MV-22 Osprey Rear Ramps And Carrier Aircraft Elevators Make For Great Fast Rope Training

U.S. Marines on board the Navy’s newest amphibious assault ship, the first-in-class USS America, recently conducted fast rope training that made good of what space they have available at sea. Personnel from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) parked one of their MV-22B Osprey tilt-rotors with its tail end overhanging the edge of one of America’s lowered aircraft elevators so Marines could rappel down below. This particular Osprey also represents the latest Marine Corps configuration, which includes an expanded communications suite and new defensive systems.

Army Medevac Black Hawks In Syria Are Flying With Unique Laser Countermeasures Installation

Pictures have emerged that appear to be among the first to show U.S. Army HH-60M medical evacuation, or “Dustoff,” helicopters flying in Syria with a unique interim directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system configuration. Two years ago, the service had hit setbacks in integrating this defensive suite, known as AN/AAQ-24, onto its Black Hawks, as well as AH-64 Apaches and CH-47F Chinook helicopters, which it planned to use until it was able to field a new system of its own across all of its aviation units.

RAF To Sell-Off Its BAe 146 Military Transports That Also Cart Around the Royals

The U.K. Royal Air Force is looking to sell off its four BAe 146 jet transports. Two of these are presently configured specifically for VIP missions, including flying around members of the country’s Royal Family, as well as senior government and military officials, while the remaining pair are set up as small airlifters. Over the years, the four-engine jet aircraft have flown missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya.

Army Black Hawks Are Finally Getting Laser Countermeasures To Throw Off Infrared Missiles

The U.S. Army is working toward fielding a new directional infrared countermeasures system on its UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters that will help protect them from shoulder-fired, heat-seeking, short-range surface-to-air missiles, also known as man-portable air defense systems or MANPADS. Variants of this defensive suite may become standard equipment on AH-64 Apache gunships and CH-47 Chinook transport helicopters flying in combat zones in the future, replacing a number of other kits the service has already adopted on a more limited scale.

USAF Wants To Turn HC-130J’s Self Defense Suite Into “Sauron’s Eye” Vision System

The U.S. Air Force wants to leverage the cameras in the directional infrared countermeasures system on the HC-130J Combat King II rescue aircraft and turn them into an augmented vision system, similar in general concept to the Distributed Aperture System on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, to give the crew better situational awareness. The service has nicknamed the project Sauron’s Eye, a reference to chief villain Sauron’s all-seeing magical eye in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and the results could easily find their way onto any other aircraft with the similar self-protection systems installed.