In April of 2015, GE Aviation announced that they have received a contract from the US Army to perform conceptual design and trade analysis on their rotorcraft advanced engine integrated controls system (RAEICS) program. The goal of this program, which will take place over the next two years, is to enable innovative, high performance propulsion capabilities for future vertical lift (FVL) platforms. Specifically, the program is expected to assess innovative engine controls technologies and architectures, as well as explore various approaches to integrate the advanced engine controls system with vehicle systems and subsystems. General Electric has partnered with Sikorsky Aircraft to support the program, also currently supports the Army’s FVL development efforts through multiple programs such as FATE, the future affordable turbine engine program. Harry Nahatis, GE Aviation’s advanced turboshaft programs general manager, said in a statement: "This RAEICS contract will enable GE to offer more innovative approaches to engine control systems for FVL." GE is also working with the army on designing other advanced technology programs, including the advanced variable speed power turbine, autonomous sustainment technology for rotorcraft operations, alternative engine concepts design and analysis programs, as well as the advanced affordable turbine engine project. Headquartered in Evendale, Ohio, GE Aviation is a world-leading provider of jet and turboprop engines, components and integrated systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft, and ship propulsion applications. GE Aviation has a global service network to support these offerings. It is a subsidiary of General Electric which is one of the world’s largest corporations. Apart from technologies developed through RAEICS and FATE programs, GE invests USD$1.8 billion in advanced technologies, such as 3D aero designs, ceramic matrix composite materials, and additive manufactured components every year. In 2011, Fortune ranked GE the 6th-largest firm in the U.S. as well as the 14th most profitable and for 2012, GE’s brand was valued at an estimated USD$28.8 billion. Via our proprietary website ASAP Aerospace, ASAP Semiconductor is a leading supplier of GE products. Prospective customers can browse our inclusive inventory of hard-to-find obsolete and current GE parts at www.asap-aerospace.com. If you are interested to buy GE Aviation manufacturer parts, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable sales staff at sales@asap-aerospace.com or 1-714-705-4780 for a quote.

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In February 2009, the US Air Force awarded a $2.95 billion contract to Boeing for the addition of fifteen C-17s. The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is a T-tailed, high-wing transport vehicle for the military. Its four engine makeup allows it to carry weights up to 169,000 pounds (76,657 kg), thus accommodating a crew of three, including the pilot, co-pilot, and loadmaster. Through the utilization of an engine exhaust and propulsive lift system, the C-17 can land on small airfields and short runways. Another design feature is its backing capabilities, allowing a thrust reverse on up to a two percent gradient slope. Furthermore, Boeing used a multifunction cathode-ray tube display designed by Honeywell. The flight control system is backed up by a mechanical-actuator system. In addition to the Honeywell system, Boeing used two Lockheed Martin processors, one Hamilton Sundstrand management computer, four Pratt & Whitney PW2040 turbofan engines, and a Northrop Grumman infrared countermeasures system. The PW2040 turbofans is a military designation-F117-PW-100 with a 40,440 pound thrust, reaching a cruise speed between Mach 0.74 and 0.77. Several international orders have been place for the Boeing C-17 throughout the years. NATO purchased three C-17s in September 2006. Two years later, Qatar announced a contract for two C-17s, with the last delivered in 2009. A $4.1 billion contract was placed by the Indian Ministry of Defense for ten C-17s as long as the aircraft met the Indian military’s requirements. With no surprise, the C-17 exceeded all expectations was delivered throughout the following years. The Boeing Company has flourished since its founding in July 1916. With over 745 different aircrafts and 10 satellites, the company has expanded to more than 165,529 employees as of the end of 2014. This company will continue to expand with the C-17 and other extraordinary aircrafts. Via our proprietary website ASAP Aerospace, ASAP Semiconductor is a leading supplier of Boeing products. Prospective customers can browse our inclusive inventory of hard-to-find obsolete and current Boeing parts at www.asap-aerospace.com. If you are interested in a part, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable sales staff at sales@asap-aerospace.com or 1-714-705-4780 for a quote.

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In March of 2015, the United States Army took delivery of the first training version of Airbus Group’s UH-72A Lakota light utility helicopter at its production facility in Columbus, Mississippi. This helicopter will join seven others that have already received the training configuration modifications and have been deployed to Fort Rucker in Alabama in preparation for the Lakota’s formal introduction into the training curriculum that will take place in early 2016. To date, 411 Lakota helicopters have been ordered by the US Department of Defense—400 of which will be used by the Army. This latest delivery makes a total of 332 aircraft that have been delivered to the customer. Airbus Group chairman and chief executive officer Allan McArtor said in a statement: "For a program to succeed in the current budget environment, affordability and reliable program performance must accompany mission flexibility. Since awarding the contract in 2006, the Army has managed this program unfailingly on cost and on schedule, and we're proud to see that record continue as we deliver the latest configuration of this versatile, multi-mission aircraft." The UH-72A Lakota is an unarmed, utility militarized version of the Eurocopter EC-145 helicopter and is primarily used for search-and-rescue, medical evacuations, homeland security, VIP transport, and disaster response and relief, as well as combat flight and pilot sustainment training missions. Currently operated by the US Army and National Guard, as well as the US Naval Test Pilot School, the helicopter can also be used for general support and counter-narcotics operations. Safety features include a high level of redundancy with a twin-engine design, and redundant hydraulic, electrical and engine control systems. The crashworthy airframe and seats also contribute to the UH-72A's operational safety and survivability. Headquartered in Toulouse, France, Airbus Group is a European multinational aerospace and defense corporation that manufactures aircraft parts as well as civil airliners. Airbus was originally formed as the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS), but in January of 2014 was reorganized as Airbus Group—combining the divisions for development and marketing of civil and military aircraft, as well as communications systems, missiles, space rockets, helicopters, satellites, and related systems. Via our proprietary website ASAP Aerospace, ASAP Semiconductor is a leading supplier of Airbus products. Prospective customers can browse our inclusive inventory of hard-to-find obsolete and current Airbus parts at www.asap-aerospace.com. If you are interested in a part, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable sales staff at sales@asap-aerospace.com or 1-714-705-4780 for a quote.

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NASA has been awarded the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Trophy for Current Achievement for its Kepler planet-hunting mission. It is the museum’s highest group honor, and was awarded to the Kepler mission team in a ceremony in Washington DC. NASA continues to lead the way in space exploration, and the Smithsonian specifically wanted to recognize Dr. Stamatios “Tom” Krimigis for his efforts. "The winners of the 2015 Trophy Awards have significantly advanced space exploration and discovery in major ways," Gen. Jack Dailey, Director of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, said in a statement. "Few individuals have contributed more significantly to our knowledge of the solar system in a single career than Dr. Krimigis, and the Kepler Mission Team’s accomplishments have altered our views of possible life on other planets in our universe." The Kepler mission has discovered 1,019 exoplanets since the launch of the mission in March of 2009. To put that in perspective, that is over half of all known worlds outside of our solar system. According to Ball Aerospace, during its six years in orbit, Kepler has discovered: • Over 3,600 planetary candidates • Over 700 multi-planet systems • The first small planet in the habitable zone (Kepler-22b) • Three Earth-sized planets in the habitable zones around their stars • The smallest exoplanets ever detected (KOI-961.01, KOI-961.02, KOI-961.03) • Five worlds (Kepler-16b, Kepler-34b, Kepler-35b, Kepler-47b, Kepler-47c) that orbit around two stars, establishing a new class of planetary system Ball Aerospace works as the prime contractor for the Kepler mission. They are responsible for the photometer, spacecraft, system integration, testing, and on-orbit operations for the Discovery class mission. Ball Aerospace has used its expert knowledge in instruments from successes like the Hubble Space Telescope in the photometer for Kepler and the spacecraft design used in Deep Impact for providing power, communications, and telescope pointing. Via our proprietary website ASAP Aerospace, ASAP Semiconductor is a leading supplier of Ball Aerospace products. Prospective customers can browse our inclusive inventory of hard-to-find obsolete and current Ball Aerospace parts at www.asap-aerospace.com. If you are interested in a part, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable sales staff at sales@asap-aerospace.com or 1-714-705-4780 for a quote.

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Announced on March 23rd, NASA awarded Orbital ATK a USD$253 million contract to build a U.S. civilian polar-orbiting weather satellite. They expect to allocate another $240 million for the construction of two additional satellites in the near future. This Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS)-2 is expected to be built by July 31, 2021 and launched seven years later on July 31, 2028. Several variations of the JPSS is still being discussed. The $130 million JPSS-3 will launch in 2024, while the JPSS-4 is only worth $87 million and has an expected launch date of 2026. In general, the JPSS has the functionality to record and provide global weather coverage. This can be essential in preparing for natural disasters and harsh weather conditions, thus, saving lives, money, and resources.

This deal was considered an upset win for Orbital ATK against Ball Aerospace. The incumbent Ball Aerospace was awarded the contract for manufacturing the JPSS-1, which has a planned launch for 2017. The Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership was another previous deal between Ball Aerospace and NASA. Launched in 2011, the Suomi was used as a test run but then put into operation for weather coverage. However, technologies of both the JPSS-1 and Suomi NPP were combined to form Orbital’s JPSS. Northrop Grumman’s microwave sounder, Exelis Geospatial System’s infrared sounds, Raytheon’s imager radiometer, and Ball Aerospace’s ozone mapping are some of the many advanced technologies that will be incorporated on the new JPSS.

Founded in 2015 and headed in Dulles, Virginia, Orbital ATK is a new and emerging aerospace and defense company. This was made possible through a merger between Orbital Sciences Corporation and Alliant Techsystems.  The company is separated and organized into three main groups: Flight Systems, Defense Systems, and Space Systems. This NASA order will be a stepping stone for a young company to grow and flourish.

Via our proprietary website ASAP Aerospace, ASAP Semiconductor is a leading supplier of Ball Aerospace products. Prospective customers can browse our inclusive catalogue of both obsolete and in-production Ball Aerospace parts at www.asap-aerospace.com. If you are interested in a part, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable sales staff at sales@asap-aerospace.com or call 1-714-705-4780 for a quote.


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In March of 2015, two test F-35Bs were flown testing the efficacy of a recent installation of software patches meant to address issues with the fighter jets’ communication avionics systems. Manufactured by Lockheed Martin, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is undergoing its final development stage. The F-35 program is the most expensive project in the most recent military procurement budget, accounting for 20% of the Department of Defense’s total acquisition costs (which is currently at $1.6 billion USD). Fraught with multiple delays and technical difficulties, the F-35 will cost approximately $1.5 trillion over its lifetime.

The aircraft’s Block 2B software system demonstrated poor performance over testing with regard to data link communication functions and weapons delivery systems, showing many false-alarms and poor accuracy. The F-35’s Automatic Logistics Information System (ALIS), which monitors the aircraft’s internal operations, exceeds weight limits of the plane and is also displaying inaccurate information. Other problems include: a required re-design of the fuel tank ullage inerting system, insufficient lightning protection, and other fairly significant issues. However at seven years behind schedule and $167 billion over initial cost estimates, the F-35 program continues with the US Air Force requesting an initial order of 19 units, the Marine Corps requesting 6 units, and the Navy procuring 4 units.

Fortunately, the Pentagon recently announced in March 2015 that the F-35 procurement price point has been lowered by about $7.5 billion USD from last year’s figure. However, the program’s research, development, test, and engineering (RDT&E) and military construction (MILCON) costs remain the same at $54.9 billion and $200 million USD, respectively. The Marine Corps is currently preparing for operational testing scheduled for May of 2015. The F-35 will run through short take off and vertical landing missions from atop the Wasp-class assault ship, testing the aircraft’s communication with ships, weapons loads, launch and recovery software, and overall logistics functioning. Operating capability for the F-35B is anticipated for July.

Via our proprietary website ASAP Aerospace, ASAP Semiconductor is a leading supplier of Lockheed Martin products. Prospective customers can browse our inclusive catalogue of both obsolete and in-production Lockheed Martin parts at www.asap-aerospace.com. If you are interested in a part, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable sales staff at sales@asap-aerospace.com or call 1-714-705-4780 for a quote.


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Chuck Norris roundhouse kicked his way into the debate involving the pending retirement of the Warthog, the nickname for the A-10 Thunderbolt, a close air support jet originally manufactured by Fairchild and, subsequently, Northrop Grumman. The Warthogs are planned for retirement in 2015 in favor of the developing F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, one of the most expensive procurement projects ever undertaken by the United States military. In an online exclusive for WND (formerly WorldNet Daily), the frequently “meme-d” action star argued that the Warthog’s low-flying and tactical close air support accuracy is not replaceable by other high-performance, high-altitude, and technologically advanced models in the military’s aircraft fleet.

As a veteran of the Air Force, Norris notes that despite the age of the A-10 fleet, the Warthog remains a fully capable, combat-ready aircraft as a result of numerous upgrades over the years. Some modifications include the Low-Altitude Safety and Targeting Enhancement program (which added computerized weapons-aiming equipment, an autopilot, as well as a ground-collision warning system), GPS navigational system and an advanced multi-function display (MFD), and Precision Engagement upgrades (which include fire control systems, electronic countermeasures, smart bomb delivery capability, LITENING and Sniper advanced targeting pods, situational awareness data link, and many other modern technological updates).

The Air Force currently maintains 300 units of the A-10 in its fleet, the closing of which would only cover the costs of 30 units of the pending F-35 fighter jets. Although the budget cuts of 2014 nearly shuttered the A-10 program that year, the Warthogs were advocated by Congress for deployment in the September air campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, postponing the end of the fleet’s service.

The aircraft inspires many impassioned pleas from its proponents. Tyler Rogoway of Foxtrot Alpha also argues that the Warthog has many uses aside from close air support and battlefield interdiction, including forward air control, strike control and reconnaissance, combat search and rescue, and anti-maritime roles. Rogoway also states that the Warthog is significantly cheaper to run than other aircraft in the USAF’s repertoire. The A-10’s operating cost is currently at $18,000 USD per hour, while the F-15C fighter jet requires approximately $40,000 per hour.

Via our proprietary website ASAP Aerospace, ASAP Semiconductor is a leading supplier of Fairchild and Northrop Grumman products. Prospective customers can browse our inclusive catalogue of both obsolete and in-production Fairchild and Northrop Grumman parts at www.asap-aerospace.com. If you are interested in a part, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable sales staff at sales@asap-aerospace.com or call 1-714-705-4780 for a quote.


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Final assembly on the first prototype of Saab’s Gripen fighter is “well under way.” The fuselage sections for the Gripen E/NG fighter test aircraft 39-8 have already been assembled. There was much rejoicing when the pieces fit together immediately without any modifications. It shows that Saab is on schedule to roll out the aircraft in 2016. The deal with Brazil is worth $4.55 billion USD and was finalized on Wednesday, March 11, 2015. Under the contract, 36 Brazilian next-generation Gripen fighter aircraft will be delivered. Covered in the order are 28 single-seat Gripen NG aircraft and 8 two-seater aircraft. The first aircraft is scheduled to be delivered in 2019. The contract expires in 2024. Included in the contract is the complete turnkey weapon system, training, spare parts, support, planning and maintenance.

There are seven external hard points for carrying payloads on the Gripen. Each wing tip has one hard point. There are two under each wing and one on the fuselage centerline. Mounted on the wingtips are the Sidewinder missiles, a short-range missile for enhanced dogfighting capabilities. Swedish aircraft built after 2005 will be armed with short-range Diehl BGT Defence IRIS-T air-to-air missiles.

The Gripen cockpit is equipped with a Saab Avitronics EP-17 electronic display suite. There are three multifunction displays and a wide-angle diffraction head-up display. An integrated helmet mounted display (IHMD) system known as Cobra was developed by Saab Aerospace and BAE systems. The system was originally developed for South Africa but the Swedish Air Force placed an order on October 2007.

The Gripen multirole fighter aircraft was first flown in December of 1988 and it entered service in 1997 with the Swedish Air Force. The Gripen is expected to replace all current variants of the Viggen and Draken combat aircraft. Mach 1.2 was reached by a Gripen demo aircraft in January 2009 without the use of an afterburner. The next-generation Gripen debuted in July 2010. The Gripen NG has significantly increased combat range, endurance, and increase payload.

Via our proprietary website ASAP Aerospace, ASAP Semiconductor is a leading supplier of Saab products. Prospective customers can browse our inclusive catalogue of both obsolete and in-production Saab parts at www.asap-aerospace.com. If you are interested in a part, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable sales staff at sales@asap-aerospace.com or call 1-714-705-4780 for a quote.


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In March of 2015, Northrop Grumman announced that they have awarded a contract to the Intel subsidiary Wind River to deliver its VxWorks 653 platform for integration onto the Black Hawk UH-60V helicopter. This commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) platform belongs to Wind River’s product portfolio of safe and secure operating systems and was ordered as part of Northrop Grumman's latest helicopter digitization avionics mission equipment package. The platform which was recently updated is designed to support delivery of safety-critical, integrated modular avionics (IMA) applications.

Wind River’s Operating System Platforms Vice President and General Manager Dinyar Dastoor is extremely proud of their updated platform. In a March statement he stated, "Fully compliant with ARINC 653, VxWorks 653 provides customers with robust partitioning in time and space to facilitate fault containment, and enables reduced size, weight, and power, as well as a reduced bill of materials, on the industry's most advanced aircraft."

Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems & Situational Awareness Systems Vice President Ike Song said, "Our use of VxWorks 653 enables us to align with the FACE Technical Standard, achieve DO-178C certification, and consolidate our avionics technology on multi-core hardware, resulting in superior performance and lower life-cycle costs."

Northrop Grumman is the digital cockpit supplier and integrator for the U.S. Army’s UH-60V program, which replaces analog gauges in UH-60L helicopters with electronic instrument displays. This upgraded helicopter will replicate the UH-60M pilot-vehicle interface and provide interoperability. Wind River's VxWorks 653 is currently used in 325 programs, by 185 customers, on over 70 aircrafts. It acts as a crucial technology in several commercial, military, and space safety-and mission-critical programs, manned and unmanned, worldwide.

Headquartered in West Falls Church, Virginia, Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide. Formed in 1994 when Northrop purchased Grumman, the company also produces aircraft carriers, military aircraft and vessels, missile defense systems, satellites, and information technology systems. In 2010, it was the fourth-largest defense contractor in the world and in 2011 ranked number 72 of the Fortune 500 list of the largest corporations in America. The company employs over 68,000 people worldwide and in 2012 reported revenues of USD$25 billion.

Via our proprietary website ASAP Aerospace, ASAP Semiconductor is a leading supplier of Intel and Northrop Grumman products. Prospective customers can browse our inclusive catalogue of both obsolete and in-production Intel and Northrop Grumman parts at www.asap-aerospace.com. If you are interested in a part, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable sales staff at sales@asap-aerospace.com or call 1-714-705-4780 for a quote.


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The United States State Department has approved the sale of three Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopters to Mexico to help in the war against drugs. The proposed deal would be worth USD$110 million for the three helicopters plus communications, radar, weaponry, training, and logistical services. This deal would help Mexico’s ability to fight against drug cartels, organized crime, and perform other counter-narcotics operations. Mexico has a notorious drug problem, and with drug dealers running rampant help from a foreign supplier was necessary. The natural course of action was to look north of the border to the US, their closest neighbor with the most advanced technology.“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a strategic partner. Mexico has been a strong partner in combating organized crime and drug trafficking organizations,” said the United States Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) in a statement. Since 2008, Mexico has averaged around 20,000 homicides per year. There was a reported 112,000 between 2008 and 2012, and 23,000 in 2013. Much of this can be attributed to the drug war, with opposing cartels fighting over highly-profitable deals and the counter-operations trying to stop it. “The sale of these UH-60M helicopters to Mexico will significantly increase and strengthen its capability to provide in-country airlift support for its forces engaged in counter-drug operations,” said DCSA. The UH-60 Black Hawk was developed by Sikorsky, and has been operational in the US Army since 1978. Variants of the Black Hawk are operational or have been ordered by 25 international customers including China, Egypt, and the Royal Australian Army. Black Hawk helicopters have plenty of experience in combat, as they have logged over four million flying hours conducting various missions in countries like Grenada, Panama, Kuwait, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Via our proprietary website ASAP Aerospace, ASAP Semiconductor is a leading supplier of Sikorsky products. Prospective customers can browse our inclusive inventory of hard-to-find obsolete and current Sikorsky parts at www.asap-aerospace.com. If you are interested in a part, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable sales staff at sales@asap-aerospace.com or 1-714-705-4780 for a quote.

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At the end of last week, the United States Air Force announced their completion of a new aircraft coating for fighter aircraft including Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II. With funds from the USAF’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, the Texas Research Institute worked closely with the Air Force to develop the new coating called Proteckt. It offers improved high temperature abrasion resistance that could directly improve the reliability and maintainability of weapon systems. Major George Woodworth, the Air Force Research Laboratory SBIR project manager, said in a statement: “This is roughly a 2,000 percent improvement in the average time between coating failures and directly addresses a current F-35 need.” TRI evaluated a variety of raw materials, developed numerous coating formulations in conjunction with the experimental design development process, and eventually identified the best formulations. “We anticipate that the new material will provide the program an estimated $14 million in life-cycle cost savings,” said Woodworth. These new coatings were developed to replace the current abrasion-resistant coatings which are filled polyurethane paints. Although these paints have moderate high-temperature resistance, they have very poor long term wear resistance and they degrade over time which results in the need for frequent repair and recoating. The current coatings can also cause damage to the underlying composite material of the aircraft. The new Proteckt coating cures faster, is resistant to standard aircraft fluids, meets color and gloss requirements, and exhibits good adhesion, even after accelerated fluid exposures. Lockheed Martin, an American based company with divisions in aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technology. Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, the company employs 116,000 workers worldwide. Their F-35 aircraft is designed to dominate the skies. It combines the 5th Generation characteristics of radar evading stealth, supersonic speed and extreme agility with the most powerful and comprehensive integrated sensor package of any fighter aircraft in history. The new Proteckt coating will fortify the aircraft even more. Via our proprietary website ASAP Aerospace, ASAP Semiconductor is a leading supplier of Lockheed Martin products. Prospective customers can browse our inclusive inventory of hard-to-find obsolete and current Lockheed Martin parts at www.asap-aerospace.com. If you are interested in a part, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable sales staff at sales@asap-aerospace.com or 1-714-705-4780 for a quote.

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The United States Army is set to acquire nineteen Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAV) from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems in Poway. According to the Defense Department, the deal is worth nearly USD$133 million and includes a variety of support equipment. The MQ-1C Gray Eagle is a medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAV. It can fly continuously for twenty-five hours at up to 167 KTAS at altitudes of up to 29,000 feet. It carries over half a ton of internal and external payload, and is able to fire four Hellfire missiles. According to General Atomics Aeronautical, the aircraft has a wing span of 56 feet, a length of 28 feet, and its powerplant is a Thielert 165 HP heavy-fuel engine. Its objective is to provide long-endurance, persistent intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and tactical strike capabilities. Some of the features and benefits of the Gray Eagle include:
  • Technologically advanced derivative of the combat-proven Predator UAV
  • Dedicated to direct operational control by U.S. Army field commanders
  • Unprecedented reliability
    • Triple-redundant avionics and flight controls
    • Redundant flight control surfaces
  • Common Data Link (CDL) line-of-sight communications/air data relay communications
  • Satellite communications
  • Open, modular architecture supports integration of three payloads simultaneously, with capacity for growth
  • Automatic takeoff and landing reduces pilot workload
  • De-icing system
  • HFE offsets the logistical need for special fuels on the battlefield
  • Controlled by the U.S. Army One System Ground Control Station (OSGCS)
  • C-130 transportable
The existing operational fleet of Predator B UAVs – which are known as the MQ-9 Reaper – recently reached a total of one million flight hours, the majority of which were in combat. The Reaper was able to reach this milestone by flying 78,606 sorties since its debut on February 2nd, 2001. The aircraft is flown over 700 hours per day by the US Air Force, Italian Air Force, UK Air Force, French Air Force, US Department of Homeland Security, and NASA. Via our proprietary website ASAP Aerospace, ASAP Semiconductor is a leading supplier of General Atomics products. Prospective customers can browse our inclusive inventory of hard-to-find obsolete and current General Atomics parts at www.asap-aerospace.com. If you are interested in a part, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable sales staff at sales@asap-aerospace.com or 866-756-8540 for a quote.

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In March of 2015, Sierra Nevada Space System announced its formal entry into the running for NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) contract. The CRS-2 competition, seeking proposals for an unmanned cargo supply carrier servicing the International Space Station, is currently undergoing its second round of bids. Sierra Nevada will offer a supply carrier-modified Dream Chaser spacecraft, a variant of their submission for the NASA Commercial Crew Program’s “space taxi” contract, decided in 2014. Although Sierra Nevada lost out to Boeing and SpaceX for the manned spacecraft contract, the company hopes their cargo version will prevail in the new contract. Worth $14 billion USD, the CRS-2 has already received entries from other industrial giants, including Boeing’s cargo-modified CST-100 and Lockheed Martin’s Jupiter/Exoliner system. The contract requires a minimum of four missions per year from 2018 to 2024. The Dream Chaser Cargo System (DCCS), with a unique shuttlecraft design, is capable of reentry into earth and landing on a runway. For initial launch, the system features foldable wings enabling it to fit inside a conventional Ruag 5-meter rocket nose-fairing enclosure. The company anticipates launch from an Atlas V rocket by United Launch Alliance (ULA), but may be configurable with other types of rockets, including the Ariane 5 rocket by Airbus, the Delta IV by ULA, the H-IIB/H-III by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, or the Falcon 9 by SpaceX. Along with increased cargo space (consisting of a pressurized interior cabin and a new unpressurized external module which is discarded in the atmosphere when depleted) and a new system for automated control, this addition of the foldability design element differentiates the cargo version from the crewed Dream Chaser. According to Sierra Nevada, the vehicle will be able to deliver 12,125 pounds of supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) and return with 3,858 pounds. Awards for the CRS-2 contract are expected to be announced in June of 2015. Via our proprietary website ASAP Aerospace, ASAP Semiconductor is a leading supplier of Sierra Nevada products. Prospective customers can browse our inclusive inventory of Sierra Nevada aircraft parts at www.asap-aerospace.com. If you are interested in a part, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable sales staff at sales@asap-aerospace.com or 1-714-705-4780 for a quote.

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In the 1990s, the United States Coast Guard enacted a covert program, dubbed “New Frontier”, to create an advanced helicopter which could keep up with speedboats used by drug cartels for smuggling illicit goods. Towards this purpose, the Coast Guard intended for these new helicopters to be weaponized with machine guns and sniper rifles, have sufficient cabin space, an integrated avionics suite, high speed ability, and have takeoff and landing capabilities on the USCG’s Medium Endurance Cutters (WMEC), commissioned vessels longer than 65 feet with a permanent crew aboard. The helicopter deemed most suited for drug interdiction operations was the MD-900 Explorer, manufactured by the now-defunct rotorcraft company, McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems. These helicopters were unique in that the rotorcraft’s tail used a proprietary NOTAR vectored thrust tail boom, instead of a conventional rotor. This design creates lift through an enclosed articulated fan providing wake from the main rotor with down wash from low pressure air forced through two slots on the tail boom. This system is much quieter as well as less physically cumbersome than rotorcraft fitted with a traditional rotor tail. The service procured two MD-900s and renamed them MH-90 Enforcers. The Enforcers were fitted with military specification equipment including night vision lighting, a forward looking infrared (FLIR) turret, armored plating on the body, an emergency landing system, a rescue hoist, and high frequency radios which could be encrypted. In 1999, this program was declassified after numerous successes and confiscation of over $100 million of drugs within two years of inception. In 2000, an official airborne drug interdiction program was introduced – the Helicopter Interdiction Squadron (HITRON) – and the USCG sent out a formal request for special purpose helicopters. The A109E Power by AgustaWestland was procured and its military variant was designated the MH-68 Stingray. The MH-68 was utilized until the end of its military lease in 2008. Currently, HITRON employs the MH-65C – the HITRON variant of the USCG’s Search and Rescue HH-65 Dolphin (originally developed and manufactured from the AS365 Dauphin by Eurocopter). Via our proprietary website ASAP Aerospace, ASAP Semiconductor is a leading supplier of MD Helicopters products. Prospective customers can browse our inclusive inventory of hard-to-find obsolete and current MD Helicopters parts at www.asap-aerospace.com. If you are interested in a part, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable sales staff at sales@asap-aerospace.com or 1-714-705-4780 for a quote.

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Airbus and Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) signed a USD$3 billion deal to allocate more than three hundred helicopters to South Korea. This includes two types of helicopters: Light Civil Helicopter (LCH) and Light Armed Helicopter (LAH). The previous McDonnell Douglas 500MD Light Helicopters will be replaced once the Airbus fleets are completed. They plan to build around 214 LAHs and 100 LCHs over the course of twenty years, headed by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration and the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy. They chose Korean Aerospace Industries to head this program over Korean Air. Both the LAH and LCH will be based on the make and design of Airbus Helicopter’s H155 and EC-155B1. The civilian rotorcrafts are expected to be released in 2021, with the military helicopters following a year later. This is not the first contract between Airbus and KAI. In 2005, Airbus partnered with KAI for Surion, a series of transport choppers, which was showcased in 2009. These efforts are in hopes to increase South Korea’s aerospace industry. However, these efforts will also increase competition. Airbus teamed up with Korea Air for a joint bid of nearly $8 billion for 120 military fighter jets. In response, Korea Aerospace Industries joined Lockheed Martin to bid for the same contract. Results will be announced at the start of the summer. Both companies have flourished throughout the years. In 2014, Lockheed Martin made over $45.6 billion in sales of IT services, training, aeronautical, missiles, space systems, and many other products. Lockheed Martin employs an average of 112,000 employees in and outside of the United States. Furthermore, Airbus Group, previously known as European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company, is a leading manufacturer of aerospace planes and parts. Airbus employs more than 63,000 people and is owned in a joint stock by EADS and BAE Systems. Via our proprietary website ASAP Aerospace, ASAP Semiconductor is a leading supplier of Airbus products. Prospective customers can browse our inclusive inventory of hard-to-find obsolete and current Airbus parts at www.asap-aerospace.com. If you are interested in a part, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable sales staff at sales@asap-aerospace.com or 1-866-756-8540 for a quote.

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The close air support, low-flying, high-survivability A-10 Thunderbolt was deployed last year in 2014 for the air campaign against ISIS – Operation Inherent Resolve. The 30-millimeter Gatling cannon-equipped A-10s are primarily used in a ground attack role, specializing in tank and armory piercing operations. In March of 2015, the United States declared that the US Air Force will not be utilizing depleted uranium ammunition, formally denoted PGU-14 armor piercing incendiary ammunition. In a statement to the press, the USAF explained that PGU-14 is unnecessary against the Islamic State, as the jihadist group lacks a large tank or armored vehicle capability. ISIS mainly uses pickup trucks or technicals for transportation, which can be sufficiently taken out with non-DU ammunition. PGU-14 is controversial with humanitarian groups as a result of its potential radioactive toxicity on citizens. As a result of the two Persian Gulf wars, hundreds of thousands of pounds of uranium were disseminated on Iraqi soil. Although DU ammunition only radiates alpha particles which does not penetrate clothing and human skin, the heavy metal can release toxic carcinogens on animals, plants, and humans. Despite these concerns, the US has not ruled out the possibility of using PGU-14 should the need for heavy armor-piercing weaponry arise. The A-10s, also dubbed Warthogs, were first flown in 1972 with production ceasing in 1984. Originally manufactured by Fairchild, maintenance and upgrade programs for the aircraft was taken up by Northrop Grumman in 1987. The Warthogs field a General Dynamics GAU-8 Avenger cannon on its nose, earning them a reputation as Tankbusters. These aircraft also have extraordinary low-level capability as a result of its straight wing maneuverability and are able to sustain large amounts of enemy fire with its honeycomb structure and heavy armor (titanium skin up to 3.8 centimeters thick), making them indispensable in Combat Search and Rescue operations in which hostile territory must be entered to retrieve downed allies and Strike Coordinated Armed Reconnaissance. Via our proprietary website ASAP Aerospace, ASAP Semiconductor is a leading supplier of Northrop Grumman products. Prospective customers can browse our inclusive inventory of hard-to-find obsolete and current Northrop Grumman parts at www.asap-aerospace.com. If you are interested in a part, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable sales staff at sales@asap-aerospace.com or 1-866-756-8540 for a quote.

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The aerospace industry is taking a step forward towards sustainable and energy-efficient flight. Switzerland’s Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) marks one of the first solar panel operated aircraft. Based on the HB-SIA prototype, the Si2 spans 236 ft. and weighs 5,070 lbs. This light-weight frame was made possible by the 0.07 oz./sq. ft. carbon fiber and honeycomb material. The solar panels are composed on 17,248 monocrystalline silicon solar cells, which allows electricity to be stored in 1,395 lbs. of lithium-polymer batteries. The four 17.4-hp motors run propellers at 525-rpm through the use of reduction gears. The Si2’s overall solar efficiency is recorded at a stunning 94%. Flight is expected to take off at Abu Dhabi, making its appearance worldwide as a creative reminder for people to recycle and reduce their carbon footprint. Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, co-founders of Solar Impulse, will be flying the plane for 24 flight hours in a five month time period. They will make stops in Oman, India, Myanmar, China, Hawaii, United States, Southern Europe, and North Africa, eventually landing back in Abu Dhabi. The cockpit will be unheated and unpressurized; thus, they will fly at a lower height of 28,000 ft. during the day and even lower at 5,000 ft. at night to conserve energy and maintain oxygen in the aircraft. The unique operating system allows the pilots to take constant breaks during flight, with a vibrating alert system to notify the pilot if the plane faces turbulence. Furthermore, the Solar Impulse mission control center (MCC), located in Monaco, also helps control departures and monitor routes. Other energy-efficient aircraft are in the works, such as the Sun Flyer solar-electric training aircraft and the Sunseeker Duo. A recent study done by Boeing for NASA shows the positives of rechargeable batteries on aircraft—showing a promising future for flight travel. Via our proprietary website ASAP Aerospace, ASAP Semiconductor is a leading supplier of Dassault products. Prospective customers can browse our inclusive inventory of hard-to-find obsolete and current Dassault parts at www.asap-aerospace.com. If you are interested in a part, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable sales staff at sales@asap-aerospace.com or 1-714-705-4780 for a quote.

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The aluminum production giant Alcoa, Inc. has set its sights on a greater focus towards the aerospace industry. On March 9, 2015 Alcoa agreed to acquire the titanium supplier, RTI International Metals for USD$1.3 billion with the goal of generating greater profits in aerospace products. Approximately 80 percent of RTI’s business is in the defense and aerospace industry as titanium is currently the fastest growing metal used in aerospace production. Current customers of RTI include big names in the aircraft industry such as Boeing. With the deal in place, Alcoa looks to save approximately USD$100 million in 2019 and generate USD$1.2 billion in revenue.

Alcoa (Aluminum Company of America) is the world’s third largest producer of aluminum.  Since its founding in 1888, the company has grown to a 60,000-person company and has met over USD$23 billion in yearly revenue. Headquartered in New York City, the company operates in over 30 countries and produces a full range of aluminum such as primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum, and alumina combined. Alcoa’s expertise also includes all parts of the industry such as technology, mining, refining, smelting, and recycling. Although the company has set its sight in growing its aerospace product production, the company is mainly known for their manufacturing of everyday commercial goods such as tire rims, soft drink cans, and fasteners.

Founded in 1950, RTI International Metals is a leading producer of titanium mill products and fabricated metal components. Headquartered in Pittsburg, the company has over 1,000 employees and has met over USD$500 million in yearly revenue. With many subsidiaries, the company is able to manufacture and produce products catered to the aerospace, international, defense, energy, chemical, and general consumer industries. Their products are used in all sorts of applications worldwide and primarily consists of titanium sponges, titanium alloy ingot, sheet, strip, billet, plate, and tubes.

Via our proprietary website ASAP Aerospace, ASAP Semiconductor is a leading supplier of Alcoa products. Prospective customers can browse our inclusive inventory of hard-to-find obsolete and current Alcoa parts at www.asap-aerospace.com. If you are interested in Alcoa Composites Inc aviation hardware parts, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable sales staff at sales@asap-aerospace.com or 1-714-705-4780 for a quote.


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Despite a decrease in single - and twin-engine light helicopter sales in 2014, there was still substantial developments made for many helicopter engines. With a multitude of helicopters entering service and coming into the pipeline, engine manufacturers keep developing and designing new power plants for service.

Rolls-Royce has turned its attention towards the light turbine end of the helicopter market. One of its more popular models is the 300-shp RR300 on the Robinson R66. They have produced 600 of them since late 2010, when deliveries began. Another Rolls-Royce model is the M250-C47E, the latest version of the ubiquitous turboshaft family that gained FAA certification in September 2014.

One of Honeywell’s latest engines is the 1,000-shp HTS900-2, and it powers Marenco Swisshelicopter’s single-turbine SKYe SH09. Originally, it was designed just for prototypes, but it is now being offered as standard fit.

Eagle Copters International out of Calgary got an FAA supplemental type certificate that will retrofit the HTS900 into the Bell 407 light turbine single. It is set for certification in 2018.

Pratt & Whitney has come out with their newest model in the PW200 series of engines. It is the PW206B3, and will enter service sometime before July on Airbus Helicopters’ EC135 P3 light twin. As for Airbus Helicopter themselves, their X4 medium twin is set to launch for Turbomeca’s 1,100-1,300-shp Arrano. It will be unveiled at Heli-Expo.

Another engine that is now in flight testing, the Arrius 2R powering Bell’s Model 505 JetRanger X light helicopter, comes from one of the bigger programs listed here. They plan to produce up to 200 each year, and have already received letters of intent for 300 of them.

The new 7,500-shp General Electric GE38, which will power Sikorsky’s CH-53K King Stallion, is one of the most powerful helicopter engines ever made. Tests of this engine were delayed, but it could be in the air for the first time as early as this month.

Finally, the CT7 made by GE continues to support the heavier commercial helicopters, including Sikorsky’s S-92 and AgustaWestland AW189. Over 500 have already been installed.

Even in a down year for helicopter sales, the engines being produced for them look more impressive than ever.

Via our proprietary website ASAP Aerospace, ASAP Semiconductor is a leading supplier of various helicopter manufacturers. Prospective customers can browse our inclusive inventory of hard-to-find obsolete and current parts at http://www.asap-aerospace.com/. If you are interested in a part, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable sales staff at sales@asap-aerospace.com or 1-866-756-8540 for a quote.


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On February 27, 2015, Lockheed Martin was awarded new contracts by the United States Navy to continue supporting Radiant Mercury. Valued at USD$90 million, the two contracts call for Lockheed Martin to support Radiant Mercury over the course of the next five years. Lockheed Martin has had a long history with Radiant Mercury since its development in 1992 and is currently deploying the fourth generation of the system.

Radiant Mercury is a cross domain intelligence sharing system that allows secure sharing of sensitive data between unclassified and classified security domains. With the primary purpose of protecting classified data from unauthorized access, the system protects the data during transfer from one network domain to another. Radiant Mercury is fully compliant with the Intelligence Community Directive 503 policy. In addition, the system is approved by the Unified Cross Domain Services Management Office for Top Secret and Secret interoperability. Used by the United States along with the country’s allied partners, the system is used at over 400 sites across the globe and can support continues data transfers to hundreds of channels and interfaces with major C4ISR systems.

Lockheed Martin is one of the world’s largest aerospace and defense companies. Formed by the merger of Lockheed Corporation and Martin Marietta in 1995, the company has since grown to be a top contractor by the U.S Federal Government. With over 116,000 employees, Lockheed Martin has met over USD$45 billion in yearly revenues and over USD$3 billion in yearly profit. Their product profile includes ATC systems, ballistic missiles, munitions, missile defense elements, transport aircraft, fighter aircraft, radar, satellites, atlas launch vehicles, and spacecraft.

Via our proprietary website ASAP Aerospace, ASAP Semiconductor is a leading supplier of Lockheed Martin products. Prospective customers can browse our inclusive inventory of hard-to-find obsolete and current Lockheed Martin parts at http://www.asap-aerospace.com/. If you are interested in a part, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable sales staff at sales@asap-aerospace.com or 1-866-756-8540 for a quote.


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