NAS Whiting Field’s 35,000th Helicopter Pilot Graduates

November 25, 2019 – Training Air Wing (TRAWING) 5 celebrated a milestone in Naval Aviation when the 35,000th rotary wing student naval aviator walked across the stage at Naval Air Station Whiting Field to receive his coveted “Wings of Gold” Nov. 22. Lt. j.g. Robert Woods, a native of Northlake, Illinois, walked off the stage at Lassen Auditorium as the Navy’s newest helicopter pilot. He joined 22 other students in achieving the greatly sought after designation. While he recognizes being the milestone pilot was largely a matter of luck, it…

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Raytheon to develop airborne dual-band decoy for the U.S. Navy

October 28, 2019 – Raytheon was awarded a $33M U.S. Navy Demonstration of Existing Technology contract to develop a modern towed decoy for the F/A-18 E/F over the next 27 months. The technology protects pilots by emitting signals across extended frequencies to counter advancing threats, convincing hostile weapon systems that the real target is the decoy, not the aircraft. “Decoys are there to bring a pilot home safely – period,” said Jeremy Carney, director, Raytheon Electronic Warfare Systems. “The dual-band decoy will look like the target, deceive threats and steer…

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Then and Now: Midway and the U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier

By Vice Adm. DeWolfe Miller III, Commander, Naval Air Forces/Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet October 22, 2019 – Midway. The mere mention of it warms the heart of a U.S. aircraft carrier Sailor. At Midway Island, American aircraft carriers secured the greatest victory in our Navy’s history and changed the course of World War II. The aviators who served and flew off carriers Enterprise, Hornet and Yorktown struck a decisive blow against the powerful Japanese fleet. During the Battle of Midway, the aircraft carrier proved to be the…

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US Navy Contract Announcements October 23, 2019

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Rolling Meadows, Illinois, is awarded an $8,946,044 cost-plus-fixed-fee delivery order (N00019-20-F-0360) against a previously issued basic ordering agreement N00019-15-G-0026. This modification procures non-recurring engineering support for the integration of the AN/AAQ-24 on multiple Department of Defense aircraft platforms for the Army. The engineering effort includes platform integration of modernized survivability equipment, maintainability, interface improvements and software to effective utilize the AN/AAR-61(V)1 more effectively. Work will be performed in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, and is expected to be completed in January 2021. Fiscal 2019 research development test and…

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Navy F/A-18C Hornet Makes Final Active-Duty Flight

October 3, 2019 – The last Navy F/A-18C Hornet, aircraft number 300, made its official final active-duty flight at Naval Air Station Oceana, Oct. 2. Assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 at Cecil Field, Florida, aircraft number 300 completed its first Navy acceptance check flight Oct. 14, 1988. Lt. Andrew Jalali, who piloted the Hornet for its final active-duty flight at Naval Air Station Oceana, was also born in 1988. “Today marked the final United States Navy F/A-18C Operational Hornet flight,” said the Commodore, Command Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic,…

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NAVAIR Delivers First Redesigned MH-60s Gunner Seats to Fleet

September 26, 2019 – The Aircrew Systems Program Office delivered, installed and demonstrated the first two redesigned MH-60S Seahawk gunner seats on Sept. 24 and 25 to Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Pacific (HSCWP) at Naval Air Station North Island. This delivery is the culmination of innovative, strategic planning across multiple organizations working together to complete the mission with urgency. “From the Air Boss and NAVAIR’s advocacy, the Office of Chief of Naval Operations Air Warfare Division rapid funding, program office customer service, HSCWP and Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic (HSCWA)…

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Naval Aviation Achieves SECDEF Readiness Target

September 24, 2019 – Commander, Naval Air Forces (CNAF) announced Sept. 24 that Naval Aviation has achieved its Secretary of Defense-mandated readiness target of an 80 percent mission-capable (MC) rate for both its operational F/A-18 E/F “Super Hornet” and EA-18G “Growler” fleets. After a year of reforms across Navy squadrons, maintenance and supply depots and other key readiness-enabling commands, Super Hornet and Growler readiness each stand above 80 percent of Primary Mission Aircraft Inventory (PMAI), at 343 and 95 aircraft, respectively. Last year, with the Navy’s MC rate hovering near…

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US Navy TH-57 Replacement Contender’s TH-119 Receives IFR Certification

July, 1919 – Leonardo announced today that its TH-119 helicopter received IFR supplemental type certification by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The TH-119 is the only single engine helicopter in decades to meet current IFR requirements, allowing pilots to operate the aircraft safely in low visibility and challenging weather conditions, thanks to advanced avionics by Genesys Aerosystems and redundant helicopter flight systems. Based on the successful AW119, the TH-119 is Leonardo’s bid to replace the U.S. Navy’s fleet of aging TH-57 training helicopters. IFR certification is a core requirement for…

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Sikorsky Receives Contract to Build 12 CH-53K Heavy Lift Helicopters

May 17, 2019 – Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company will build 12 production CH-53K King Stallion helicopters under a new $1.13 billion contract from the U.S. Navy. These advanced helicopters are part of the 200 program of record aircraft for the U.S. Marine Corps. Under the terms of the contract, known as Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lot 2 and 3, Sikorsky will begin deliveries of 12 CH-53K helicopters in 2022, and also provide spares and logistical support. Sikorsky remains committed to continuing to reduce costs over the life of…

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Minor Injuries Reported After T-45 Training Jet Crash at NAS Kingsville

May 10, 2019 – A Navy T-45C Goshawk aircraft crashed at Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas, at 2:38 p.m. Friday, May 10. The two pilots, an instructor and a student, suffered minor injuries and were transported to a local medical treatment facility for care. The pilots safely ejected from the aircraft just before it crashed just short of the runway inside the airfield perimeter fence. Emergency services immediately responded to the crash site. The incident is under investigation.

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VP-47 Attends LIMA Exhibition

March 30, 2019 – The “Golden Swordsmen” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 47 participated in the 2019 Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition held in Langkawi, Malaysia. Approximately 1,400 U.S. Navy and Air Force personnel are participating in LIMA19. U.S. Navy aircraft on display include a P-8A Poseidon, EA-18G Growler, and MH-60R Seahawk. The 7th Fleet flagship, USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), and destroyer, USS Preble (DDG 88), participated in the maritime portion of the exhibition. “This detachment will be key in fostering relationships that will be critical in achieving…

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Boeing Receives U.S. Navy Multiyear Contract for F/A-18 Production

March 20, 2019 – With a three-year contract award for 78 F/A-18 Block III Super Hornets, Boeing [NYSE: BA] will play a vital role in the U.S. Navy’s fleet modernization efforts. The Block III configuration adds capability upgrades that include enhanced network capability, longer range, reduced radar signature, an advanced cockpit system and an enhanced communication system. Boeing will begin converting existing Block II Super Hornets to Block III early in the next decade. The fighter’s life also will be extended from 6,000 hours to 10,000 hours. This new multi-year…

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F-35C Achieves Initial Operational Capability

February 28, 2019 – The Commander, Naval Air Forces and the U.S. Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Aviation jointly announced that the aircraft carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35C Lightning II, met all requirements and achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC). The Feb. 28 announcement comes shortly after the Department of the Navy’s first F-35C squadron, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, completed aircraft carrier qualifications aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and received Safe-For-Flight Operations Certification. In order to declare IOC, the first operational squadron must be properly…

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Raytheon Wins Contract for P-8A APY-10 Radar Repair

February 1, 2019 – Raytheon Company was awarded the following contract as announced by the Department of Defense on January 9, 2019: Raytheon Co., McKinney, Texas, was awarded $7,124,695 for firm-fixed-price delivery order N00383-19-F-G000 under previously awarded basic ordering agreement N00383-14-G-005D for the repair of the APY-10 radar system used in support of the P-8A aircraft. Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the contracting activity.

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Blue Angels Soar Through Aviation Maintenance Inspection

February 2, 2019 – The Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, passed their 2019 Aviation Maintenance Inspection (AMI) conducted Jan. 29 – Feb. 1. The AMI is an inspection conducted every two years for each squadron in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps to evaluate the effectiveness of the squadron’s maintenance program practices and adherence to Naval Aviation Maintenance Program standards. Commander, Naval Air Forces Aviation Maintenance Management Team 1 evaluated the Blue Angels on a total of 37 programs and found no critical discrepancies. After four days of…

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