Category Archives: Aviation

New Age in Carrier Aviation Takes Off With X-47B Landing

New Age in Carrier Aviation Takes Off With X-47B Landing

Northrop Grumman's X-47B just before landing on the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) on July, 10 2013. US Navy Photo

Northrop Grumman’s X-47B just before landing on the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) on July, 10 2013. US Navy Photo

The Navy has entered a new age in carrier aviation with the successful landing of the unmanned Northrop Grumman X-47B on the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), the service announced at 1:45 p.m. EST on Wednesday.

Call sign Salty Dog 502 left Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. shortly after 12:00 p.m. EST and flew to the Bush controlled through a complex series of algorithms and navigational sensors and landed on the deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier guided not with a joystick and throttle controls but by an operator with a mouse and a keyboard.


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NAVAIR: P-8A Poseidon Ready for Deployment

NAVAIR: P-8A Poseidon Ready for Deployment

P-8A Poseidon, operated by Patrol Squadron (VP-16) in February, 2013. US Navy Photo

P-8A Poseidon, operated by Patrol Squadron (VP-16) in February, 2013. US Navy Photo

The Navy’s next-generation manned maritime information, surveillance and reconnaissance has been certified to enter regular service, according to a Naval Air Systems Command statement issued late Monday.

The P-8A Poseidon passed an Initial Operational Test and Evaluation that found the aircraft, “operationally effective, operationally suitable and ready for fleet introduction.” Read More

Navy Awards Raytheon $276 million Next Generation Jammer Contract

Navy Awards Raytheon $276 million Next Generation Jammer Contract

EA-18G Growler from Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 129 during night flight operations aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) in February 2013.

EA-18G Growler from Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 129 to launch during night flight operations aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) in February 2013.

Raytheon has won a $276 million contract to develop the Navy’s Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) for the service’s electronic attack air fleet, according to a contract released late Monday.

Raytheon beat out Northrop Grumman and a teaming effort between ITT Exelis and BAE Systems for the 22-month contract to develop the replacement to the ALQ-99 jammer — first introduced in the 1970s — currently in use by the Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps. Read More

Document: Pentagon's Aviation Plan

Document: Pentagon’s Aviation Plan

An F/A-18F Super Hornet flies from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). US Navy Photo.

An F/A-18F Super Hornet flies from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). US Navy Photo.

The following is the Pentagon’s aviation plan, dated May 2013.
From the report:

Summary of the Annual Plan and Certification

This plan was developed based on the FY14 President’s Budget submission and does not include the effects of sequestration / Budget Control Act funding decreases. The Department is in the process of a Strategic Choices and Management Review (SCMR) to resolve these impacts.

As such, changes to this plan are probable in next year’s report. Moreover, sequestration is already having an adverse effect on readiness across multiple mission areas, including aviation.

Changes in technology and organizational structure make categorizing aircraft into bins of like capability increasingly difficult.

However, this aviation force structure plan provides the diverse mix of aircraft needed to carry out the eleven missions identified above. The capabilities provided by aircraft identified in this plan reflect five principal investment objectives identified Read More

Navy Docs Reveal UCLASS Minimum Ranges and Maximum Costs

Navy Docs Reveal UCLASS Minimum Ranges and Maximum Costs

Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator flies near the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77). George H.W. Bush on May 14, 2013. US Navy Photo

Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator flies near the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77). George H.W. Bush on May 14, 2013. US Navy Photo

The Navy aims to build a system of stealthy pilotless aircraft to patrol at a minimum range of 600 nautical miles around an aircraft carrier at a maximum cost of $150 million per orbit, according to May Navy requirements documents obtained by USNI News.

The Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) so-called key performance parameters (KPPs) outline an aircraft that will primarily fill information, reconnaissance, surveillance and targeting (ISRT) roles for the service’s carrier strike group with a limited ability to strike targets at a range of 2,000 nautical miles from the strike group in lightly contested environments, according to the documents. Read More

UCLASS By the Numbers

UCLASS By the Numbers

The Navy has outlined the specifications for the Unmanned Carrier Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) in a requirements document obtained by USNI News.

Persistence:

Proposed operational ranges of UCLASS. US Naval Institute Illustration

Proposed operational ranges of UCLASS. US Naval Institute Illustration

A UCLASS system should be able to conduct two orbits at 600 nautical
miles or one orbit at 1,200 nautical miles. The system should also be
able to conduct a strike mission at 2,000 nautical miles. Read More

China Carrier Starts Second Round of Jet Tests

China Carrier Starts Second Round of Jet Tests

The PLAN's J-15 fighter jet takes off from Liaoning in this undated 2012 photo. Xinhua News Agency Photo

The PLAN’s J-15 fighter jet takes off from Liaoning in this undated 2012 photo. Xinhua News Agency Photo

The People’s Liberation Army Navy has conducted a second round of jet tests aboard its aircraft carrier with its J-15 carrier-based fighter on Wednesday, according to a report from the Xinhua news agency.

Wednesday’s test of the J-15 aboard Liaoning, follow a November round of flights of the J-15 in which the aircraft successfully landed and launched from the 50,000 ton former Soviet carrier. Read More

NAVAIR Issues UCLASS RFP

NAVAIR Issues UCLASS RFP

Northrop Grumman's X-47B flies over USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) on May 14, 2013. US Naval Institute Photo

Northrop Grumman’s X-47B flies over USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) on May 14, 2013. US Naval Institute Photo

The Navy is taking its next steps in creating unmanned and autonomous vehicle to provide surveillance and strike capabilities from aircraft carriers, Naval Air Systems Command told USNI News on Monday.

NAVAIR released a request for proposal to four companies on June 10 for further design studies on the Navy’s planned Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike system. Read More

The Future of the Marine Corps

The Future of the Marine Corps

US Marines from Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) Platoon, Battalion Landing Team 3/2, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), drive their AAVs on April 20, 2013. US Marine Corps Photo.

US Marines from Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) Platoon, Battalion Landing Team 3/2, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), drive their AAVs on April 20, 2013. US Marine Corps Photo.

After ten years of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. Marine Corps is retooling and repositioning itself back into its traditional role as a medium-weight maritime force that can operate with agility from the sea. Instead of training almost exclusively to fight insurgents deep inland, the Marines will focus on roles ranging from conventional warfighting, to conducting humanitarian missions, and to training the armed forces of partner nations. In essence, it will be a case of back to the future for the Marine Corps as it shifts back into its traditional role as the nation’s 911 quick-reaction force, former officials and analysts told USNI News. Read More

Second V-22 Multi-Year Buys 99 Ospreys

Second V-22 Multi-Year Buys 99 Ospreys

MV-22 Osprey assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 161 as it launches from the flight deck of the Amphibious Transport Dock Ship USS Anchorage (LPD-23) on April 23, 2013.

MV-22 Osprey assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 161 as it launches from the flight deck of the Amphibious Transport Dock Ship USS Anchorage (LPD-23) on April 23, 2013.

The Department of the Navy has kicked off its second multi-year buy for 99 V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft with option for 22 more, a NAVAIR official told USNI News on Thursday.

The Pentagon issued a $4.89 billion contract for the Ospreys on Wednesday with Textron’s Bell Helicopter division and Boeing. Read More