helicopters

army-ah-64e-apache-guardian-attack-helicopter

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon’s hardest-nosed accountants have endorsed the Army’s Aviation Restructure Initiative. ARI is a controversial cost-cutting plan which would retire the Vietnam-vintage OH-58 Kiowa scout helicopters and replace them with AH-64 Apache gunships taken from the National Guard. The Army said ARI, once fully implemented, would save $1.09 billion a year. In a document… Keep reading →

AH-64E with Gray eagle

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA.: Manned-Unmanned Teaming, when manned aircraft crews control drones from their cockpit, is a child of the drone revolution still in its infancy. So maybe it’s no surprise that Army Apache helicopter units with new AH-64Es equipped to control MQ-1C Grey Eagle armed drones have gotten off to a crawl rather than a run using… Keep reading →

Maj. Gen. Michael Lundy Army Aviation

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA.: You’re the Army and you really, really want a new, more powerful and efficient engine for most of your helicopter fleet. It’s really urgent. But you’re not going to get those engines for your UH-60  Black Hawk and AH-64 Apache helicopters for at least another 11 years. What’s the reason? Good old… Keep reading →

A Sikorsky drawing of their H-92 helicopter in its future role as "Marine One."

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA.: The new presidential helicopter made its first flight in December, the Marine Corps colonel in charge of the program revealed this morning. That was only seven months after contract award, a stark contrast to the multi-year delays that killed the previous program, the VH-71. But don’t get too excited. No miracles are… Keep reading →

Gen. Frank Grass

CAPITOL HILL: It’s not every day you hear a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff asking Congress to undo part of the administration’s budget proposal. But National Guard Bureau director Gen. Frank Grass is in a unique position, the only chief caught between the Pentagon and the states. So this morning, Gen. Grass explicitly… Keep reading →

AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter

PENTAGON: “You ever seen what an attack helicopter does to a small boat? That’s a Cuisinart.” The Navy’s long been nervous about the survival of its high-cost high-seas warships in coastal knife fights. (That anxiety drove the development of the controversial Littoral Combat Ship). Iran, in particular, is notorious for its shallow water mini-submarines and… Keep reading →

An Avenger-class minesweeper at work

This is the third in our exclusive series on the crucial but neglected question of sea mines and how well — or not — the United States manages this global and very real threat. Here we’re looking at the most promising technologies, ships and aircraft that can give the United States the edge in this crucial and complex battle.… Keep reading →

US soldiers exercising in Japan as part of "Pacific Pathways"

PENTAGON: From hunting jungle animals to communicating across the ocean, US Army soldiers learned much in the first Pacific Pathways wargames that Iraq and Afghanistan never taught them. Those exercises are part of the service’s effort to reinvent itself as it shrinks, heading from a wartime peak of 570,000 to 450,000 or below. Instead of prolonged, large-scale… Keep reading →

Apache AH-64E in Afghanistan

PENTAGON: $473 million. That’s the amount the 2016 budget request would boost spending over 2015 to modernize the Army’s aging helicopter fleet.That’s a nine percent increase in a time of shrinking budgets, swelling aviation to more than the next two modernization accounts (ground vehicles and networks) combined. But the Army’s aircraft request may be dead on arrival.… Keep reading →

apache-over-afghanistan

ARLINGTON: You probably don’t plan to keep your current car for 20 years. But that’s what the US Army has to do with its helicopter fleet. With the Armed Aerial Scout (AAS) helicopter stillborn for lack of funds and the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) family not entering production until the 2030s, the Army has to invest carefully… Keep reading →

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