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U.S. COAST GUARD DELIVERS EIGHTH MINOTAUR MISSIONIZED HC-144 TO THE FLEET
Monday, September 21, 2020
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HC-144B

.Source: U.S. Coast Guard


HC-144B

Source: U.S. Coast Guard


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ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. -- The U.S. Coast Guard accepted delivery of its eighth HC-144B Ocean Sentry medium range surveillance aircraft outfitted with both the Ocean Sentry Refresh (OSR) modifications and the Minotaur mission system Aug. 24. Modifications to CGNR 2315 were completed at the Aviation Logistics Center in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

The OSR project upgrades the aircraft with a new flight management system, which manages communication control, navigation and equipment monitoring. After the OSR upgrade is completed, each aircraft is redesignated as an HC-144B.

Minotaur integrates installed sensors and radar and provides dramatically improved data fusion as well as information processing and sharing capabilities.

Completion of missionization and upgrade of a ninth HC-144 is scheduled by the end of November. The service plans to upgrade each of the service’s 18 HC-144s by 2022.

Source:  U.S. Coast Guard
Associated URL: Click here to visit

 
HOUSE INTRODUCES CONTINUING RESOLUTION WITH PUSHBACK FROM MCCONNELL
Monday, September 21, 2020
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The CR proposal would allow Columbia sub work to continue

.Source: US Navy


The CR proposal would allow Columbia sub work to continue

Source: US Navy


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WASHINGTON -- The House Appropriations Committee introduced a continuing resolution September 21 that would fund the government at FY20 levels through December 11. The current fiscal year ends September 30, and a CR is needed to keep the government running because Congress has not finalized the FY21 budget. While the House has passed its versions of the FY21 defense appropriations bills, the Senate has lagged behind.

The proposed bill includes a provision that would allow work on the Navy's Columbia class submarine to proceed, including awarding a contract to support procurement of the first to submarines in the class. The legislation would also allow more time for the government to reimburse contractors for paid leave and other costs associated with the pandemic. The Pentagon has said it may need up to $20 billion to cover theses costs.

The House is expected to vote on the legislation this week. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) opposed the legislation, arguing that it leaves out relief funding for farmers.

Source:  House Appropriations Committee
Associated URL: Click here to visit

 
H-60 FLEET SUPPORT TEAM DEVELOPS 3D-PRINTED GEAR FOR NEW COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM
Monday, September 21, 2020
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3D-printed omnidirectional antenna mounts

.Source: U.S. Navy


3D-printed omnidirectional antenna mounts

Source: U.S. Navy


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MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. -- The U.S. Navy’s MH-60S Seahawk multi-mission helicopter is ready for a communications upgrade, and engineers with the H-60 Fleet Support Team at Naval Air Systems Command’s In-Service Support Center at Fleet Readiness Center East have developed an innovative solution to support that effort.

The fleet’s inventory of more than 200 MH-60S Block 3 aircraft is slated to receive new Full Motion Video (FMV) systems, which will expand the aircraft’s operational capabilities. A team of structural and avionics engineers with the H-60 FST at FRCE developed prototypes of the equipment that will secure the modification to the aircraft, including two 3D-printed antenna mounts developed in conjunction with the Additive Manufacturing team at NAVAIR headquarters in Patuxent River, Maryland.

While the third antenna mount and equipment rack will be manufactured through more traditional methods, the two remaining antennas provided the development team with an opportunity to think outside of the box and explore additive manufacturing options.

The unconventional production method also provided the quickest and most cost-effective path to mass production, Stokes explained, allowing the team to meet the tight deadlines delivered by the program office. The team did explore other options, including a traditional composite layup. Composite material is frequently used for fairings across naval aviation, including on the MH-60S; however, the lead time and cost to develop a mold and mass produce the antenna mounts using that method was deemed too time consuming and costly when compared the 3D printing.

The 3D-printed mounts, along with the rest of the FMV mounting package, are now in the early evaluation stages of production. Stokes said the team is currently conducting a preliminary fit check of all aspects of the FMV modification, structures and avionics, to ensure proper fit and procedures are in place.

The team will complete the fit check and will incorporate any necessary changes into the technical directive, installation data package and design drawings. The NAVAIR Additive Manufacturing team at Patuxent River will then create three more copies of each 3D-printed mount - using the technical data provided by the H-60 FST team - and send those parts to FRCE for finishing. Once those steps are complete, the mounts will move into the next phase of testing: validation on a fleet aircraft at the test squadron at Naval Air Station Patuxent River.

Following validation, the team will conduct a verification of the technical directive on another fleet aircraft; any necessary changes and comments from the validation and verification processes will be incorporated into the technical directive, which will then be released to the fleet to be completed for all applicable aircraft. Validation and verification are standard aspects of any modification, Stokes explained, and must be completed before an airframe change - the type of technical directive the FMV system represents - can be released.

Source:  Naval Air Systems Command
Associated URL: Click here to visit

 

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