Daily Archives: February 26, 2016

HH-101A Caesar Medium-Lift Helicopter, Italy

HH-101A Caesar medium-lift helicopter is designed and developed by AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, based on the AW101 Combat Search and Rescue variant to meet the future operational requirements of the Italian Air Force.

The helicopter entered service with the Air Force’s 15th Wing in Cervia in June 2015. It is intended for special operations and personnel recovery missions and can also be used for search and rescue (SAR), medical evacuation (medevac) and slow mover intercept (SMI) operations.

A total of 15 HH-101A Caesar helicopters have been ordered to replace the Italian Air Force’s current fleet of Agusta / Sikorsky HH-3 Pelican amphibious medium-lift helicopters. The first two aircraft are configured for personnel recovery and special forces missions.

Maiden flight of the first HH-101A took place at AgustaWestland’s Yeovil facility in the UK in March 2014.

HH-101A Caesar helicopter design and features

The HH-101A Caesar helicopter features a versatile design and crashworthy airframe. It can be operated autonomously in harsh weathers and hostile environmental conditions and has a 30-minute transmission run-dry capability.


Lublin Spotters 

It is fitted with five advanced profile composite main rotor blades and four fully articulated tail rotors. The aircraft has efficient landing gear with castering / steerable nose-wheels permits safe for landing on rough terrains. Other features of HH-101A Caesar include a hydraulically-operated rear ramp, large cabin windows, and a wide cargo door.

The 22.83m-long and 6.66m-high helicopter has a rotor diameter of 18.6m, empty weight of more than 5,500kg and maximum gross weight of 15,600kg. A cargo hook attached to the helicopter supports external loads up to 4,536kg.





The HH-101A can be configured to accommodate a crew of up to five members and 20 fully-equipped personnel or six crew and eight special operation troops. An active control of structural response (ACSR) is installed to reduce the crew fatigue.



Search and rescue equipment aboard the HH-101A includes a wireless intercom system, medical treatment module, dual rescue hoist, sea tray, controller, fast roping / rappelling, and stretcher racks. The air-to-air refuelling and hover-in-flight refuelling capabilities of the helicopter provide extend the flight endurance.

Cockpit and avionics



The NVG-compatible glass cockpit provides superior situational awareness for the operators. It is installed with five 10in x 8in displays, synthetic vision system, digital map, integrated mission console, and a mobile phone. Operators are provided with helmet-mounted displays with head tracker.


LIDAR obstacle detection system


AW139 LIDAR (Credit: AgustaWestland)

The Obstacle Proximity LIDAR System (OPLS) uses three independent fixed Laser Imaging Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) sensors, a central computer (a GE MAGIC 1) and a dedicated control panel.  It can present a 360º representation of adjacent obstacles (closer than 25m) on the aircraft’s existing Multi-Functional Displays with a two level aural tone as the clearance distance reduces.  Source aerossurance.com

The integrated avionics suite consists of four-axis automatic flight control system (AFCS), traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS), helicopter terrain awareness systems (HTAWS), proximity detection system, TETRA radio communications system, and a mission recorder, as well as direction-finding and automatic identification systems (AIS), LIDAR obstacle detection system, and satellite communications (satcom) systems.

It also features an instrument flight rules (IFR) navigation suite, advanced 360° active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, health and usage monitoring systems (HUMS), and high-definition electro-optical sensors.

Advanced 180° Gabbiano radar


Gabbiano Radar Family’s high level of modularity and flexibility allows for operation on-board Unmanned Aerial Vehicles as well as both fixed and rotary wing manned platforms.


The two basic Gabbiano configurations (T20 and T200 Power) are available with nose-mounted or bellymounted antenna, providing respectively a ±90° and 360º surveillance. Moreover, antennas of several sizes/characteristics, tailored to the specific application, are available.

▪ Low weight, low power consumption
▪ LPI capability
▪ TWS: > 200 targets
▪ ECCM capabilities (frequency agility, jammer avoidance etc.)
▪ Digital/ Programmable waveform generator
▪ Short blind zone
▪ High resolution modes
▪ Maritime surveillance, up to 220NM
▪ High reliability
▪ Standard and flexible interfaces
▪ Dual channel digital receiver

Source leonardocompany.com

  • NVG compatible glass cockpit with 5 off multi-configurable 10” x 8” LCD units
  • Two Aircraft Mission Management Computers (AMMCs) with Data Transfer Module
  • Two Multifunction Control and Display Units (MCDUs)
  • Dual duplex digital automatic flight control system
  • Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS)
  • Integrated standby instruments
  • Comprehensive communication and navigation suite
  • Cockpit and cabin intercommunication system
  • Belly mounted 360 degree Surveillance Radar
  • Nose mounted Search / weather radar
  • Integrated mission console
  • Electro-Optics System
  • Digital map system
  • TCAS
  • Doppler velocity sensor
  • Obstacle Warning System
  • Direction Finder and Personnel Locator Systems
  • High intensity search light and loud speaker
  • Mission data recorder
  • Point-to-Point video uplink / downlink
  • Tactical Mission Computer, including Data Link
  • Active dipping sonar and sonobuoy dispensing
  • Helmet Mounted Display with optional tracker
  • Integrated Defensive Aids Suite, including missile, laser, radar warning, active countermeasures.

Source leonardocompany.com



Weapons onboard HH-101A Caesar helicopter

The HH-101A Caesar helicopter is fitted with three M134 7.62mm pintle-mounted Gatling-type machine guns on both sides as well as on the rear ramp.

3 x M134 7.62mm pintle-mounted Gatling-type machine guns


Army – M134D
Air Force – GAU-2B/A
Navy – GAU-17/A
DATE OF DESIGN about 1963
GUN WEIGHT 35 lbs. (16 kg)
GUN LENGTH OA 29.5 in (75 cm) including suppressor
Barrels are 22 in (55.9 cm) long
RIFLING LENGTH 20 in (50.8 cm)
TWIST Uniform RH 1 in 33.333
2,000 to 4,000 rounds per minute
  1. Barrel cluster rotates counterclockwise as viewed from the breech end.
  2. M134D is the minigun itself. Other designations are usually for the “gun assemblies” that include the mounting. The GAUSE designation appears only on text released with U.S. Navy photographs. It may represent a “sailor-alt” rather than an official U.S. Navy designation, although I have been unable to confirm that one way or the other. I have been told by USN personnel that the “SE” in GAUSE probably stands for “Shipboard Equipment” and refers to the entire gun and mounting assembly rather than to just the minigun itself.
  3. The original design of the 1960s had a fixed rate of about 6,000 rounds per minute. This was unsustainable over any period of time and the weapon was redesigned to add a transmission housing at the motor, giving the weapon a variable speed of 2,000 or 4,000 rounds per minute. On the newer Dillon Aero Inc. version, the rate of fire is determined by the gun drive unit used, with drive units giving either 3,000 or 4,000 rounds per minute available. There is no speed selection on this version other than by assembling a different gun drive motor to the the gun system assembly. The 3,000 ROF drive motor takes 0.5 seconds to spin up to speed and 0.25 seconds to spin down to stop. When the trigger is released, there is a delay until all six barrels have been cleared by fire. This ensures that no live ammunition is left in the firing chambers, thus eliminating cook-off problems. Source navweaps.com


  • Armoured protection in cockpit, cabin and seats
  • Anti-ship missiles and torpedoes
  • Crew Served Weapons (3 x 12.7mm/7.62mm machine guns)
  • Multi-purpose rocket / cannon pods
  • Air to air missiles
  • Air to surface missiles

Source leonardocompany.com


An integrated electronic warfare system is installed to provide self-protection against radar, laser and infrared threats. It also protects the machine gun operators and the critical systems from ballistic threats. The cockpit seats are armoured to provide additional protection for the crew.

The helicopter also features large aircraft infrared countermeasures (LAIRCM), direct-attached storage (DAS), and directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM).

In June 2011, Elbit Systems was awarded a contract worth $15m by Elettronica for the supply of ELT/572 DIRCM system for the HH-101A Caesar.

ELT/572 DIRCM system


The ELT/572 is able to effectively counter threats up to the third generation of sa ir. Its fi ber laser technology enhances dircm effectiveness by improving performance, reliability and effi ciency, reducing the installation constraints and the even more critical and complex settingup, alignment and maintenance operations.

The ELT/572 is composed of three units: the mirrored turret, the laser generator unit and the electronic unit. In dual turret configuration, the two dircm systems are correctly coordinated by means of a specifically designed multi-turret manager (patent pending): a function deployed in each subsystem and activated only in one subsystem at a time (the master subsystem) which is in charge of effectively coordinating the two sub-systems.  Source elt-roma.com

Engine and performance


Powered by three civil-certified GE CT7-8E engines, the helicopter can reach a maximum cruise speed of 277kmph and a maximum range of 1,363km. Each engine has a take-off power of 1,884kW and a maximum continuous power of 1,522kW.

3 x GE CT7-8E engines

The T700 engine was designed for the US Army’s UH-60A Black Hawk helicopter as a result of lessons learned in Vietnam. The key requirements of this engine were reliability, operation under adverse environmental conditions and low maintainability.

The CT7-8 engine is the newest commercial derivative of T700 engine family. It has been designed jointly with FiatAvio from Italy to power the S-92 multirole helicopter. The CT7-8A engine features an advanced, higher-flow compressor designed with new three-dimensional aerodynamic technology, a full authority digital electronic control (FADEC) system, and hot-section and turbine components proven in millions of flight hours on the CT7-9 engine. Source deagel.com


CT7-2 CT7-6/6A CT7-8 CT7-9
Physical Information
Compressor Stages 6 6 6 6
Low-Pressure Turbine / High-Pressure Turbine 2/2 2/2 2/2 2/2
Nominal Diameter (Inches) 15.6 15.6 26 29
Length (Inches) 46 47 48.8 96
Power Specifications
Take off rating at Sea Level 1,625 2,000 2,634 1,870-1,950
SFC at take-off rating 0.474 0.454 0.452 0.455

Source geaviation.com

The helicopter has a standard internal fuel capacity of 5,135l, and carries 649l in a small USG auxiliary fuel tank and up to 1,389l in a large USG auxiliary fuel tank.

The aircraft has rate of climb of 8.5m/s, a service ceiling of 4,570m and a hovering IGE of 3,307m. It can endure for six hours and 50 minutes, when powered by two engines.

Main materail source airforce-technology.com



Technical Data

Engine Rating (3 x CT7-8E)
Take-Off power (5 min)

3 x 1,884


3 x 2,527


Intermediate (30 min)

3 x 1,855


3 x 2,488


Maximum Continuous Power

3 x 1,522


3 x 2,041


OEI 2 Minute Rating

2 x 1,880


2 x 2,522


Fuel Capacity 
Standard Internal Fuel Tanks





Small Auxiliary Fuel Tank 519 kg 1,145 lb
Large Auxiliary Fuel Tank 1,111 kg 2,450 lb



25+ crashworthy

External Dimensions
Length overall





Overall height





Rotor diameter





Performance (MGW-ISA)
Max Cruise speed (SL-MCP





Hovering IGE





Max Range (All Engine Cruise)*





Max Range (Twin Engine Cruise)* 1,500 km 810 nm
Max Endurance (Twin Engine Cruise)*

6 h 50 min

*Utility version, no reserves, standard fuel tanks, 6,000 ft cruise

Specification leonardocompany.com


USAF reveals slimmed-down SACM air-to-air missile concept

25 February, 2016 BY: James Drew Washington DC

The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) says it has begun early research into a miniature air-to-air missile that would be carried on the next-generation of advanced fighter jets.

Known as the Small Advanced Capabilities Missile (SACM), AFRL officials say the conceptual missile would be far smaller and cheaper than today’s advanced air-to-air missiles like the Raytheon AIM-9X and AIM-120D, and therefore might be purchased and fielded in greater quantities.

SACM is one of many next-generation munitions concepts being pursued by AFRL as the US Air Force matures its so-called sixth-generation or air dominance fighter jet that would be introduced in the 2030s.

“SACM would be an affordable, highly lethal air-to-air missile with reduced size and weight compared to current air-to-air missiles,” AFRL tell Flightglobal in a prepared statement.

“By enabling a high loadout capability and increased missile effectiveness, future fighters would be able to survive in the contested anti-access/area-denial environment and complete their missions with minimal losses.”

Asset ImageF-35 AIM-120D AMRAAM testing – US Air Force

AFRL is also looking at the next-generation of general purpose bombs known as GBU-X, and a powered air-to-ground missile (AGM-X) the would be rocket boosted for greater range and impact energy. GBU-X and AGM-X would also be “distributed, collaborative and cooperative” weapons for net-enabled, coordinated attacks on high-value targets.

Other concepts presented at the Air Force Association’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Florida this week include hypersonic boost-glide and scramjet-powered missiles pursued in the High-Speed Strike Weapon (HSSW) programme. According to fact sheets by AFRL, those weapons could be also wirelessly linked for coordinated attacks on integrated air defence systems.

Asset ImageBoeing X-51 – James Drew/Flight International

AFRL is also focused on earth and concrete penetrators to attack reinforced underground facilities.

One option being considered was the rocket-boosted High-Velocity Penetrating Weapon (HVPW), although laboratory officials haven’t seen that project move forward since their technology demonstrations wrapped up.

Air Combat Command director of operations Maj Gen Thomas Deale, during a panel on close air support, called for every platform to carry more low collateral damage weapons with precision targeting and effects.

His ideal close air support platform would carry 3,000 to 4,000 rounds of ammunition and bombs that can be used reliably in close proximity to friendly forces in urban areas. “We need deeper magazines,” he says, adding that laser weapons with an unlimited amount of shots might someday solve that issue.

Source flightglobal.com



Image @alternathistory.com

Missile experts at the Raytheon Co. are researching how to increase capabilities for next-generation air-launched tactical missiles under terms of a potential $14 million contract.

Officials of the munitions directorate of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., are asking researchers at the Raytheon Missile Systems segment in Tucson, Ariz., to increase the number of missiles carried on a single military aircraft sortie, increase the effectiveness of each missile, and enhance the platform survivability against all threats in an anti-access, area denial (A2AD) environment.

Specifically, the Air Force as asking Raytheon to conduct additional research and development on the Small Advanced Capability Missile (SACM) and Miniature Self-Defense Munition (MSDM) concepts.

The SACM will support affordable, highly lethal, small size and weight ordnance with advanced air frame design and synergistic control capabilities for air dominance enabling high air-to-air load-out, Air Force researchers say.

The SACM project seeks to provide flexible hyper-agile airframes, high impulse propulsion, affordable wide field of view seeker, anti-jam guidance integrated fuze, and aimable kinetic and non-kinetic effects.

The MSDM, meanwhile, will support miniaturized weapon capabilities for air superiority by enabling close-in platform self-defense and penetration into contested A2AD environment with little to no impact to payload capacity.

The MSDM seeks to develop an affordable guidance system for a future air-to-air munition designed for aircraft self-defense. The project will develop a conceptual design for the optics and algorithms of an affordable seeker front end for an air-to-air weapon for aircraft self-defense.

The program involves aerodynamics, propulsion, warhead, and the seeker front end. Cost is a primary driver. Raytheon experts will define system and subsystem requirements, explore design trades between subsystems and critical components, identify design risks, as well as model the launch aircraft, the miniature self-defense munition, and two threats.

On this contract Raytheon will do the work in Tucson, Ariz., and should be finished by January 2021.

Source: intelligent-aerospace.com

Boeing is still under pressure to keep to its tight window to have 46 of the tankers operational by August 2017


Friday, February 26, 2016

Despite a successful start to the KC-46 Milestone C demonstrations, Boeing is still under pressure to keep to its tight window to have 46 of the tankers operational by August 2017. The original schedule is at present eight months behind after a number of setbacks, and leaves little room for error until the delivery deadline. While funding of the program and technical difficulties are not a contributing factor, it’s feared that the Air Mobility Command (AMC) won’t have sufficient time for the 767-2C-based tankers to declare initial operational capability on schedule.

Department of Defense & Industry Daily News