Honeywell and P&W in US Army bid

Turboshaft Honeywell is teaming with Pratt & Whitney to bid for the US Army's Advanced Affordable Turbine Engine (AATE) programme, aimed at demonstrating a 3,000shp-class (2,250kw) drop-in replacement for the widely used General Electric T700/CT7 turboshaft. An agreement may not have been finalised, but information on the "HPW3000" was displayed at the Quad-A army aviation show in Atlanta, Georgia earlier this month. AATE is aiming for a 25% reduction of specific fuel consumption, 80% increase in power-to-weight ratio, 35% reductions in production and maintenance costs in an engine with a design life of 6,000h or more. Bids for the 50:50 cost-sharing contract to demonstrate the AATE were submitted in mid-May.

Boeing mulls missile

Air-to-ground Boeing could re-enter a competition to develop a new air-to-ground missile for US Army helicopters and US Marine Corps fighters, says Mike Coggins, the company's international business development manager for weapons. The two services have requested about $65 million in fiscal year 2008 to launch the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile programme, which replaces the cancelled Joint Common Missile programme awarded to Lockheed Martin in 2004. Coggins says details of Boeing's bid are being withheld until programme requirements are finalised and that contract award for JAGM is expected in FY08. He adds that Boeing hopes to announce a launch customer for the laser-guided Joint Direct Attack Munition at the Paris air show.

Thales in UAV talks with UK MOD

Surveillance The UK Ministry of Defence is negotiating an interim deal with Thales UK to operate leased Elbit Systems Hermes 450 unmanned air vehicles to meet an urgent operational requirement to support British troops in Iraq. The MoD says the deal will bridge a surveillance gap until the entry into service of its Watchkeeper UAV system, to be delivered by prime contractor Thales. Industry sources say the contract is also expected to cover the establishment of a new training centre to prepare British Army operators to use the Hermes 450 airframe, which forms the basis for the service's future Watchkeeper 450 UAV.

Source: Flight International