NVG Mounts and Battery Packs. Capewell is now accepting orders. These items are in stock and ready to ship. For more information, please contact

Meanwhile, On The International Space Station

Monday, July 29th, 2019

“As an assistant scoutmaster and a father of scouts, it was a pleasure to join the World Scout Jamboree from the International Space Station. The #ScoutJamboree, much like Station, brings out the best of international cooperation and service for something bigger than ourselves!”

COL Andrew Morgan


NASA Astronaut

Flying Cross Honors Army Astronaut on Apollo 11 Anniversary

Saturday, July 20th, 2019

Three officers from three different countries (USA, Russia, Italy) united by a mission to space and a duty to serve humanity will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Saturday July 20 at 12:25 p.m. EDT. Unlike the Apollo 11 astronauts who were heading to the moon for the first manned landing on the lunar surface, the crew of Expedition 60 will be heading to the International Space Station.

NASA Astronaut Andrew Morgan of the U.S. Army has been teamed with Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and Luca Parmitano, an Italian astronaut from the European Space Agency.

Of all the uniforms we’ve ever made, we can’t help but feel especially proud of the one we made for Col. Morgan. It has been a distinct pleasure to have seen Col. Morgan wearing his Army Green Service Uniform in numerous photos leading up to the big launch – when he will swap his AGSU for something a bit more suitable for space travel.

We wish Col. Morgan and his fellow crew-mates a safe launch, a successful mission, and happy landings upon their return to Earth.


Where will you go in your Army Green Service Uniform?

SOFWERX – Next Generation PEO-RW Cockpit Capability Collaboration Event

Sunday, July 7th, 2019

USSOCOM PEO-Rotary Wing (RW) is interested in the next generation Special Operations Aviation (SOA) Cockpit. Join subject matter experts to ideate on potential solutions. This event will help participants understand the operational needs of the RW user community.

Focus areas include:
• Controls
• Voice Activation
• Heads Up Eyes Out Display
• Windscreen
• Display
• Communication/ICS
• Operational Flight Program (Operating System)

The event will ensure exposure to any technology that could increase aviator capability from the cockpit.

SOFWERX will hold an event on 16 July 2019 and the RSVP Deadline: 09 July 11:59 PM EST (sic).

For additional details, visit