Archive for March, 2010

Defense News in Brief – 5 March 2010

March 5, 2010

New Army Black Hawk succeeds in combat

The Army’s new high-tech UH-60 Black Hawk M-model helicopter — equipped with a stronger engine, a digital cockpit and composite rotor blades — performed exceptionally well in Afghanistan during its first major combat deployment, according to a recently completed After Action Review at Fort Campbell, Ky., service officials said.

“The M-model Black Hawks were in Afghanistan for 12 months. The aircraft performed exceptionally well,” said Lt. Col. Jerry Davis, product manager for UH-60 Modernization. “We got great reaction from pilots. They experienced a higher than average operational readiness rate with those aircraft in theater and they loved the technologies on-board.”

The year-long deployment was the first for the M-model Black Hawks, which entered full-rate production in June, 2007. So far, 154 M-models have been delivered, Davis said.

C-130 low-cost, low-altitude combat airdrops now operational

A C-130 Hercules aircrew conducted a new method of airdrop that makes deliveries more accurate and flexible for resupply of small, mobile forces Feb. 6, in Afghanistan. The C-130 aircrew from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, performed the first-ever low-cost, low-altitude combat airdrop to re-supply soldiers at a forward operating base in Afghanistan. The airdrop concept became operational March 1.

A C-130 low-cost, low-altitude combat airdrop is accomplished by dropping bundles weighing 80 to 500 pounds, with pre-packed expendable parachutes, in groups of up to four bundles per pass. The drops are termed “low-cost” to reflect the relative expense of the expendable parachutes compared to their more durable, but pricier, nylon counterparts. “Low-altitude” alludes to the relative height from which bundles are released from the aircraft.

Naval Surface Warfare Center Dam Neck Hosts Anti-Piracy Conference

An international group of 50 leading scientists, engineers and technologists convened at Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Dam Neck Feb. 23 to explore new technological concepts and collaboration initiatives to defeat piracy. Participants from U.S. and international navies, U.S. Naval Warfare Centers, industry and academia shared their insight and expertise to gain a better understanding of the issue and develop improved ways to combat piracy.

“We are thankful that all of the participants brought us their perspectives, especially the coalition viewpoint,” said Ray Campfield, workshop organizer. “Anti-piracy solutions are neither nation nor Navy specific. We must continue to work together and include our commercial shipping partners to achieve interoperable, integrated solutions for Navy, coalition and joint forces worldwide.”