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HANGAR TALK Industry news relevant to your business


by the Army on schedule in August 2014 and the Royal Navy followed as planned in January 2015, just four years after the maiden flight. Success continued with all aircraft delivered to MoD meeting Full Operation Capability by the end of 2015.


Erickson Wins U.S. Transportation Command Defense Contract


Erickson Incorporated was recently awarded a seat on the U.S. Transportation Command (TransCom) $5.7 billion contract to perform airlift services for the United States Armed Forces.


Leonardo Celebrates the 10th


Anniversary of AW159 Wildcat’s First Flight


Ten years ago the AW159 Wildcat lifted off for the first time from Yeovil and took to the skies. Over the last decade, the helicopter has celebrated global success and is in current operation with the U.K. Ministry of Defense (MoD) and other international users.


To date more than 70 AW159s in a variety of roles have been delivered to battlefield and maritime military operators around the world. Today the helicopter routinely operates in challenging environments and climatic conditions over land and sea.


Over 50,000 flight hours have been logged by the helicopter. The AW159 has been chosen by the British Army and Royal Navy, the Republic of Korea Navy as a replacement for its Lynx helicopters, and the Philippine Navy as a new maritime operator of the helicopter. The first international AW159 deliveries took place in 2016 to the Republic of Korea Navy.


The twin-engine multi-role helicopter is able to conduct missions ranging from constabulary to high-end warfighting where it has the capability to autonomously detect, identify, and attack targets on land and at sea. The high-performance platform has state-of-the-art systems, including a Leonardo Seaspray multi-mode


electronically scanning (E-scan) radar, and integrated Defensive Aids Suite.


The technologically advanced aircraft has a fully integrated and comprehensive suite of mission systems operated through a tactical processor that facilitates rapid tactical assessment in any theatre, day or night. With a military derived HMI designed to reduce aircrew workload and increase cockpit capacity, the helicopter delivers excellent situational awareness and mission effectiveness.


With the AW159, Leonardo provides a full spectrum of capabilities end-to-end, from sensors to support. It is designed from concept to operate safely from the smallest ships’ decks in the harshest environment of poor weather and high sea states.


The AW159’s design was originally conceived in response to the U.K. MoD’s requirement to replace its legacy Lynx aircraft. In 2002, the Future Lynx project began and it scoped out Surface Combatant Maritime Rotorcraft and Battlefield Light Utility Helicopter requirements. Four years later, the MoD finalized its contract award and in October 2007 the manufacture of the AW159 began. After the maiden flight of the AW159 Lynx Wildcat in 2009, the aircraft conducted its first deck landings on RFA Argus and then HMS Iron Duke in 2011. In May 2012 the first production AW159 Wildcat was received by the British Army. Initial Operating Capability was declared


The TransCom contract provides Federal Aviation Regulation Part 135 airlift services for fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft used to transfer Department of Defense and federal personnel, cargo for domestic and international shipments, supplies, ancillary support services, and equipment.


“We are grateful to receive an award on the Worldwide Airlift Support Program and look forward to continue serving the U.S. Department of Defense. Using non- standard aviation (NSAV) that leverages commercial air for DoD operations in expeditionary environments is a proven model for efficiently and effectively supporting the warfighter,” stated Doug Kitani, CEO.


Erickson is one of 17 firms selected, awarded under the Worldwide Airlift Services Program (WASP). Work will be performed globally over the next five years with an expected completion date of Nov. 11, 2024.


“Erickson’s long history in providing high quality logistical movement, casualty evacuation (CasEvac), and personnel recovery (PR) aerial services to TransCom has proved to be a combat multiplier around the globe for decades and we look forward to continued service for years to come,” stated Kevin Cochie, VP of Defense and National Security


Want to see your news here? Email it to the Editor-in-Chief:lyn.burks@rotorcraftpro.com


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