By Dialogo March 25, 2011 The U.S. Army is beginning mission equipment upgrade modifications to its fleet of OH-58 Kiowa Warrior scout aircraft in an effort to build a new, high-tech “F” model helicopter designed with improved avionics, better sensors and stepped-up overall performance capability, service officials said. The first “F” model flight is slated for next year, said Lt. Col. Scott Rauer, product manager, Kiowa Warrior. Overall, the Army plans to acquire 368 “F” model OH-58s, an aircraft which comes to life through a series of technical upgrades and changes to the current “D” model Kiowa. Today, 94 Kiowa Warrior scout helicopters have been busily performing a range of crucial missions in Iraq and Afghanistan to include light attack missions, general reconnaissance, improvised explosive device detection and convoy escort missions, Rauer said. “It’s the highest demand rotary-wing aircraft in Army aviation. It flies more than 90 hours a month; about seven times the normal usage rate,” he added. The “F” model Kiowa upgrade, which will ensure the aircraft’s service life through 2025, includes a host of technical upgrades being performed by an Army government design house at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, and a handful of its industry partners to include Bell Helicopter, Honeywell and Rolls Royce. The thrust of the improvements center around a Cockpit and Sensor Upgrade Program, or CASUP, which improves the sensors and moves them to the nose of the aircraft, Rauer explained. The new sensor, called the AAS-53 Common Sensor Payload, includes cutting-edge sensing technologies such as an advanced infrared camera, a color Electro-Optical camera and an image intensifier similar to what is used by Night Vision goggles, Rauer said. The sensors are engineered to work together with laser designators and image trackers to pinpoint targets on the battlefield. “This is a major leap ahead in situational awareness for the crew. The Common Sensor Payload does bring fusion technology where it can merge imagery. With this sensor, you can fuse imagery together to get the best picture,” Rauer said. Moving the sensor to the nose, which involves removing the mast-mounted sight, which currently stands on top of the “D” model Kiowa, requires the transmission mounting structures to be redesigned, Rauer explained. “You’ve got to be able to pass the rotor vibrations cleanly to the rest of the aircraft,” he said. The “F” model Kiowa will be outfitted with next-generation cockpit technologies called Control and Display Subsystem, version 5, Rauer said. “This brings advanced processing power, more memory and throughput, full color graphics, and dual-independent advanced moving maps,” Rauer explained. The improved cockpit avionics include an increased capacity to store and process key digital information. The “F” model cockpit will include a Force Battle Command Brigade and Below, or FBCB2 display screen. Later versions of the “F” model aircraft will include a faster, more high-tech Blue Force Tracker 2 for improved battle situational awareness. The aircraft will also be built with a dual-channel full-authority digital engine-controller to ensure the engine operates at its required power level regardless of the environment and the various demands placed on the aircraft, Rauer said. The OH-58 is configured with what is called Level 2 Manned-Unmanned teaming, or L2MUM – which means that the pilots in the cockpit can view feeds from nearby unmanned aircraft systems in real time. In terms of protection, the Kiowa Warrior is configured with protective ballistic floor armor and the Common Missile Warning System, or CMWS, which can shoot off flares to divert incoming missiles, Rauer said.
Buffalo and Pittsburgh would make the playoffs if the season ended today, but the Bills and Steelers are both in a precarious position. The Bills are 9-4 and one game ahead of both the Steelers and the streaking Tennessee Titans, but they have to play at New England next week and could fall behind both the Steelers and Titans with a loss on Sunday Night Football this week. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh is on its third string quarterback and will close out its season against Baltimore. The Steelers are hoping the Ravens have nothing to play for in the season finale, as they might need that win in order to reach the postseason.MORE: Get the latest NFL odds & betting trends at Sports Insider These are two of the best defenses in the NFL, so the player prop totals for this game are relatively low. Neither quarterback is expected to get anywhere close to 250 passing yards, and a 100-yard rusher or receiver would be surprising. Let’s take a look at the current betting odds below:Devlin Hodges over/under 196.5 passing yardsDuck Hodges took over for Mason Rudolph in the second half against Cincinnati three weeks ago, and he has held onto the starting job since that point. He isn’t killing the Steelers with costly interceptions like Rudolph was during his time on the field, but he isn’t lighting up the scoreboard either.Pittsburgh is asking the undrafted rookie out of Samford to be a game manager, and he has done that effectively. Hodges is capable of throwing it all over the field after breaking Steve McNair’s all-time passing yardage record last year, but Mike Tomlin just wants him to be somewhat effective and not hurt the team with turnovers.Hodges has yet to throw the ball more than 21 times in a game, but he is very likely to surpass that mark against the Bills. The Steelers are banged up at the skill positions with JuJu Smith-Schuster and Vance McDonald out, while James Conner and Jaylen Samuels are both questionable. He has two speedy receivers that he can hit over the top in James Washington and Diontae Johnson, so the over looks like the better play.Josh Allen over/under 215.5 passing yardsAllen is averaging 244.3 YPG through the air, but this Pittsburgh secondary is one of the best in the NFL with Minkah Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick has turned around the Steelers’ defense, and Pittsburgh is allowing opposing quarterbacks to throw for just 181 YPG since Week 4.The second-year quarterback out of Wyoming has had accuracy issues, and he has struggled against solid defenses. Allen has yet to throw for more than 270 yards in a game this season, and he has been held under 185 passing yards five times.His best games have been against terrible teams with porous defenses, so the under is the smart play here.Devin Singletary over/under 71.5 rushing YardsThe rookie out of Florida Atlantic has taken over the starting role from Frank Gore. Singletary is averaging 5.6 YPC, and he has been very effective in recent weeks. He has run for 4.8 YPC or more in six of his last seven games since winning the starting job from Gore, and he easily went over his total last week against Baltimore. Singletary will have plenty of opportunities to get over this number on Sunday. Sean McDermott will likely opt into playing a ball possession game with Pittsburgh since the Steelers are short handed on offense and starting a rookie quarterback, so the rookie should see an increased workload. He has proven he can stay on the field on passing downs too, and that will lead to a couple carries on third down.Josh Allen over/under 37.5 rushing yardsPittsburgh did an excellent job of containing Kyler Murray last week. Murray and Allen are almost neck and neck in rushing yards this season, and it’s likely that the Steelers employ some of the same tactics used to keep Murray in the pocket against Allen this week.Allen doesn’t have the accuracy to consistently beat you with his arm, but he can beat you with his legs. He is averaging 4.6 YPC on the season, so expect Pittsburgh to try to limit his runs.
Sports Minister David Evennett is backing the England Golf Partnership’s (EGP) drive to grow golf and get more people playing.He spoke of the Government’s commitment to increase participation at a reception in the Palace of Westminster yesterday, hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Golf Group on behalf of the EGP.With the Ryder and Walker Cups on display, Parliamentarians and key figures from across the golf industry discussed ways to attract more people to play golf and encourage them to play more often.The Minister urged those present to use the game’s current high profile to showcase and promote the sport. “I do believe we must do more to promote the game and to develop it further,” he said.He went on: “Golf enjoys a high profile at the moment, following Danny Willett’s brilliant success at the Masters and its inclusion in the Olympics later this summer. It’s a great opportunity to highlight the sport and promote it to a worldwide audience of millions,” he said.The Minister spoke of golf’s huge popularity, as the country’s fifth most-played sport, its tremendous reach across all backgrounds and abilities, and its part in supporting the Government’s sports strategy to tackle inactivity.“It is clear to me and to the Government that the benefits of golf are very far reaching,” he said, listing its massive contribution to the economy, to environmental issues and to individual and community wellbeing.“Golf is a very good community sport which is why the government is committed to increasing golf participation,” he said as he urged his audience to “Keep doing what you are doing. Golf is a very, very important part of our society and our country and one of the great sports our country can offer.”The EGP brings together the amateur governing body, England Golf, and the Professional Golfers’ Association to grow the game with the support of the Golf Foundation, other industry partners and Sport England funding. It co-ordinates the development of golf in schools, local communities, clubs, counties and in talent pathways to national teams.EGP chairman Nic Coward remarked: “Our role is to bring the whole sport together to make our case, not just to Parliamentarians, but also to people from all walks of life around the country. We want to encourage them to play and, indeed, to play golf more often.”He went on: “I think we can do a lot to hit the Government’s agenda on physical and mental wellbeing, and individual and economic development.”Initiatives include the Get into golf campaign, supported by Sky Sports, which offers great value coaching courses with PGA professionals for beginners and returners. It aims to bring 500,000 new or lapsed golfers across the UK into the sport by the end of 2018.Research into new approaches and ways to overcome the barriers to playing has also led to the national launch of Golf Express which promotes the nine-hole game to busy people.The All-Party Parliamentary Golf Group comprises Members of all major political parties and from both Houses of Parliament and has the singular remit to “support the sport of golf.” Both England Golf and the PGA are supporters of the Group. Yesterday’s reception was hosted by Group Vice-Chairman and MP for Colne Valley, Jason McCartney.Image copyright Andrew Fosker/Seconds Left Images 8 Jun 2016 Sports Minister backs EGP drive to grow golf
Members of the NBA and entertainment communities expressed their horror and heartbreak after Indiana Pacers star forward Paul George suffered a grotesque, stomach-turning and potentially career-ending leg injury during a USA Basketball scrimmage Friday evening at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.George, a small forward for the Pacers, was expected to lead the team to the franchises first-ever championship within the next few years. He said he was using this scrimmage at UNLV and the USA b-ball tournament to prepare for his title aspirations.LeBron James, James Hardin, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant and Lil Wayne led a parade of sorrowful celebs and athletes as George is expected to at least miss the entire 2014-15 season. Paul said he expects to return. However, former NFL star quarterback Joe Theissman was in his prime when he suffered a similar gruesome injury at the hands of legendary linebacker Lawrence Taylor in the mid-1980s. Theissman never stepped on a football field again.George is nevertheless in good spirits and expressed it on Twitter: Take a look at what LeBron, Wayne, DWade, Shaq, Money Mayweather and other players and celebs have to say to George: