WASHINGTON: Two major defense industry players have a suggestion for Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, whose Better Buying Power 3.0 plan includes a new requirement that companies get the Pentagon’s blessing for internal research and development (IRAD) spending. Back off. “I’m not sure there’s a lot of upside to a lot of DoD oversight of where… Keep reading →
UPDATED: Adds Details On UK Demos; QinetiQ’s PIlots Will Fly PARIS AIR SHOW: When Textron unveiled the Scorpion I will admit I was a serious sceptic. Where was the market? Who were the likely customers? Why did they spend their own money on such a venture? The first crack in my skepticism occurred when Gen. Hawk… Keep reading →
Graduation season is ending, but some people are still waiting for final exam results. Take for example the Army offices that manage the General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle — that service’s version of the armed Predator drone – and Textron’s One System Remote Video Terminal, a laptop soldiers on the ground can use to see… Keep reading →
AUSA: With a long border to protect from Russia and $116 million in non-lethal U.S. military aid burning a hole in their pockets, representatives of Ukraine’s defense industry conglomerate UkrObornProm –“The State Concern” — came to the Association of the United States Army’s annual conference in Washington with a shopping list. Industry sources said the Ukrainians… Keep reading →
AUSA: Visitors to Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.’s display at this year’s Association of the United States Army meetings in Washington can hardly miss an eye-popping marketing video the company is showing. Running on a huge flat screen hung at the entrance to the company’s spot on the show floor, the video uses simulation imagery of XBox quality to show how Sikorsky’s conceptual S-97 Raider – a compound helicopter based on the X2 Technology Demonstrator the company flew in 2010-2011 – would perform Armed Aerial Scout missions for the Army.
It’s a great show. Zooming through canyons at what looks like the S-97’s projected cruising speed of 220 knots – an impossibility for ordinary helicopters – a Raider in a formation of five uses a video downlink from a Predator drone to take out a group of heavily armed insurgents with laser-guided rockets, firing before the enemy can hear the helicopters coming. Then, at the request of ground troops, another Raider uses its mini-gun to kill six insurgents hiding in a tree line. Keep reading →
LAS VEGAS: “Keeping the sailor out of the minefield,” the Navy’s new mantra for mine warfare, means sending the robots in. As part of an annual exercise in July called “Trident Warrior,” the fleet experimented with an unmanned ship developed by Textron subsidiary AAI and known blandly as the Common Unmanned Surface Vessel (CUSV).
The video, provided by AAI, shows two CUSVs — the only two in existence — streaking out to sea during Trident Warrior to hunt simulated naval mines. The two boats look identical, but the “common” part of the CUSV name refers to the design’s ability to serve as a common carrier for a host of mission-specific payloads. They slot into a bay in the stern. Keep reading →
With Lt. Col. David Weinstein, McKinney did it a dozen times on March 20 – six landings in daylight, six at night. After their first two touchdowns, sailors perched in the carrier’s superstructure to watch the helicopter-airplane hybrid Osprey’s first-ever carrier qualification landings, conducted off the coast of North Carolina, started giving the pilots “a lot of thumbs-up.” Keep reading →
Washington: The Army is looking hard at a new version of its Shadow aerial drone that can fly much longer and carry more.
The Shadow M2, being built by Textron Systems, features a fuselage that is five times bigger than the current version. Keep reading →
Mt. Airy, N.C. – Behind the cornfields and gravel pits in the hills of this small North Carolina town sits an off-road test track.
The two-mile trail, owned by defense firm Granite Tactical Systems, is where I put the company’s upgraded Humvee through its paces this week. Keep reading →