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29 Apr 16. Raytheon Anschütz upgrades Malaysian hydrography ship with Synapsis IBC. A bridge modernisation effort by Raytheon Anschütz to install its Synapsis Intelligent Bridge Control (IBC) suite aboard the Royal Malaysian Navy’s (RMN’s) hydrographic survey ship KD Perantau is in progress.
New bridge equipment supplied by Raytheon Anschütz also include a Standard 22 Gyro Compass and repeaters, Reflecta Magnetic Compass, GDA 101 Echo Sounder, Synapsis Radar, Synapsis ECDIS, Synapsis Conning, BNWAS Watch Alarm system and a NP 5000 autopilot.
Additional systems supplied by other manufacturers include a Skipper EML 224 speed log and a Skipper DL 1 Doppler log, a Saab R5 AIS, and a Saab R5 differential GPS.
Raytheon Anschütz area sales manager, Uwe Berendes, told IHS Jane’s that he is hopeful that the service would consider modernising additional RMN ships with the Synapsis IBC following the completion of integration work on Perantau in May, with the ship expected to be delivered to the RMN in June. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
28 Apr 16. Joint Multi-role Demonstrators in Race to Starting Line. In West Palm Beach, Florida, and Amarillo, Texas, two different aircraft are coming together in a sprint to the starting line of the Army’s much anticipated flight demonstrations of future helicopter concepts in 2017.
The Army plans to design and field a future vertical lift aircraft and is expected to kick off that program of record in the 2019 time frame. The expectation is to buy a new family of helicopters through a competition and field the new aircraft at some point in the early 2030s, although the Army has talked about speeding up that fielding timeline to the late 2020s.
But first the Army plans to demonstrate Joint Multi-Role (JMR) air vehicle capability at a 2017 flight demonstration in order to help the service fully define requirements for the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program.
A Bell Helicopter and Lockheed Martin team is mating the entire wing — which is one big part — onto the fuselage in Texas of its advanced tiltrotor concept the V-280 Valor, according to Vince Tobin, Bell’s vice president for advanced tiltrotor systems.
Sikorsky and Boeing have all of its Defiant coaxial helicopter parts in fabrication, some have already been delivered to the final assembly facility in Florida, Pat Donnelly, Boeing’s program director, said. Notably, the fuselage is in California being assembled and the team plans to conduct flight loads verification before shipping it to Florida.
Bell’s Tobin said the nacelles, compartments that hold engines, fuel or other equipment, were mated to the wing in March and they “fit like a glove.”
In fact, assembly of parts has gone so smoothly due to the use of 3-D design and simulation that Tobin, a self-proclaimed superstitious man, said, “Knock on wood, I am sure there are challenges to come, but so far, from a structural perspective, it’s all good.”
Bell had similar luck when Spirit Aerosystems assembled the fuselage for the Valor last year using the 3-D design environment. “It basically came together almost perfectly, Chris Gehler, director of the company’s advanced tiltrotor programs, said in October 2015.
The 3-D tool, which was developed in the last two to three years, has the ability to “change the affordability cost curve on this thing, so your non-recurring tooling significantly reduces and front-end costs are reduced,” Gehler said.
Tobin said the tooling has also not caused any issues in the assembly process so far thanks to the 3-D simulations.
What’s left for Bell is to stuff the nacelles with gear boxes and engines and to get ready for restrained ground runs “by around this time next year,” Tobin said.
“The good news is everything to date is tracking as planned,” he added, and the aircraft should be ready for its first flight in the fall of 2017.