US MARINES LOOK TO A CONTRACTOR ABLE TO PROVIDE RUSSIAN-BUILT ATTACK HELICOPTERS

They need realistic opposing forces to be ready to face strong enemies.

Marines contractor russian Hind helicopter
US Marines look to a contractor able to provide Russian-Built attack helicopters.

The U.S. Marine Corps is examining whether a contractor might be able to provide Mi-24 Hind helicopters or Mi-17 Hip transport helicopters to add further realism to various exercises. External companies routinely provide these types of helicopters to play the "enemy role" in several U.S. military training exercises, but this type of "adversary" could become even more relevant when U.S. forces have to train to face strong enemies, such as Russia.

On April 26, 2018, the Air Force Training Command of Marine Air Ground, or MAGTFTC, published a draft of requirements on the main website of the US government, with the aim of determining whether there are any suppliers able to provide the desired training support. The draft documents require the supply of two Mi-24 or Mi-17 helicopters for at least five integrated training exercises (ITX) a year at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, or MCAGCC, in Twentynine Palms, California. The proposed contract would include an option for the Marines to send those aircraft to five Mountain Training Exercises (MTX) at the Mountain Warfare Training Center near Bridgeport, California, as well as two Talon Exercises (TALONEX), one each at Marine Air Air Station Yuma in Arizona and Twentynine Palms.

The helicopters shall participate in the following activities: 

(a) Air and Missile Defense Operations. The attack helicopter, due to its size, flight profile, firepower and defensive maneuvering capabilities, constitutes a unique threat creating a realistic, dissimilar and credible Opposing Force (OPFOR) to stress the joint forces conducting Joint Air and Missile Defense Operations.

(b) Close Air Support. The attack helicopter will act as an aggressor to interfere with the exercises forces conducting offensive, defensive and stability operations. This will include potential use during friendly aviation operations in order to force decision making.

(c) Intelligence Collection on friendly forces.

(d) Air to Ground attack of friendly forces. Exercise forces will be executing offense, defense, or stability operations and be confronted with adversary RW aircraft forcing them to react correctly.

Written by Matteo Sanzani


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