Wednesday, May 31, 2017

U.S. Air Force Combat Rescue Helicopter Reaches Milestone, Paving Way for Assembly, Test and Evaluation - Charles D'Alberto

STRATFORD, Conn., May 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) today announced it successfully reached a key milestone – the Air Vehicle Critical Design Review (CDR) – for the U.S. Air Force's Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH) program. This event prepares the program to proceed to assembly, test, and evaluation of the HH-60W helicopter.
The Combat Rescue Helicopter, designed by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, will perform critical combat search and rescue and personnel recovery operations for all U.S. military services. Artist rendering courtesy of Sikorsky.
The joint Sikorsky and U.S. Air Force (USAF) helicopter program team met in May with key partners from government and industry for an in-depth design review. Throughout the review, the CRH team successfully presented a design that participants were confident would meet system requirements.  Review participants included leaders from USAF and key suppliers who took part in the technical presentations.
"This milestone is an important achievement and demonstrates Sikorsky and the Air Force are well aligned on the technical requirements of the HH-60W," said Tim Healy, Sikorsky CRH program director. "We got here by conducting several milestones on or ahead of schedule, and we are committed to staying on that track as we build the first HH-60W aircraft."
In preparation for the CDR, the joint team generated more than 300 technical documents, created and reviewed over 50,000 hardware and software requirements, conducted 17 sub-system CDRs and designed 3,000 new parts. "The joint team did an outstanding job in documenting the design of the HH-60W," said Jim Andrews, Sikorsky CRH chief engineer. "We are excited to enter the build phase as the team has leveraged digital design tools to generate manufacturing efficiencies that will reduce cost and schedule. This approach will lead ultimately to the HH-60W becoming the first Black Hawk derivative to have a paperless assembly line."
The USAF awarded Sikorsky the $1.28 billion Engineering Manufacturing & Development (EMD) contract in June 2014, which includes development and integration of the next generation combat rescue platform and mission systems, delivery of four HH-60W helicopters, aircrew and maintenance training systems, and support for both. In January of 2017, the USAF exercised a $203 million contract option with Sikorsky to provide five additional aircraft, bringing the total to nine. The training suite includes devices that span full-motion simulators and discrete aircraft systems, such as hoist and landing gear.
The USAF Program of Record calls for 112 helicopters to replace the Air Force's rapidly aging HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters, which perform critical combat search and rescue and personnel recovery operations for all U.S. military services.
The HH-60W is an advanced variant of the UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter design and features increased internal fuel capability for greater range. The CRH aircraft will feature GE T700-701D engines, composite wide-chord main rotor blades to sustain maneuverability at high density altitudes, and a new fatigue- and corrosion-resistant machined aero-structure to ensure reliability and availability to USAF operational units. The design includes an advanced Tactical Mission Kit integrating multiple sensors, data links, defensive systems, and other sources of intelligence information for use by combat rescue aircrews. The aircraft is designed with a weapons and cabin configuration specifically optimized for combat rescue and recovery operations. 
"Conducting the Air Vehicle CDR demonstrates this helicopter system is well on its way to meeting the key program requirements of the Air Force," said Dave Schairbaum, USAF, CRH System Program Manager. "Successful execution of the program is essential to meet the continued demanding personnel recovery mission in today's challenging operational environment. We are working closely with Sikorsky to assure this newly designed aircraft meets the requirements, is affordable and is delivered on schedule to the warfighter."
The CRH and USAF teams will meet again in September for the Training Systems Critical Design Review.
This press release contains forward looking statements concerning opportunities for development, production and sale of helicopters. Actual results may differ materially from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to changes in government procurement priorities and practices, budget plans, availability of funding and in the type and number of aircraft required; challenges in the design, development, production and support of advanced technologies; as well as other risks and uncertainties including but not limited to those detailed from time to time in Lockheed Martin Corporation's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
About Lockheed Martin  Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 97,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.
#HH60W #Lockheed #Helicopter #Military #USAF #Charles_Dalberto #Perla_Group

Posted By Charles D'Alberto


Sunday, May 28, 2017

Newest Russian helicopter takes to the sky for 1st time - Charles D'Alberto

Russian Vice PM Rogozin posted the footage of the Ka-62 test flight on Twitter, congratulating the engineers and test pilots.
The Ka-62 is a multipurpose helicopter based on an experimental military model, the Ka-60. The helicopter is designed to carry up to 15 passengers or 2.5 tons of cargo. It can be flown in harsh conditions, namely at sea and in the mountains, as well as in hot and wet climates.
Modern polymer materials amount to 60 percent of the helicopter’s mass, which makes it lighter, faster, more maneuverable and durable, as well as reduces fuel usage. Serial production of the Ka-62 is expected to start in 2020.

Russian Vice PM Rogozin posted the footage of the Ka-62 test flight on Twitter, congratulating the engineers and test pilots.
The Ka-62 is a multipurpose helicopter based on an experimental military model, the Ka-60. The helicopter is designed to carry up to 15 passengers or 2.5 tons of cargo. It can be flown in harsh conditions, namely at sea and in the mountains, as well as in hot and wet climates.
Modern polymer materials amount to 60 percent of the helicopter’s mass, which makes it lighter, faster, more maneuverable and durable, as well as reduces fuel usage. Serial production of the Ka-62 is expected to start in 2020.
“It’s a next-generation, entirely digital communication complex. It provides a constant link between pilots and ground services at multiple frequencies, as well as constant emergency signal reception,” a Roselectronica representative told reporters at the HeliRussia-2017 exhibition on Friday.
The Ka-62 helicopter might also get a specialized sea variant to be used on helicopter-carrying vessels. The full-scale mockup of this variant has a folding propeller blades and tail section to fit into the tightest hangars on a sea vessel, according to the director general of the Kamov rotorcraft manufacturing company, Sergey Miheev.
“We created a completely unique helicopter, capable to fill a vast niche [on the market], capable to be used both in military and civil operations,” Miheev told reporters.
#Helicopter #KA62 #prototype #Russian 

Posted By Charles D'Alberto


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Largest weapons deal in history to include 150 BlackHawk's - Charles D'Alberto

Largest weapons deal in history to include 150 BlackHawk's - Charles D'Alberto 

The US will provide over $110 billion in weapons to Saudi Arabia in the largest weapons deal in US history. In the deal, Saudi Arabia will buy a number of weapons and vehicles from the US, including the THAAD missile defense system, and 150 Blackhawk helicopters.
#Helicopters #Military #BlackHawk #SaudiArabia #USA #Weapons #Charles_Dalberto #Perla_Group

Posted By Charles D'Alberto


Second prototype of Light Utility Helicopter makes first flight - Charles D'Alberto

Second prototype of Light Utility Helicopter makes first flight - Charles D'Alberto
The second prototype of the Light Utility Helicopter, LUH PT2, made its first flight in Bengaluru on Monday and flew smoothly for 22 minutes, its creator Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd said on Tuesday. The flight was described as free of any snag.
The three-tonne-class LUH is being developed as a reconnaissance and surveillance vehicle for military and civil users.
HAL said it expected to freeze the helicopter's design by the end of this year. After necessary certification, it would manufacture it along with its components at its facility coming up in Tumakuru.
Towards that, it was improving the flight envelop or range of PT1 and would conduct a few more test flights of the two versions in the coming months.
The second prototype has a modified tail boom and other improvements over PT1, which first flew on September 6, 2016 and later during the February Aero India 2017.
HAL CMD T. Suvarna Raju called it a part of their Make in India campaign in rotary and fixed wing aircraft.
When ready, the LUH is designed to fly 350 km at a speed of 220 kmph; it can reach a maximum height of 6.5 km and carry a payload of 400 kg.
Chief Test Pilot Wing Cdr (retd) Unni K. Pillai and Test Pilot Wing Cdr (retd) Anil Bhambhani piloted the helicopter.
#Helicopter #Aviation #Prototype #Charles_Dalberto #Perla_Group

Posted By Charles D'Alberto


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Helicopter lands on railing to drop off crew - Charles D'Alberto

Charles D'Alberto
An incredibly brave helicopter pilot manages to land on a narrow guard rail to drop off a doctor at the scene of a crash on Norway.
#Norway #Pilot #Aviation #Helicopters #Charles_Dalberto #Perla_Group

Posted By Charles D'Alberto


Monday, May 22, 2017

Jet owned by Elvis to be auctioned after sitting 30 years - Charles D'Alberto

ALBUQUERQUE — A private jet once owned by Elvis Presley is set to be auctioned after sitting on a runway in New Mexico for 30 years.
Elvis designed the interior, which has red velvet seats and red shag carpet. But the red 1962 Lockheed Jetstar has no engines and needs a restoration of its cockpit. says the jet was owned by Elvis and his father, Vernon Presley.
It has been privately owned for 35 years and sitting on a tarmac in Roswell, N.M.
#Elvis #Lockhead #PrivateJet #Charles_Dalberto #Perla_Group

Posted By Charles D'Alberto


Sikorsky s-97 Raider - Charles D'Alberto

Charles D'Alberto
Two rigid coaxial rotor prototypes designed to demonstrate a game-changing combination of maneuverability, hover ability, range, speed, endurance and survivability. 

Developed as Sikorsky entry for the US Army Armed Aerial Scout (AAS) program, after the cancelation of the ARH-70 Arapaho. Main contender was the American Eurocopter/Lockheed-Martin AAS-72X but the Army cancelled the program in late 2013. 

Powered by one General Electric T700 engine, the same engine of the UH-60M Blackhawk, the first prototype completes maiden flight on May 22, 2015. 

Sikorsky is exploring civil applications for the S-97, such as transporting personnel between offshore oil platforms

#Sikorsky #Raider #S97 #helicopter #Charles_Dalberto #Perla_Group

Posted By Charles D'Alberto


HISTORIC DAY IN AVIATION HISTORY - First EVER flight from Saudi Arabia to Israel - Charles D'Alberto

HISTORY was made today as US President Donald Trump's Airforce One was the first aircraft in history to make a direct flight from Saudi Arabia to Israel... Congratulations to the POTUS, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.... PEACE is POSSIBLE! DREAM BIG!
#USA #SAUDI_ARABIA #ISRAEL #PEACE #MIDDLEEAST #DIPLOMACY #Aviation #History #Charles_Dalberto #Perla_Group

Friday, May 19, 2017

MSH confirms additional launch customer in Norway - Charles D'Alberto

Marenco Swisshelicopter (MSH) has announced the official signature of a launch customer contract with Tronrud Engineering AS from Norway. The Swiss-made single-turbine SH09 helicopter will be based in the Eggemoen Aviation and Technology Park, 60 kilometers North-West of Oslo, Norway. 
Tronrud Engineering AS will operate the SH09 as a company helicopter and as a utility and logistics vehicle that will support the development of the industrial park. The multifaceted Eggemoen Aviation and Technology Park is the only one of its kind in the country, offering exciting opportunities for industrial development. Spread over a total area of 230 hectares, the industrial park employs more than 300 employees, with high technical competences — both at national and international levels.

Today Eggemoen Aviation and Technology Park is home to a diverse and innovative business community ranging from small to large-scale establishments in advanced and sensitive high technology. The park operates with its own airport and benefits from a direct access by road and train.

The MSH team is proud that the SH09 helicopter has been selected as an entire element of the park and airport’s networking tools where the aircraft will improve the needed connectivity to the region. 

Tronrud Engineering AS has been a helicopter pioneer and operator since the 1970s. Its initial interest was materialized while signing a letter of intent at HAI Heli-Expo 2014. “The progress achieved in the past years with the engineering and assembling of two flying prototypes, with a third prototype due in summer 2017, and with the overall maturing of MSH as a company, were the factors that lead to the decision of entering into a firm agreement,” said Olav Tronrud, CEO.

MSH now raises the count of the launch customers that will be part of the limited group of operators of the SH09 in Europe. Those initial and limited operators will benefit from exceptional conditions, equipment base and collaboration concept with MSH working closely throughout the program development and particularly for the phase-in of the helicopter into operations. 

#Marenco #Helicopters #Switzerland #Norway #Charles_Dalberto #Perla_Group

Posted By Charles D'Alberto


Thursday, May 18, 2017

China's Z-19E armed helicopter makes maiden flight - Charles D'Alberto

HARBIN, May 18 (Xinhua) -- The China-developed Z-19E armed helicopter made its maiden flight Thursday in Harbin in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.
The Z-19E featured hovering maneuvers, close ground-effect maneuvering and low passes above the airport to demonstrate its performance.
The new generation export-oriented model was developed by the AVIC Harbin Aircraft Industry to meet the requirements of the international military trade market, according to the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).
The helicopter is the latest narrow-body tandem-seat armed helicopter. It is also the country's first export-oriented helicopter made especially for attack purposes.
"It is able to be deployed for battlefield support and a variety of other missions in a complicated battlefield environment during both day and night," said Li Shengwei, deputy chief designer of AVIC Harbin Aircraft Industry.
The helicopter has a tandem dual-seat cabin layout, providing both pilots in the front and back with a wide horizon. Its maneuverability and survival possibilities on the battlefield are great improvements, according to Li.
With a maximum take-off weight of 4,250 kilograms, the Z-19E is a light armed helicopter with obvious advantages in cruising speed, climb rate, and usable ceiling, according to its developer.
The Z-19E is mainly intended to attack tanks, armed vehicles, defense works and other targets on the ground.
It can provide direct fire support to ground troops, attack helicopters and other low-altitude targets, fly at a very low altitude and fly as part of a convoy of helicopters.
#China #Z19E #Helicopter #Military #Attack #Maiden #Flight #Charles_Dalberto #Perla_Group

Posted By Charles D'Alberto


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

ISIS Downs Iraqi Helicopter West of Mosul - Charles D'Alberto

BAGHDAD -- An Iraqi air force helicopter was downed west of Mosul on Saturday afternoon, after coming under fire from the Islamic State group, according to Iraq's joint operations command.
The helicopter was hit while supporting Iraq's mostly Shiite militia forces in an operation to retake villages still held by the militants in the sprawling desert to Mosul's west, Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool, the command's spokesman, said in a statement. The source of the attack was ground fire, the pilot landed safely and there were no fatalities, he added.
The government-sanctioned Shiite militia forces known as the Popular Mobilization Units launched an operation to retake a small village just south of Sinjar on Friday.
Inside Mosul, Iraqi forces backed by the U.S.-led coalition are slowly closing in on a small cluster of neighborhoods in the city's west held by the extremist group. The operation to retake Mosul was launched in October, and the city's east side was declared liberated in January. Iraqi forces launched the operation to retake the west the following month.
The U.S.-led coalition does not provide air cover for operations led by the Popular Mobilization Units.
The last time an Iraqi helicopter was shot down was in April, and the crash killed both pilots. In addition to coalition air support, Iraqi air force and army aircraft conduct regular strike operations over the city to support police and special forces units battling IS.
#Helicopter #Military #Syria #Iraq #Battle #Charles_Dalberto #Perla_Group

Posted By Charles D'Alberto


Monday, May 15, 2017

Look Inside the Sleekest Helicopter That Will Never Fly - Charles D'Alberto

At the helicopter industry’s largest trade show last week, dozens of aircraft were parked over 7 acres of Dallas convention center space. Yet only one generated a constant crowd as more than 1,000 people gathered around Bell’s FCX-001 chopper.
Just as carmakers roll out concept vehicles at auto shows, Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. decided last summer to build a helicopter to display its most cutting-edge technologies, said Scott Drennan, director of innovation at Fort Worth, Texas-based Bell. Widely known for the UH-1 “Huey” helicopters flown by the military in Vietnam, Bell’s research today is likely to appear in choppers many years from now. 
The FCX-001, which made its public debut at the three-day Heli Expo 2017, is more of a statement than a prototype for an industry that’s weathered deep retrenchments in the oil and gas fields. The FCX concept 1 Another Bell model, the 222, was used to depict a futuristic—and ludicrously unrealistic—“supersonic helicopter” in the 1980s CBS show Airwolf. carries 8-12 passengers but isn’t meant to fly. Instead, it features several chunks of tech that will likely migrate into production models in coming years, Drennan said.
“The goal was to let the creative team pull us closer to our physics and engineering boundaries or to turn our point of view such that the perspective was really different,” he said. “Then the engineers would pull those creative types closer to the engineering and physics boundaries.” 
Traditional helicopters feature two rotors, one on the roof and one at the tail. In the future, Bell predicts that only one will be used, due to “anti-torque” technology in the boom that will make the smaller aft blades obsolete. This technique is also expected to lower the helicopter’s overall noise level—a critical consideration for buyers and regulators, Drennan said. Bell engineers see promise in the concept and plan to begin testing the approach “in earnest” this summer, he said.
The ability to alter the rotor blades during forward flight offers two big advantages—fuel efficiency and an overall lower noise profile. But there’s one enormous hurdle: The engineering challenges that arise from changing the blade shape in flight. This technique may not find its way into production for many years. 


The FCX is based on the idea of mixing a conventional turboshaft for the main rotor with an electrical motor to power the anti-torque tail system. The two would be decoupled, allowing for the rear system to be shut off as needed.


Bell is exploring advanced carbon fibers and other materials that could help to harvest vibrational energy and convert that to electricity for the motor.


The twin-engine FCX has a single pilot seat but no instruments. Flight controls would be governed by an augmented-reality helmet, akin to some of the technology deployed in advanced fighter jets. Flight computers would handle some of the routine and more perilous maneuvers involved in safe flight, Drennan said. Passengers also would wear a similar helmet for communications and entertainment. At some point, a helicopter like the FCX would fly autonomously.
#Helicopters #Future #FXC001 #Bell #Charles_Dalberto #Perla_Group

Posted By Charles D'Alberto


Friday, May 12, 2017

A SWAT team in Los Angeles shot and killed a suspect from a helicopter for the first time - Charles D'Alberto

Specially trained SWAT officers from the Los Angeles police department shot a man from a helicopter hovering over the scene in a neighborhood north of the city on Monday afternoon, killing the suspect and marking the first time officers in the city have opened fire from a helicopter.
Police chief Charlie Beck said it was not clear how many times the man had been shot or whether the gunfire came from the ground or air, but, he said, he appeared to have been stuck by fire from above, according to the Los Angeles Times.
It is rare for police to fire from helicopters. The aircraft's movement or conditions inside it can make such shots especially hard and can hinder accuracy. But it has been done before.
In 2015, officers in San Bernardino County opened fire on a suspect in a wrong-way chase on the 215 freeway, and in 1982, a car-chase suspect surrendered after a sheriff's deputy fired a pistol from a helicopter hovering over a freeway after waiting for a break in traffic.
The incident on Monday started when a woman awoke that morning to find an intruder in her home. She escaped and called police, who arrived at the house in the foothills of the Angeles National Forest to find that the suspect had armed himself with a weapon belonging to one of the home's residents.
A SWAT team was called in, and police surrounded the home, using a bullhorn and eventually firing tear gas into the home to get the suspect out.
The house — at the top of a hill with brush and debris all around — created a "very difficult problem" for officers on the scene, Beck, the police chief, said, according to the LA Times.
"The suspect definitely had high ground at all of the ground officers, was firing indiscriminately at them — and actually fired at the helicopter, we believe," he said. Aerial video appeared to show the man firing on officers, who responded in kind.
At about 2:40 p.m., the suspect was shot, and his body rolled into a ravine, where he was pronounced dead.
While LA-area police have fired from helicopters before, the use of lethal standoff tactics and weapons by US law enforcement typically draws scrutiny.
Last summer, police in Dallas used a bomb-disposal robot equipped with an explosive device to kill a suspect involved in a deadly ambush on officers in the city.
Dallas' mayor said at the time the suspect had died after police "blast[ed] him out," and the city's police chief said, "Other options would have exposed our officers to great danger."
Beck, the LA police chief, said the incident appeared to meet very specific criteria for such use of force, and the shooting will be reviewed by police authorities and civilian officials. An outside expert also defended the action, saying LA police specialize in tactical shooting.
Others expressed concern about the lessons the LA incident could send to other police departments.
"I just worry that it sets a bad precedent," Samuel Walker, a retired criminal-justice expert and policing expert, told the LA Times. "You can have some other departments saying, 'Well, if the LAPD can do it, we can do it.'"
In Mexico, where engagements between police and criminal suspects often involve heavy weaponry, marines fired on a kingpin and several of his associates from a Black Hawk helicopter with a machine gun, lacing a home in a neighborhood with a six-second stream of gunfire. Eight suspects were killed in that incident.
#Police #Shooting #SWAT #Helicopter #Aviation #Charles_Dalberto #Perla_Group

Posted By Charles D'Alberto


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Delta is partnering with the on-demand helicopter startup Blade so that VIPs can avoid the airport - Charles D'Alberto

Blade, the on-demand "Uber for helicopters" startup, wants to help its customers avoid the airport completely. 
The startup has launched a partnership with Delta Air Lines to streamline the transfer process for passengers flying in and out of New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. 
Delta passengers arriving to JFK, including from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and London, can arrange to be met on the jet bridge by Delta's Elite Services team, who will gather their checked luggage and bring them to an awaiting Blade car on the tarmac.
That car then brings them to a Blade helicopter, which will get them to Manhattan in less than 10 minutes. Blade operates three lounges in Manhattan, where passengers can arrange to be dropped off. 
Passengers using Blade's services to depart out of JFK will go through an expedited TSA screening process before being transferred to their Delta flight. A Delta Elite Services team member will personally handle their luggage and escort the passenger to their seat.
#Delta #Blade #Helicopter #Uber #Charles_Dalberto #Perla_Group
Posted By Charles D'Alberto


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Helicopter Crashes in Front Yard of Newton House - Charles D'Alberto

NEWTON -- It was a very scary scene for a Newton resident and for the two passengers in a helicopter after it crashed in the front yard of a house just after 1 p.m. Thursday.
The man living inside says he ran to help the passenger and pilot get out.
Officials tell us both men were taken to the hospital the passenger had minor injuries and the pilot has serious injuries.
The helicopter was surveying a new gas line pipe in the area. It’s a private company hired by the contractor.
The fire department and state troopers are securing the area until the FAA arrives later tonight and they will take on the investigation including releasing the pilot’s names. 
#Helicopters #Crash #R44 #Pilot #Charles_Dalberto #Perla_Group

Posted By Charles D'Alberto


Monday, May 8, 2017

The US State Department approved Military Sale of MD 530F helicopters and weapon systems - Charles D'Alberto

The Government of Kenya has requested a possible sale of 12 MD 530F weaponized helicopters to include 24 FN Herstal Heavy Machine Gun Pod (HMP) 400 systems; 24 M260 rocket launchers; 4,032 M151 rockets; 1,536 2.75-inch M274 smoke signature warhead rockets; and 400,000 rounds of .50 caliber ammunition. Also included are communications and navigation equipment, contractor logistics support, training, U.S. Government technical assistance, airframe and weapon system spare parts support, Contractor Field Service Representative (CFSR) support, and Special Assigned Airlift Mission (SAAM) flight delivery support. The total estimated cost is $253 million.

"This proposed sale contributes to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of a strong regional partner who is a regional security leader, undertaking critical operations against al-Shabaab, and a troop contributor to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM),"
This FMS will advance Kenya’s efforts to conduct scout and attack rotary wing aircraft operations in support of their AMISOM mission. The MD 530F will also replace Kenya’s aging fleet of about 40 MD 500 helicopters, which is the current reconnaissance platform supporting Kenyan ground forces. 

An evolution of the well-known OH-6 Cayuse light attack and reconnaissance helicopter, MD Helicopters' MD 530F platform is powered by Rolls-Royce 250-C30 turboshaft engine. The MD 530F can fly at a maximum cruise speed of 248 km/h within a maximum range of 430 km and a service ceiling of 5,700 m. 

The MD 530F has been deployed by the Afghan Air Force since 2011. The AAF fleet of 12 MD 530F helicopters was delivered through a programme managed by the US Army Security Assistance Training Management Organization.
#Helicopters #Military #MD530F #Weapons #Aviation #StateDept #Kenya #Charles_Dalberto

Monday, May 1, 2017

Military seeks Amazon-style delivery drones to resupply troops on the front line - Charles D'Alberto

Soldiers fighting at the front line could be resupplied by Amazon-style delivery drones under new schemes being considered by the Ministry of Defence.
The MOD is offering defence firms and inventors millions of pounds in a competition for ideas of how to use the growing field of unmanned vehicle technology to get supplies up to the front.
Defence chiefs want to trade on recent advances by consumer firms like Amazon to find quicker, cheaper and safer ways of getting kit into dangerous frontline combat zones.

The online retail giant believes it can revolutionise the delivery business with its own fleet of drones dropping off purchases to a customer’s door and recently said it had delivered its first package in the UK.
Defence engineers are also considering building convoys of self-driving lorries, guarded by unmanned or remote control armed vehicles, as part of any future military logistics chain.
As part of the initiative, the MOD has now announced a £3m competition for suggestions for an “autonomous last mile resupply system”.
Solutions would need to be get equipment across difficult terrain, through bad weather, from just behind the front line to right up to where troops are fighting, according to the competition announcement.
The competition announcement says: “To reduce the risk to troops and improve efficiency, the UK aims to develop autonomous systems for unmanned delivery of combat supplies, drawing on the rapid progress of the private sector in the development of delivery drones and automated deliveries.”
Engineers have two months to offer ideas, with the best ones winning funding to explore them further.
Harriet Baldwin, minister for defence procurement, said the MOD wanted to “use the latest technology to keep our personnel safe”.
She said: “We’re challenging industry and academia to work with us to design ground-breaking autonomous systems that will get supplies to the front line.”
Amazon in December claimed to have carried out its first UK drone delivery from a depot in Cambridge.
However at present the company’s fleet of drones can only carry a payload of around 5lb and must have good, clear weather to fly.
The safety of drones has also come under the spotlight after reports of near-misses between them and conventional aircraft around airports.
Liz Quintana, senior research fellow for futures and technology at the Royal United Services Institute, said creating unmanned vehicles was a key focus for militaries and cargo drones would be “slightly less controversial than using armed drones”.
She said: “It’s looking to a lot of what’s going on in the private sector and seeing what might be possible.”
America tested an unmanned helicopter in Afghanistan in 2012, using it to ferry rations to far-flung forward operating bases around Helmand province.
The US Army also earlier this year unveiled a logistics “hover bike”, called the joint tactical aerial resupply vehicle. The US Army’s research laboratory says it wants the aircraft to carry a load of 800lb to a range of 125 miles.
Ms Quintana said military use of cargo drones mirrored their growing use in the private sector.
The Swiss postal service last month said it hoped to use flying drones to deliver medical supplies to hospitals by next year. Aid agencies and charities are also exploring using them to deliver aid.
Peter Stockel, who is leading the competiton for the MoD, said: "We are particularly keen to reach out and encourage organisations that might not have worked with the defence and security sector before, such as those developing commercial driverless vehicles, drone delivery services and robotic agriculture, to get involved with the challenge and help us rapidly advance the way we deliver tactical military logistics.”

#Drones #Amazon #Deliveries #Military #Aviation #Charles_Dalberto #Perla_Group