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What impact will new technologies have on the military helicopter sector?

In the wake of the defence technology exhibition at the Honourable Artillery Company in London last month, the importance of state-of-the-art technology has been at the forefront of discussions within the defence helicopter community.

One of the highlights of the exhibition was the Low Visibility Landing (LVL) System, a 3-D helmet display technology which aids helicopter pilots to land in the dusty and sandy (commonly known as “brownout”) conditions of Afghanistan.

The system was developed in a joint venture between the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) and industry partners Agusta Westland and Ferranti Technologies.

Speaking at the event, and announcing a rise in cash terms of the budget for DSTL, Defence Equipment Support and Technology Minister Peter Luff described the technology displayed as “world-beating” and spoke of the need for continued high-tech, industry leading innovation in the wake of deep defence cuts.

However, in an interview with Defence IQ recently, Mr. Luff also conceded that securing the most cost-efficient equipment and technology in the current climate was no easy task:

“Financial resources are limited, even at the best of times, and particularly at the moment of course when Britain is facing a very large budget deficit. We’re very far from ideal circumstances, but getting the right kit at the best price we can, in good time, is the essence of the game”.

The potential of new technologies, their cost-effectiveness, and how they will improve performance in future rotary wing missions will be key issues discussed at the upcoming International Military Helicopter conference, taking place 11th-13th May 2011 at the Olympia Conference Centre, London. The conference will offer detailed insight and analysis from an expert international speaker faculty including:

• Colonel Hans Werner Salewski, Commander, 15 Medium Transport Helicopter Regiment, German Army
• Colonel Sam Michaud, Commander, 12 Wing Shearwater, Canadian Forces
• Colonel Billy Thompson, Commander, 563rd Rescue group, US Air Force
• Lieutenant Colonel Duart Townsend, Directing Staff (Aviation), Canadian Land Force Command and Staff College
• Wing Commander David Tozer, Officer Commanding, Forward Support Wing, RAF Odiham

Defence IQ is offering all serving Flag Officers 1* and above a free pass to attend the conference. Passes can be requested from Calum Jeffray at defence@iqpc.co.uk
Additional information is available at http://www.MilitaryHelicopterEvent.com, along with complimentary articles, podcasts and videos in the Download Centre. The Defence IQ – Military Community LinkedIn group is open for membership, and related content can be found at http://www.defenceiq.com.

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