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  • US Air Force may replace 3 types of aircraft with a single platform

    August 2, 2018 | International, Aerospace

    US Air Force may replace 3 types of aircraft with a single platform

    By: Jeff Martin WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force is looking to replace three aircraft — the E-4B command post, the C-32A executive airlifter and the Navy's E-6B command post — under the purview of a single program known as NEAT. Air Force Materiel Command posted the request for information Tuesday for NEAT — otherwise known as National Airborne Operations Center (NAOC), Executive Airlift, Airborne Command Post (ABNCP), Take Charge and Move Out (TACAMO). The RFI comes after an April Senate hearing where Gen. Robin Rand, the commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, said it was time to get “very serious” about replacing the E-4B and E-6B. While the RFI provides little information into what is specifically sought, it does ask for companies' experience in commercial derivative military aircraft and joint work with other businesses. It also asks companies to propose a “recommended technical solution” for the NEAT program. Full article: https://www.defensenews.com/newsletters/daily-news-roundup/2018/08/01/us-air-force-may-replace-3-types-of-aircraft-with-a-single-platform/

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    April 20, 2021 | International, Aerospace

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    Lockheed Martin Demos S-97 Raider Helicopter for U.S. Army

  • US Air Force pauses flight ops for more than a hundred C-130s over ‘atypical’ cracking

    August 9, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    US Air Force pauses flight ops for more than a hundred C-130s over ‘atypical’ cracking

    By: Valerie Insinna WASHINGTON — More than a quarter of Air Mobility Command's C-130 Hercules fleet are being temporarily removed from service after “atypical” cracking was found. During scheduled depot maintenance, the U.S. Air Force discovered cracking of the lower center wing joint — also known as the “rainbow fitting” — which led Air Mobility Command head Gen. Maryanne Miller to order an inspection of a portion of the fleet, according to an AMC statement released Wednesday evening. A total of 123 of 450 C-130H and C-130J aircraft will be temporarily grounded while inspections occur. “This temporary removal of service will not impact ongoing C-130 support to overseas contingency operations,” AMC said in its statement. The decision to pause operations and conduct inspections was made after a single C-130 was found with the lower center wing joint cracks, said AMC spokesman Maj. Jonathan Simmons. But the risk posed by the issue — that the wing could become dislodged from the aircraft — was so serious that the Air Force decided to move forward with inspections for all planes that could potentially be impacted. The 123 aircraft chosen to go through inspections have not been equipped with an “extended service life center wing box” and have flown more than 15,000 hours. Maintainers will look for cracking, and, if discovered, will replace the rainbow fitting. That repair takes “approximately one to two months” to do and is “dependent on depot level availability and capacity,” Simmons noted in an email. Currently, AMC believes it has an adequate supply of rainbow fittings and is not concerned about a potential shortfall. If no defects are found, the aircraft will return to service. So far, eight aircraft have gone through inspections and are now able to fly, Simmons said. Each inspection is set to take eight hours, but the command does not know how long it will take to move all 123 aircraft through the inspection and repair process. “The Air Force takes the safety of its airmen and aircraft very seriously and is working diligently to identify and repair affected aircraft as soon as possible,” AMC said in its statement. https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/08/08/air-force-pauses-flight-ops-for-more-than-a-hundred-c-130s-after-atypical-cracking-found/

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