23 Apr 15. Pentagon to Open Silicon Valley Office, Provide Venture Capital. The Pentagon plans to open its first office in Silicon Valley and provide venture capital in an effort to tap commercial technology that can be used to develop more advanced weapons and intelligence systems. Pentagon officials said the twin moves are part of a broader effort by the defense department to field technology more quickly and cheaply amid concerns that potential adversaries such as China are closing the gap or surpassing U.S. capabilities. However, the Pentagon’s push faces resistance from technology companies and the venture-capital community, which has long been wary of becoming ensnared in the department’s bureaucracy and uncertain budget outlook. Defense Secretary Ash Carter is scheduled to unveil the plans in a speech at Stanford University on Thursday that will also discuss a new Pentagon strategy for cyberwarfare. The three-day visit to Silicon Valley will include meetings with technology executives such as Facebook Inc. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, as well as a venture-capital round table hosted by Andreessen Horowitz, according to a senior Pentagon official. (Source: glstrade.com/WSJ)
20 Apr 15. Boeing opens CH-147F maintenance training centre in Canada. Boeing has opened a new facility in Canada to provide maintenance training for the country’s fleet of CH-147F Chinook multi-mission helicopters. The medium-to-heavy lift helicopters (MHLH) maintenance training centre is located at the Garrison Petawawa, Ontario. It will enhance the skills of maintenance personnel responsible for the readiness and support of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) CH-147F fleet. Boeing Canadian Medium-to-Heavy-Lift-Helicopter training systems project manager Tony Barnett said: “Boeing’s training suite equips the RCAF with essential aircraft maintenance knowledge, preparing their technicians for a wide range of operational missions.” The facility houses a Chinook Maintenance Trainer, comprising a complete airframe and an interactive display system delivered by the company in January. This will enable RCAF technicians to gain experience in addressing a number of scenarios. The opening of the facility comes shortly after an initial class of 18 technicians graduated from the centre’s first RCAF-led training courses. Boeing delivered 15 CH-147F Chinooks to RCAF as part of a $1.2bn contract awarded in August 2009, which also covered provision of in-service support for the fleet over the next 20 years. The contract was amended in June 2013 for the company to provide the first five years of 20-year in-service support. The total cost for procurement and in-service support for the MHLH project is estimated to be C$5bn ($4.75bn). CH-147F Chinook is Canadian version of the F-model Chinook. It is a modernised airframe with a long-range fuel system, and is expected to allow the RCAF to move soldiers and equipment, and also provide support to humanitarian relief efforts, anywhere in the world.
The multi-mission helicopter is fitted with an upgraded electrical system, a fully integrated common avionics architecture system cockpit, a digital automatic flight control system, as well as an advanced aircraft survivability equipment suite that includes a directional infrared countermeasures system. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
17 Apr 15. USAF announces candidate bases to host Reserve-led KC-46A tankers. The US Air Force (USAF) has announced the name of candidate bases to host the first Reserve-led KC-46A Pegasus aerial refuelling tanker aircraft. Located in Oklahoma and North Carolina respectively, Tinker Air Force Base (AFB) and Seymour-Johnson AFB, along with Westover Air Reserve Base (ARB), Massachusetts, and Grissom ARB, Indiana, were selected for the KC-46As, which will begin arriving at the first Air Force Reserve-led Global Mobility Wing in 2019. US Air Force Secretary (SecAF) Deborah Lee James said: “The KC-46A Pegasus