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Friday, September 24, 2021

Rwanda’s response to COVID-19 brings out the need to prepare and learn from practice

Wash your hands, wear your face mask and practice physical distancing. These COVID-19 safety measures by the World Health Organization (WHO) will probably go down in the World’s history as the most repeated and translated words of the year 2020.  Since December 2019, COVID-19 has imposed itself onto the World forcing everyone to rethink the…
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    Michael K. Williams died from accidental overdose, says New York medical examiner

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    US State Dept. gives green light to sale of helicopters to Israel

    The US State Department has approved the sale of 18 Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopters to Israel to replace its aging CH-53 Yasurs.

    The deal will also include up to 60 T408-GE-400 Engines, and up to 36 embedded GPS/Inertial Navigation Systems (EGI) with Selective Availability/Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) as well as an unspecified number of GAU-21 .50 caliber machine guns and more.

    The main contractors will be Lockheed Martin Global and General Electric Company. It is worth an estimated $3.4 billion.

    “The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to US national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability,” the State Department said.

    “The proposed sale will improve the Israeli Air Force’s capability to transport armored vehicles, personnel, and equipment to support distributed operations. Israel will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense,” the statement added.

    Israel announced in February that it would purchase one squadron of CH-53K over Boeing’s CH-47 to replace its fleet of Yasur helicopters at Tel Nof Air Base. 

    First used by the IAF in 1969, the Yasur is the air force’s primary helicopter used to transport soldiers and equipment and has taken part in a wide variety of missions, including secret operations as well as search and rescue missions.

    Defense Minister Benny Gantz said the CH-53K has been “adapted” to the Israel Air Force’s operational requirements and that the decision to purchase the CH-53k was a significant step in building up the IDF’s capabilities 

    “It is also essential to the IDF’s ability to carry out a wide range of operational activities,” Gantz said, adding that “the decision was made following a professional assessment that included test flights in all the proposed aircraft, as well as a thorough examination of the various alternatives in terms of engineering, technology, maintenance, and other considerations.”

    The CH-53K King Stallion, the successor to the CH-53, is powered by three engines giving it a cruising speed of 261 km/h and a range of 530 miles (852 km). Operated by a crew of 5, including 2 pilots and a combat crew of 3 gunners, it is fitted with self-defense weapons and ballistic protection and also has crash-worthy seats and retracting landing gear, significantly increasing aircraft and crew survivability.

    The fuel tanks have also been designed to have inert gases pumped into them instead of allowing oxygen to build up inside, giving them a better likelihood to survive if hit by incoming projectiles.

    The CH-53K  is fitted with digital fly-by-wire avionics with fully integrated flight and navigation displays and has a mechanical diagnostic system that notifies maintenance crews when a part needs to be replaced and can carry three times the amount of cargo able to be carried by older helicopters.

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