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17 Feb 16. US Department of Defense standardizes on Windows 10, certifies Surfaces. The US Department of Defense announced that it is to standardize on Windows 10. Over the course of the next year, some 4 million systems will be upgraded to Microsoft’s latest operating system in what must be the largest enterprise deployment of the operating system worldwide.
This is a followup to a November order to upgrade systems in Combatant Commands, Service Agencies, and Field Activities to the operating system. The rationale is the government’s desire to protect better against security breaches and reduce IT costs by streamlining on a single platform. Windows 10 is better protected against security flaws than its predecessors, making it a tougher target for attackers.
In tandem with this, the government has given the Surface 3, Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4, and Surface Book all the relevant certifications to allow those systems to be included on the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Unified Capabilities (UC) Approved Products List (APL). This means that DoD agencies can now buy and use Surface family hardware in its deployments.
17 Feb 16. Sikorsky-Boeing wrap up SB-1 design review as Defiant takes form. Sikorsky and Boeing are weeks away from completing the final design review of their jointly developed high-speed SB-1 Defiant prototype as Swift Engineering works toward delivery of the core airframe this summer.
Conceived as a next-generation replacement for the UH-60 Black Hawk and AH-64 Apache, SB-1 is being pursued along with the Bell Helicopter V-280 for the US Army’s Joint Multi-Role (JMR) programme, which funds competing X-planes as a precursor to a Future Vertical Lift (FVL) acquisition.
Weighing in at 13.6t, SB-1 will have enough carrying capacity to transport four aircrew and 12 fully equipped troops in high, hot environments. Its pusher propeller will drive it to a top speed of 250kt.
In an interview at Boeing’s H-47 Chinook plant in Philadelphia last week, Boeing future vertical lift chief Pat Donnelly said most components of the rigid-rotor coaxial compound helicopter are already under construction and will start coming together later this year.
Donnelly says Swift Engineering of San Clemente, California will ship the core composite structure to Boeing’s AH-64 Apache production plant inMesa, Arizona by mid-year for design limit testing, before it continues east to Sikorsky’s rotorcraft facility in West Palm Beach, Florida in the September timeframe.
“The aircraft will be stuffed with all the hydraulics and mechanical components,” says Donnelly. “It’ll undergo final assembly and we’ll fly it down there.”
The aircraft cleared its preliminary design review (PDR) in 2014 and design engineers are now making tweaks ahead of locking down the final configuration as part of the critical design review.
There have been no major design changes since PDR, says Donnelly. “We’re going to roll right past it,” he says. “We have so many parts in the works right now that this is just a culmination and validation that this design is complete.”
In terms of building the actual structure, the Sikorsky-Boeing team appears to be lagging Bell, which took delivery of its V-280 composite fuselage fromSpirit AeroSystems last year and is almost done assembling the wings and nacelles of its third-generation tiltrotor. The fuselage and the wings of the V-280 currently sit at opposite ends of Bell’s Amarillo, Texas plant where it completes assembly of the military AH-1Z, UH-1Y