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.
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.
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.
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.
Found a bit of history with a CG slant, that I was not aware of. It starts in 1935 and involves Guano, Amelia Earhart, politically connected Pan American Airways founder, Juan Trippe, and several Coast Guard cutters in an effort to grab islands on the air route from Hawaii to New Zealand before the British could claim them. In 1979 these islands were ceded to the newly formed nation of Kiribati.
We have all heard that the Coast Guard is evaluating “unoccupied aerial vehicles,” UAVs, UASs, or whatever we are calling them lately. Ran across this recently and thought some of you might be interesting. Particularly liked the fact that the videos included a launch, and in the case of the Scan Eagle video, a recovery on a very small vessel.
At any rate it offers a sample of what might be in the works. 24 hour endurance, synthetic aperture radar, electro-optic/IR turret, in systems that can weigh less than 50 pounds, and we can take it off and recover from something as small as Fast Response Cutter.