USAF May Use V-22 Osprey for SAR

File:CV-22 Osprey flies over the Emerald Coast.JPG

A CV-22 Osprey aircraft from the 8th Special Operations Squadron flies over the Emerald Coast outside Hurlburt Field, Fla., on Jan. 31, 2009. While over the water, the crew practiced using a hoist, which is used to rescue stranded personnel. DOD photo by Senior Airman Julianne Showalter, U.S. Air Force. (Released)

DefenseNews reports members of Congress are questioning an Air Force proposal to use the V-22 Osprey tiltrotar in addition to the HH-60 for Combat Search and Rescue.

Opponents site the very strong downwash from the aircraft and higher cost.

Proponents site the V-22s higher speed and range.

It appears politics may also be at work here, surprise, surprise.

Coast Guard Dominates Helicopter Association International Awards

Aviation International News reports, “Helicopter crews and mechanics serving with the U.S. Coast Guard have been awarded four of the HAI’s (Helicopter Association International) eight “Salute To Excellence” awards to be presented this year tonight at Heli-Expo, including Humanitarian Service, Helicopter Maintenance, Pilot of the Year, and Law Enforcement.” Read the details are here.


Anniversary of the Loss of CG-1705

Today marks the first anniversary of the loss of CG-1705 in a mid-air collision with a Marine helicopter over waters off San Diego.

Fellow blogger Ryan Erickson has posted a movingly personal reflection on those events. Go take a look.

(Related posts: If you search CGblog for “CG 1705” you will find eleven posts related to this event.)

Israeli Navy Developments, with possible CG connections

Thought some of you might find this article interesting.  It touches on a number of items that might be interesting.

The Typhoon gun mount, now being equipped with the Spike ER missile system, is the same mount planned for installation on the Fast Response Cutter under the US designation Mk 38 Mod 2. This mount has lots of interesting non-military potential as a search, survaillance, and navigation aid as well.  I would think we would want in on the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC).

It discusses how the Israelis are dealing with the threat of booby trapped fishing vessels that have been used in three attacks on boarding vessels.

It talks about development of a persistent, radar equipped maritime version of their Heron high altitude UAV. This might be an alternative for the CG.

It reports how the Israelis are using kits to convert RHIBs to unmanned armed surveillance craft.

It also notes that the Israelis are in the market for a ship about the same size as the Offshore Patrol Cutter, and because the money will likely be provided by the US, there is a good chance it will have to be built in the US.  There might be an opportunity for cooperation here.

UAVs Starting to Score

From U.S. 4th Fleet Public Affairs, “EASTERN PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) — During a routine test flight, a MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Take-off and Landing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV) supported its first drug interdiction with USS McInerney (FFG 8) and a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (USCG LEDET) Apr. 3.” Read the rest of the story here.

Looks like UAVs are starting to show what they can do. UAVs flying from the Seychelles, in this case Air Force MQ-9s Reapers, are also having some success looking for pirates.

Hope we start seeing some Coast Guard use of these assets soon.