U.S. Navy Blue Angels Get New ?Fat Albert?

On June 24, 2019 NAVAIR (Naval Air Systems Command) announced that the acquisition of a new ?Fat Albert?, the Blue Angels? logistics cargo plane, has been approved on June 13. The iconic C-130T is being replaced by a C-130J Super Hercules, which will be delivered in spring 2020 following a $29.7 million contract awarded to the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence.

The ?new? C-130J is actually a divested UK aircraft and was chosen because of the major cost savings. According to the statement provided by NAVAIR ?cost savings associated with acquisition of the used aircraft and other airworthiness requirements is approximately $50 million less than the cost of a new aircraft.?


Colonels discuss state of Marine aviation

The colonels leading the four main Marine Corps aircraft programs at Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) gathered at the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum Dec. 4 for a panel discussion on the state of Marine aviation.

Before an audience of mostly industry representatives and fellow Marines, the program managers?Col. Matthew Kelly (V-22 Osprey), Col. David Walsh (H-1 helicopters), Col. John Neville (small tactical unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)) and Col. Jack Perrin (H-53 helicopters)?each detailed the work currently underway inside their programs.


Transforming the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command, with thanks to MIT

For the past three years, the Department of Defense?s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) organization has committed to a different kind of mission than any it has pursued before ? to transform their engineering acquisition capabilities to a model-based design. Their goal is to shorten the timeline from beginning to delivery without lacking quality or precision.

Since early in 2017, an essential part of implementing that transformation has been NAVAIR?s participation in the MIT program, ?Architecture and Systems Engineering: Models and Methods to Manage Complex Systems,? a four-course online course on model-based systems engineering.

Marine KC-130Js Are Getting A Much More Potent Bolt-On Weapons And Sensor Kit

The U.S. Navy, on behalf of the U.S. Marines, recently completed a five-week long series of live-fire tests involving a KC-130J Hercules aircraft equipped with the latest version of the Harvest Hawk armament kit. The full, upgraded package will include the ability to fire new weapons, improved sensors, an electronic warfare capability, and other changes that will make the systems easier to operate, cheaper to maintain, and more readily able to accept additional updates in the future.

Earlier in June 2018, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) announced that a crew from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two Zero (VX-20) had completed the experiments, which included strikes against stationary and moving test targets, at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in California. The Marines first announced plans to upgrade the Harvest Hawk system back in 2016 and the Navy says the upgraded arrangement, which it is now calling Harvest Hawk Plus, or HH+, will begin entering service in the first half of 2019.