Category Archives: Aviation

Naval Institute History Conference: From Mercury to the Shuttle

Naval Institute History Conference: From Mercury to the Shuttle

Capt. Jim Lovell, USN (Ret.) speaking at the Naval Academy on Thursday. US Naval Institute Photo

Capt. Jim Lovell, USN (Ret.) speaking at the Naval Academy on Thursday. US Naval Institute Photo

The following is the on scene report for the U.S. Naval Institute’s 2013 annual history conference, “Past, Present, and Future of Human Space Flight,” with Capt. James A. Lovell, USN (Ret.), Capt. Robert L. Crippen, USN (Ret.), Col. Robert Cabana, USMC (Ret.) and Capt. Ken Ham, USN. The panel was moderated by former Good Morning America host David Hartman. Read More

Document: GAO UCLASS Acquisition Needs More Oversight

Document: GAO UCLASS Acquisition Needs More Oversight

From the Sept. 26 Government Accountability Office report: Navy Strategy for Unmanned Carrier Based Aircraft System Defers Key Oversight Mechanisms.

UCLASS faces several programmatic risks going forward. First, the UCLASS cost estimate of $3.7 billion exceeds the level of funding that the Navy expects to budget for the system through fiscal year 2020. Second, the Navy has scheduled 8 months between the time it issues its request for air vehicle design proposals and the time it awards the air vehicle contract, a process that DOD officials note typically takes 12 months to complete. Read More

X-47B Might Fly into 2015, Next Carrier Tests Could Start in November

X-47B Might Fly into 2015, Next Carrier Tests Could Start in November

A X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator launches from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) on July, 10 2013. US Navy Photo

A X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator launches from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) on July, 10 2013. US Navy Photo

The Navy is making plans that could extend the testing of Northrop Grumman’s X-47B into 2015 with possible new carrier tests as early as next month, USNI News has learned.

Last week the Navy issued a contract solicitation to extend the testing of the two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) — dubbed Salty Dog 501 and Salty Dog 502 — as part of the Unmanned Combat Air System demonstration (UCAS-D) program. Read More

Search Suspended for Two Missing Crew from Red Sea Knighthawk Crash

Search Suspended for Two Missing Crew from Red Sea Knighthawk Crash

 MH-60S Knighthawk from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 28 departs the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) in January.

MH-60S Knighthawk from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 28 departs the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) in January.

The Navy has suspended the search for two crewmembers lost following the crash of a MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter on Sunday in the Red Sea, according to a Monday release from U.S. 5th Fleet.

“Navy officials have concluded that given the time elapsed since the incident, aircrew survivability was extremely unlikely,” according to the statement. “The location of the crash site is known, and an extensive area has been searched multiple times by various ships and aircraft.” Read More

Report: Some in Industry Concerned with Shift in UCLASS Requirements

Report: Some in Industry Concerned with Shift in UCLASS Requirements

An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator aircraft is transported on an aircraft elevator aboard the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman (CVN-75). US Navy Photo

An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator aircraft is transported on an aircraft elevator aboard the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman (CVN-75). US Navy Photo

Some potential builders of the Navy’s planned Unmanned Carrier-Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) are worried a shift in focus to the requirements of the program will negate years of private research into fielding the carrier-based unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), according to a Sunday report in Flight.

The Navy undertook a non-traditional route in acquiring UCLASS. Instead of developing a list of requirements and holding a competition early in the program, the Navy instead waited to issue an outline for the aircraft’s requirements leaving companies to develop plans for the aircraft in a vacuum using their own funds for about three years. Read More

CNO: Navy Needs to Reshuffle $ 2 billion to Cover O&M and Shipbuilding Accounts

CNO: Navy Needs to Reshuffle $ 2 billion to Cover O&M and Shipbuilding Accounts

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert testifies before the House Armed Services Committee on Sept. 18, 2013. US Navy Photo

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert testifies before the House Armed Services Committee on Sept. 18, 2013. US Navy Photo

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert informally asked the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) for authority to shuffle $ 2 billion in Navy funds to shore up gaps in maintenance, operations and procurement the service would suffer in Fiscal Year 2014 under the current sequestration cuts, Greenert said as part of his testimony before the HASC on Wednesday. Read More

UCLASS Acquisition Raises Questions in Congress

UCLASS Acquisition Raises Questions in Congress

An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator sits on an aircraft elevator of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) on May 6.

An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator sits on an aircraft elevator of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) on May 6.

In a letter to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus on Tuesday, members of Congress questioned the Pentagon’s direction in creating a next-generation, carrier-based unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

The letter from the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces—obtained by USNI News—was signed by chairman Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) and ranking member Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.). It asks the Navy to develop the planned Unmanned Carrier-Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) UAV that would fully integrate with the carrier air wing. Read More

Lockheed Conducts Successful LRASM Test

Lockheed Conducts Successful LRASM Test

Lockheed Martin artist's conception of the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM). Lockheed Martin Photo

Lockheed Martin artist’s conception of the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM). Lockheed Martin Photo

Lockheed Martin’s bid to create a new ship-to-ship missile had successful flight test, according to a statement from the company. Read More