Friday, August 4, 2023

Russian-built helicopters participating in US military exercise

The Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC) in Twentynine Palms, Calif., issued a noise advisory on Tuesday for Morongo Basin while Marines and Joint Forces participate in a series of events known as Service Level Training Exercises (SLTE).

The training period began on Aug. 1 and will end on Sept. 17.

“Noise from training may be amplified when the cloud cover is low,” the Marine Corps said in a statement.

SLTE events provide service-level assessments of units and their associated combat support, combat service support, and aviation assets while conducting live fire training focused on the mission essential tasks of offensive, defensive, and stability operations.

Following the noise advisory announcement on Tuesday, the Marine Corps released a Sources Sought contract document on Thursday seeking a contractor to provide “foreign adversary aircraft support” during future SLTE events. The Marine Corps is specifically looking for foreign attack helicopters.

“The rotary-wing foreign attack helicopter required in support of this requirement shall act as a realistic dissimilar aircraft with unique capabilities supporting specific aircraft training,” the Marine Corps said in the document. “The aircraft shall be either a Mi-24 HIND or Mi-17 HIP and capable of using tracking pods compatible with the Tactical Air Combat Systems range at MCAGCC.”

“The scope of this effort is to provide familiarization of flight characteristics, capabilities, and limitations of the foreign adversary rotary-wing and propeller-driven aircraft to MCAGCC instructors,” the military said. “This will be accomplished by having accessibility to two foreign adversary contractor-provided aircraft that shall participate in the flight phases of the SLTE as part of a realistic opposing force during specified flight evolutions as required by MCAGCC.”

The Mi-24 Hind and Mi-17 HP are currently being used in Russia’s war in against Ukraine.

Ukraine's Mi-24 Hind gunship helicopters now appear to be capable of firing U.S.-made unguided 70mm Hydra rockets, according to an article on The War Zone. The U.S. has sent thousands of military supplies and munitions to Ukraine in support.

In addition, former Afghan Air Force Mi-17 helicopters are now flying for Ukraine.

For the Marine Corps SLTE events, the helicopter shall be a “dissimilar rotary-wing aggressor against rotary-wing, fixed-wing, Forward Operating Bases, Forward Arming & Refueling Points, and Anti-Aircraft Artillery Defense units.” The contractor helicopters shall provide up to 30 flight hours under day Visual Flight Rule conditions at each SLTE event.

The period of performance for the aggressor helicopters under the contract shall be for 12 months from the date of award with four one-year option periods if exercised.

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