Tag Archives: airforce

Airforce Life Cycle Management Center helps design transport isolation system

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) is playing a unique role in the United States’ comprehensive Ebola response efforts in West Africa through the center’s involvement in developing a transport isolation system.

The system will enable safe aeromedical evacuation of Department of Defense patients in C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster IIIs.

The Human Systems Division — one of nine divisions within AFLCMC’s Agile Combat Support Directorate — is leading the integration of multiple System Program Offices to support the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s task to rapidly field the transport isolation system (TIS) by January.

Lt. Col. Scott Bergren, the chief of the Aircrew Performance Branch, is among those involved in the project.

“AFLCMC was notified the third week of October that its help was needed,” Bergren said. “We also were informed that the intent was to fly this system in an operational test beginning Dec. 1. So we were given a month and a half to ensure this system is safe to fly. All involved offices within AFLCMC have rallied to help get the TIS out the door.

“While DTRA is providing overall program management and contracting actions, our efforts have focused on quickly collecting the test data needed to assess the safety of the system for use in identified aircraft,” Bergren continued. “For example, we reached out to the Navy and obtained existing test data for subcomponents of the TIS used in Navy weapon systems today. This prevented us from having to redo those tests, which saved time. Fortunately, we have those connections and our division possesses the capability to analyze test data and certify components already in use within DOD.

“We’re thinking differently and more creatively to ensure we keep pace with the Pentagon’s timeline for this isolation system,” Bergren added. “We want to ensure this project is completed on time and safely.”

An example of creative thinking is that the AFLCMC team identified a proven LED lighting system used in the KC-135 Stratotanker platform today as a means to provide medical lighting in the TIS.

“This avoided a development effort by the contractor and cut roughly two weeks from a schedule in which every day counts,” Bergren said.

According to Melina Baez-Bowersox, a technical lead engineer in the Aeromedical Branch, additional challenges arise anytime there is a proposal to add a new system or equipment to an Air Force platform, such as an aircraft.

“Part of our responsibility is to assess the TIS’s capability by testing and evaluating the system on the aircraft,” she said. “We ask ourselves, ‘How does it (TIS) behave?’, ‘What does adding the system do to the structural integrity of the aircraft?’, ‘Is the TIS safe for patients, aircrews and the aircraft?’

“Ultimately, we want to be able to safely transport infected individuals back to the United States in a way that contains Ebola exposure to others while also preventing contamination of an aircraft or losing a precious Air Force asset,” she continued.

“We’re the right organization to be involved to deliver this critical capability that is quite complex and under an extremely compressed timeline,” said Col. William McGuffey, the chief of the Human Systems Division. “It’s another example of how AFLCMC acquires, fields and sustains systems and capabilities to support the urgent needs of other Air Force major commands and the DOD.

Pentagon officials say they do not expect the 3,000 U.S. troops heading to or already in the region to need the TIS because military personnel will not be treating Ebola patients directly.

“But we want to be prepared to care for the people we do have there just out of an abundance of caution,” Defense Department spokeswoman Jennifer Elzea said.

Currently, transport of Ebola patients from overseas is done by Phoenix Air, a government contractor based in Georgia whose modified business jet is capable of carrying just a single patient.

The Pentagon’s TIS will be similar but larger than the units used by Phoenix Air, whose containment system is a tent-like structure held up by a metal framework within the aircraft.

Related Topic Tags

Related Defense, Military & Aerospace Forum Discussions

View the Original article

Comments Off on Airforce Life Cycle Management Center helps design transport isolation system

Filed under Defence Talk

Indian Airforce Chief Concerned By Fighter Delays

Indian top-gun pilots are slowly but surely running out of combat-worthy fighters to fly. Faced with the twin-threat from China and Pakistan, the IAF has once again sounded the red-alert over the huge delays dogging all its three fighter induction projects.

Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha on Saturday said the delays in the MMRCA (medium multi-role combat aircraft) project, the indigenous Tejas light combat aircraft program and the joint development of the futuristic stealth fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) with Russia, should be a major concern for the entire country.

“Every project, be it acquisition or design and development, is taking longer than it should. We have lost timelines. We have quite a few fleets which are on their last legs. It’s definitely a concern,” said ACM Raha, ahead of the IAF’s 82nd anniversary on October 8.

Down to just 34 fighter squadrons, which includes 14 of ageing and virtually obsolete MiG-21s and MiG-27s, IAF is obviously worried about its fast-depleting air combat power when both China and Pakistan continue to flex their muscles along the borders. It requires at least 44 squadrons to be at ease against both.

Responding to the military standoff with China in Chumar and Demchok sectors of eastern Ladakh last month, which coincided with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India, the IAF chief said it was “mysterious” how such border incursions took place during high-profile visits.

“In diplomacy, some signaling is done. I am not going to guess why it was done. But we are not giving ground to anyone,” said ACM Raha, who is also the chairman of the chiefs of staff committee. He admitted it would take four to five years to plug all operational and infrastructure gaps in Ladakh and the north-east.

The new Modi government is showing “great urgency” in “expediting” processes and projects. With all the three Service chiefs meeting the PM on a one-on-one basis every month, every project is being reviewed and accountability being fixed, he said.

But it will take a lot of doing. The indigenous Tejas fighter, in the making for over 30 years now, for instance is still far from becoming fully combat-ready. Tejas also cannot replace the need for a MMRCA since the light-weight fighter has a shorter-range and less weapon-load carrying capability. It will not, for instance, be capable of deep-penetration attacks into China.

Similarly, the final commercial negotiations for the almost $20 billion MMRCA project — the global tender for which was floated in August 2007 – for 126 French Rafale fighters have proceeded at a glacial pace.

Though the work of three sub-committees dealing with technical maintenance, offsets and transfer of technology has been completed, sources said Dassault Aviation is still reluctant to take responsibility, with warranty and liquidity damages, for the 108 Rafale jets to be made in India by Hindustan Aeronautics.

Related Topic Tags

Related Defense, Military & Aerospace Forum Discussions

View the Original article

Comments Off on Indian Airforce Chief Concerned By Fighter Delays

Filed under Defence Talk

Raytheon Demos Enhanced Paveway II GBU-50s For French Airforce

By on Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Raytheon and the French Air Force completed a demonstration of a penetrator variant of a Paveway GBU-50 from a Mirage 2000D multirole fighter jet. The weapon met all flight objectives and scored a direct hit against a reinforced concrete slab.

“Raytheon is committed to delivering GBU-50′s unique capabilities to our French customer, ” said Mike Jarrett, vice president of Air Warfare Systems. “Raytheon offers a proven, cost effective dual mode solution that is fully compatible with the MK-84 and BLU-109.”

Each Enhanced Paveway II guidance and control section is compatible with warheads ranging from the 250 pound MK-81 to the 2,000 pound MK-84 and BLU-109. Offering a range of smart fuze settings from air burst to post impact, along with selectable terminal impact angles and angle of attack control, the GBU-50 takes the capabilities of both the MK-84 and BLU-109 to a new level.

The Paveway bomb kit affordably transforms “dumb” bombs into cutting edge precision-guided munitions. The all-weather GBU-50, with its GPS/precision terminal laser guidance is in production with more than 200 units delivered to date.

Related Topic Tags

Related Defense, Military & Aerospace Forum Discussions

View the Original article

Comments Off on Raytheon Demos Enhanced Paveway II GBU-50s For French Airforce

Filed under Defence Talk

Afghans ‘concerned’ over airforce as NATO pulls out

By on Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Afghanistan’s defence ministry has expressed concern over the slow pace of developing its airforce ahead of a scheduled withdrawal of NATO troops and equipment, the government said Sunday.

More than a dozen transport aircraft provided to the Afghan airforce by the United States have been grounded because of age, a lack of spares and safety problems, President Hamid Karzai’s office said in a statement.

The issue was raised at a security meeting which was told that the defence ministry was “concerned over the slow pace of reviving the country’s air force” and wanted the US to “intensify its efforts for that end”.

As part of its exit strategy from the Afghan war, the US is helping Kabul build its airforce before most air support from NATO forces is withdrawn along with 130,000 troops by the end of 2014.

Fifteen C-27 transport aircraft supposed to provide support to the Afghan army and deliver humanitarian aid had been grounded for two years, defence ministry spokesman Zahir Azimi told AFP.

“The planes were made in Italy, they are old and were out of the Italian fleet before they were given to Afghanistan,” Azimi said.

Air transport is critical in Afghanistan, where the road network is underdeveloped and targeted by insurgent bombings, while strike aircraft are a vital part of the war against Taliban insurgents.

The US Air Force announced last month that it was reopening a contest for a contract to build 20 light attack aircraft for Afghanistan after the cancellation of an award to Brazil’s Embraer two months earlier.

But a final decision for the contract will not be made before early 2013, the Air Force said in a statement, with the first planes due to be delivered in the second half of 2014.

The new schedule will mean “a delay of about 15 months” from original plans, before the Air Force called off the award, the statement said.

Last year, an Afghan air force officer shot dead nine US service members at a training centre at Kabul International Airport, one of the deadliest attacks on coalition troops in recent years.

It was one of an increasing number of attacks in which Afghans being trained by NATO troops have turned their weapons on their mentors.

Related Topic Tags

Related Defense, Military & Aerospace Forum Discussions

View the Original article

Leave a comment

Filed under Defence Talk