Sponsored by Hobson Industries
10 Jun 20. USAF uses VR technology for C-130J aircraft maintenance. US Air Force (USAF) airmen at Dyess Air Force Base (AFB) have used virtual reality (VR) technology to transform learning and maintaining of the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft.
Since 2018, two 317th MXG instructors at the AFB have been working on developing the software and writing course curriculum to make the VR lab training environment a success.
Technical sergeant Timothy Hogge and staff sergeant Christopher Clinton are the names of the instructors.
Currently, Dyess AFB has the largest C-130 VR room in US Air Mobility Command (AMC) with 16 training stations, a classroom and a learning curriculum.
317th MXG maintenance operations flight superintendent senior master sergeant Ronald Cooney said: “One of the more impressive aspects of the lab is the direct feedback capability our instructors can use.
“This feature measures students’ performance and learning based on how fast they can understand key concepts.”
Using the VR lab, the 317th MXG plans to train 250 maintainers each year.
Separately, the Little Rock AFB in Arkansas has collaborated with the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) to 3D print a hydraulic pump bracket for the C-130J Super Hercules.
Recently, the bracket was the first 3D printed metal part installed on the C-130J.
The bracket will allow lowering or raising the ramp, as well as hold the C-130J’s manual hydraulic pump.
USAF AFLCMC C-130 structures engineer 1st lieutenant Jesse Montgomery said: “With its current design, the bracket can withstand very minimal side loading from the pump handle.
“Lab testing has shown the new 3D printed part can withstand three times the downward force and ten times the side force compared to the original bracket, making it much less likely to break in the field.”
“The 3D printed version also costs an estimated $3,800 less per part to make and requires significantly fewer man-hours to produce.” (Source: airforce-technology.com)
07 Jun 20. Operational Demonstration of Combat Expendable Platforms
Through a partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Air Force Special Operations Command successfully released simulated palletized munitions in three airdrops at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, Jan. 28 from an MC-130J Commando II, a multi-mission, combat, transport and special operations tanker.
This successful Phase I operational demonstration represents a milestone in executing a palletized munitions airdrop, which refers to the delivery of a large volume of air-launched weapons at any given time.
In this case, munitions stacked upon wooden pallets, or Combat Expendable Platforms, deployed via a roller system. AFSOC used an MC-130J Commando II since its cargo area supported the release of multiple, relatively large munitions.
AFSOC aircrew released five CEPs rigged with six simulated munitions, the same mass as the actual weapons, including four Cargo Launch Expendable Air Vehicles with Extended Range across a spectrum of low and high altitude airdrops. These long-range, high precision weapons destroy moving and non-moving targets.
“In the end, the demonstration accomplished all objectives,” said Jerry Provenza, AFRL CLEAVER program manager. In the three airdrops, all five CEPs separated cleanly from the aircraft, and the munitions separated from the CEPs.
“This successful (demo) is evidence of our commitment to evolve innovative weapons concepts and enhance our partnership with AFSOC to meet the needs of the National Defense Strategy,” said Col. Garry Haase, director of AFRL’s Munitions Directorate. “CLEAVER represents a different approach to launching large numbers of long-range weapons, which will bring a new dynamic to the high-end fight.”
The employment of these weapons directly advances the Air Force palletized munition experimentation effort, an innovative concept in which a multi-engine platform carrying large quantities of network-enabled, semi-autonomous weapons accompanies remotely piloted aircraft and fighter jets in combat missions.
The CLEAVER, while first envisioned by AFRL’s Center for Rapid Innovation, is now led by program managers from AFRL’s Munitions Directorate at Eglin Air Force Base. Dr. Alok Das, AFRL senior scientist and CRI director, leads a rapid reaction team that provides solutions to the warfighter’s highest priority urgent needs.
Das explains that the CRI is “in the business of innovation” by developing non-traditional solutions that address operational challenges. After assembling the subject matter experts and forming a collaborative team, the CRI developed the prototype CLEAVER.
For this Phase I demonstration, an AFSOC 27th Special Operations Wing MC-130J aircraft flew to the range from Hill AFB, accompanied by an Air National Guard 137th SOW MC-12W Liberty chase aircraft flying from Salt Lake City International Airport. This turbo prop plane with intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, made real-time observations, capturing photos and video during three airdrops.
In future demonstrations, AFSOC will release CLEAVER glider vehicles, powered vehicles, and full-up vehicles with optional Warhead and terminal guidance. Provenza said AFRL’s Munitions Directorate will provide vehicles and SMEs in Phase II and beyond. He asserts that AFRL is committed to this strategic partnership with AFSOC. (Source: http://www.warfare.today/)
08 Jun 20. Heavy transport helicopter for long-haul operations: CH-53K masters the art of inflight refuelling with KC-130J. The CH-53K King Stallion heavy transport helicopter has successfully completed several inflight refuelling tests with a KC-130J Super Hercules tanker of the U.S. Marine Corps. Lasting several hours, the test flight took place at the beginning of April off the east coast of the United States. Newly developed, the latest member of the Sikorsky family of CH-53 transport helicopters has thus passed another major milestone. Inflight refuelling has also been defined as an essential capability for the Bundeswehr’s new heavy transport helicopter, or STH. In response to the current Bundeswehr request for tenders, Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky and Rheinmetall have joined forces to offer Germany the top-performing CH-53 K, the most advanced, most intelligent helicopter on the market today.
In particular, the CH-53K’s advanced fly-by-wire flight control significantly reduces the strain on the crew during inflight refuelling operations. This was confirmed during the recently conducted flight tests. The ability to refuel in mid-air is a requirement for covering long distances without having to make intermediate stops, and substantially expands the CH-53K’s operational flexibility. It means that it can be redeployed to distant areas of operation, for instance, and remain aloft for extended periods. The helicopter can carry more personnel and materiel for longer distances and under more challenging operational conditions than any other aircraft of its kind.
Besides the same tanker aircraft, in future the Bundeswehr inventory will include the C-130J transport plane made by Lockheed Martin. The cargo hold of the C-130J is designed to use the 463L-standard air cargo pallets, which the CH-53K can also transport. Using the same pallets in the fixed wing aircraft and transport helicopter offers immense advantages when it comes to loading and unloading materiel.
This interoperability reinforces in a fundamental way military cooperation between France and Germany: at Évreux in Normandy, the two nations are currently creating a joint fleet of C-130J/KC-130J aircraft. The use of standardized air freight pallets also enables interoperability with other transport planes in Europe such as the A400M, a decisive advantage during joint operations.
In the meantime, full-scale production of the CH-53K has begun at the Sikorsky plant in Connecticut, as planned. In all, 31 aircraft are currently at different stages of completion. The first USMC CH-53K squadron is expected to be operational by 2023/24.
In Germany the CH-53K is now in the running for the Bundeswehr’s “Schwerer Transporthubschrauber STH” procurement project; the decision as to which heavy transport helicopter to buy is expected to come at the beginning of 2021. The first aircraft could – as required – be delivered starting in 2024, thus enabling a seamless transition from the current CH-53G fleet, coupled with training of personnel and putting the necessary logistics in place necessary for operating in Germany. By this time, the CH53 helicopters supplied to the USMC will already be fully operational, and Marine flight crews and maintenance technicians will be able to draw on their experience to assist in initial training of Bundeswehr personnel. The transition from the CH-53G now in service with the Bundeswehr to the new STH fleet of heavy transport helicopters is to be complete by 2032.
08 Jun 20. McKean wins contract to provide submarine engineering support. McKean has won a contract from the US NSWC PD to support Submarine Program Management, Engineering, Technical, and Logistics Support. Credit: recca on Unsplash.
McKean Defense Group has won a contract from the Naval Surface Warfare Center Philadelphia Division (NSWC PD) to support submarine programme management, engineering, technical, and logistics support.
Under the $14m-valued five-year single award contract, the company will provide programme management, engineering and technical support, logistics, financial management and associated efforts.
It supports Submarine Type Commanders (TYCOMs), NAVSEA 05, NAVSEA 07, PMS 391, PMS 392, PMS 394, PMS 397, PMS 399, PMS 435, PMS 450, SPAWAR, and NAVSEA 08.
The contract will also support other US Navy submarine activities while in port or underway.
The contract work will be executed in the US states of Pennsylvania, Washington DC, Virginia, Massachusetts, Georgia, California, and Washington state, as well as in Japan.
Submarines underway or while in port will also host the contract work.
McKean also plans to expand its staff with logisticians, engineers, and engineering technicians.
McKean Defense CEO Joseph Carlini said: “This win reflects McKean’s first prime contract supporting NSWCPD’s submarine programme office, and our bid leverages existing tools and processes already employed through the Warfare Center.
“High visibility programmes, such as the Virginia Class and Columbia Class, will require the best engineering solutions and new technologies for emergent equipment issues, and McKean is proud to have been selected.”
In February this year, McKean received the Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific (NIWCPAC) command, control, communications, computers (C4) intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) shore platform contract.
The cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price contract has a base value of $56.3m with a ceiling of $249m. (Source: naval-technology.com)
08 Jun 20. NPC and NPC Lite advance to operational test phase in South Carolina. The US Air Force (USAF) has advanced Negatively Pressurized Conex (NPC) and NPC Lite (NPCL) to operational tests at Joint Base Charleston in South Carolina, US.
Claimed to be a rapid prototype project, NPC is being developed in response to the US Transportation Command’s (USTRANSCOM) Joint Urgent Operational Need (JUON) requirement for immediate transport of Covid-19 infected personnel.
While the first NPCL was delivered to Joint Base Charleston on 1 June for an operational test, the NPC will arrive this weekend. After successful testing, these are expected to quickly commence operations.
After several tests and demonstration flight of the NPC on 30 April, the Commander of Air Mobility Command (AMC), based on the recommendation of PEO ACS, decided to proceed with the acquisition of the NPC for Inter-Theater Airlift on the C-17 and C-5 aircraft; and the NPCL type for Intra-Theater Airlift on C-130, C-17 and C-5.
Expert teams from Air Mobility Command and the Air Force Lifecycle Management Center’s (AFLCMC) Engineering and Technical Management/Services Directorate, C-17 System Program Office (SPO), C-130 SPOs, C-5 SPO, and Human Systems Division worked with the NPC/NPCL programme team and contractor on the systems’ designs.
This combined effort was intended to reduce the time it takes for the engineering, medical, safety, testing, financial, scheduling, and airworthiness processes to less than 30 days.
The NPC is slated for ten days of ground tests after which there would be an Operational Utility Evaluation (OUE) C-17 flight.
The NPCL will have 21 days of ground tests on three different C-130s, which will include OUE on a C-130J by mid-June. Further evaluations for the C-17 and C-5 aircraft will follow for the other configurations later.
Following the conclusion of the OUEs, the systems will enter into service to transport Covid-19 patients around the globe for USTRANSCOM.
Further quick delivery of additional NPC and NPCL units will begin at the end of June, and 30 of each system are expected to be produced.
Testing will be carried out by a joint team consisting of members of the Air Force CBRN Branch, 28th Test and Evaluation Squadron, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Centers (AFOTEC) Det 2, 417th Flight Test Squadron, aircraft SPOs, AFRL, AMC/SG, AMC/A3V, Army Combat Capability Development Directorate, Army Public Health Center and additional team members.
C-17 Program Office senior materiel leader Col Scott Ekstrom said: “Providing an unrivaled mobility capability for the nation and our allies is the reason we come to work every day.
“The demand for urgent solutions to current problems is constant. Supporting an effort like the NPC/NPCL development showcased our teams working together to rapidly affect the safety and security of our airmen. I couldn’t be prouder of the team.” (Source: airforce-technology.com)
08 Jun 20. Virtual Discussion Group Event on the “Threat to Mobility”, sponsored by Pearson Engineering in conjunction with Defence IQ, which will take place on the 24th June.
An example of some of the discussion questions are below to which we have assembled a panel of experts to answer this and many other questions on the day:
- NATO is again planning for peer-on-peer conflict in Europe as the most demanding conflict scenario.
- How have battlefield mobility & counter-mobility requirements changed since the Cold War and what might they look like 10 years from now?
- What do you anticipate will be the role of heavy and medium armoured vehicles in urban warfare, how are they best utilised and what will be their limitations?
- What are the greatest challenges for mobility in the urban environment and what will be needed to overcome them?
- What will be the role of remote control, semi-autonomous and autonomous systems in supporting mobility and counter-mobility in the future conflict environment?
- What are the lessons learnt from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan with regards to the IED threat and how can those lessons be utilised in future major conflicts?
A web-link is here: https://www.pearson-eng.com/the-threat-to-mobility-a-virtual-interactive-discussion-group/
About Hobson Industries
Hobson Industries is a private company established in 1987 by Peter Hobson, after serving as a Charge Chief Weapons Engineering Artificer in the Royal Navy. Hobson Industries is an innovative and highly technical engineering business operating to the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System which is complimented with our ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System.
Across the markets we serve in, the UK and globally, we establish close relationships with the people that trust and depend on us. We specialise in the through life support management and development of Land Rover heritage military and civilian platforms – in effect, the Land Rover need never die!
Hobson Industries offer four core services that we specialise in:
We offer Land Rover vehicle builds to original specification or complete with modifications and upgrades at the customers request. All work is done in house using our bountiful facilities. In addition to vehicle refurbishment, reconditioning and homologation across all Land Rover models.
Powertrain and Transmission Units:
We offer new and reconditioned units, perfect for your Land Rover. All built using Land Rover tolerances and specifications. All for sale on our website. Additionally, we offer reconditioning services to your own units.
With over 16,000 part lines in stock, and the Asset Management programme pioneered by the company, we are able to provide a cost effective range of parts which may no longer be available. Additionally, we are offering Hobson Original branded parts to drawings for obsolete parts to help provide Land Rover owners the parts to keep them on the road. Our parts strategy ensures that all re-cycled, asset managed and reconditioned parts and units meet original equipment standards and specifications to ensure your safety while driving on or off road.
Amour – Design and Fabrication and Blast Protection
We offer armouring in steel, composite and ceramic of new and refurbished vehicles and fleets.