Lockheed’s DAGR guided rocket fires successfully from Kiowa Warrior helicopter

Mar 30, 2010 0

Lockheed Martin hit the target in two tests featuring DAGR guided rockets launched from an airborne OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter. This is the fourth aircraft DAGR has fired from in the past year—prior platforms include the AH-64D Apache and the AH-6 Little Bird.

Two DAGRs were launched from the OH-58D Kiowa in airborne tests, at ranges of 3.5 and 5 km. Both hit within 1 meter of the laser aimpoint.

“With successful flights from the Apache, Little Bird and now Kiowa helicopters, DAGR is rapidly establishing itself as the laser-guided 2.75-inch rocket that our HELLFIRE customers have sought as a low-cost, low collateral damage complement to the HELLFIRE II missile itself,” said Randy Thomas, DAGR program manager at Lockheed Martin.

Because the DAGR system is designed to be compatible with the HELLFIRE family of launchers, it offers potential integration on all rotary-wing HELLFIRE platforms, including the Apache, Little Bird, Kiowa, Blackhawk, Cobra and Tiger helicopters. A mixed loadout of HELLFIREs and DAGRs can be mounted on the same launcher, providing operational flexibility that enables cost-effective multi-mission capability from a single platform.

The DAGR system has demonstrated its precision strike and maneuver capabilities in more than 20 successful guided flight tests, hitting short- and long-range off-axis targets close to the laser-designated aimpoint. This provides Warfighters with increased capability, quick response to “pop-up” threats and an expanded engagement envelope.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2009 sales of $45.2 billion.

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First five F/A-18F Super Hornets arrive in Australia

Mar 29, 2010 0

The first five Boeing  F/A-18F Super Hornets for Australia landed at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Amberley on the 26th March, bringing the next generation in air combat capability to the multirole fighter’s first international customer.

The Super Hornets, piloted by RAAF aircrews, departed U.S. Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif., on the 18th March and made scheduled stops in Hawaii, Pago Pago and New Zealand on the way to Amberley.

The Australian Minister for Defence, Senator John Faulkner, welcomed the RAAF Super Hornets to Australia at a ceremony on the base. Dennis Muilenburg, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, joined Faulkner at the event.

“The men and women of Boeing are honored to provide the next generation in air combat capability to the Royal Australian Air Force and proud to deliver it on time and on budget for all Australians,” said Muilenburg. “The arrival of these Super Hornets marks a new chapter in a partnership between Boeing and Australia that has endured for more than 80 years. The exceptional collaboration and teamwork between Australia’s Defence Materiel Organisation, the Royal Australian Air Force, the U.S. Navy and the Hornet Industry Team was the foundation that ensured these new Super Hornets are now ready to begin their RAAF service.”

Among the other officials attending the event were Australian Defence Secretary Ian Watt; Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, Chief of the Defence Force; Air Marshal Mark Binskin, Chief of Air Force; and U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Mark Skinner.

Australia announced its intent to acquire 24 Super Hornets in March 2007. The remaining 19 aircraft, each equipped with the Raytheon-built APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, will arrive in Australia throughout 2010 and 2011.

“The on-schedule arrival of the new Australian Super Hornets marks the beginning of a new generation of air power for the RAAF,” said Group Captain Steven Roberton, Officer Commanding the Super Hornet Wing. “The multirole Super Hornet is an advanced, networked weapons system that provides a major leap in capability for the RAAF.

“We are looking forward to the new operational capability,” Roberton continued. “The Super Hornet employs advanced networked sensors that provide its two aircrew with total situational awareness, enabling them to conduct simultaneous air-to-air and air-to-ground operations.”

The Boeing Super Hornet is a multirole aircraft, able to perform virtually every mission in the tactical spectrum, including air superiority, day/night strike with precision-guided weapons, fighter escort, close air support, suppression of enemy air defenses, maritime strike, reconnaissance, forward air control and tanker missions. Boeing has delivered more than 420 F/A-18E/Fs to the U.S. Navy. Every Super Hornet produced has been delivered on or ahead of schedule and on budget.

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Boeing completes CF-18 Hornet modernisation project for Canada

Mar 26, 2010 0

The Boeing Company has delivered the 79th — and final — upgraded aircraft to the Canadian Department of National Defence during a ceremony in Mirabel, Quebec, hosted by industry partner L-3 Communications MAS, who performed final upgrade installations. The delivery brings the nine-year, two-phased CF-18 Modernisation Project to a close.

Phase 1 of the project, completed in 2006, upgraded the Canadian Hornet fleet’s avionics, radar, radio and weapons capabilities. Phase 2 provided the following improvements:

  • a data link system to ensure Canadian forces are interoperable with aircraft from the United States and other allied nations
  • the Boeing Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System to improve weapons targeting
  • new colour cockpit displays to increase situational awareness
  • an upgraded, chaff-and-flare dispensing electronic warfare system to improve survivability.

Phase 1 was valued at US$436 million and Phase 2 at $150 million. Boeing designed the upgrades and completed two prototype aircraft. L-3 Electronic Systems, with locations in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Toronto, developed and produced the upgraded crew station displays. L-3 Communications MAS installed the upgrades on the program’s remaining 77 aircraft.

“Boeing’s upgrades to Canada’s CF-18 fleet will ensure that this fighter force will remain effective and operationally credible for many years to come,” said Jim O’Neill, vice president and general manager, Boeing Integrated Logistics. “Nearly 30 years after the delivery of the first CF-18 Hornet, Canada’s defense forces are better equipped than ever, with more capability and a fully modernized fleet, due to the innovative upgrades designed and installed by Boeing and our partner, L-3 Communications MAS.”

“Across all four regions of Canada, Boeing worked with more than 25 Canadian suppliers and organizations through direct and indirect work packages that were an integral part of Boeing’s Industrial and Regional Benefits program for CF-18 modernization,” said Pete Peterson, country director and vice president in Canada for Boeing Defense, Space & Security. “All technical program milestones were completed on schedule and within budget, and we completed industrial and regional benefits commitments early, making this a truly successful program.”

Boeing has been a major contributor to the Canadian economy since 1919, generating approximately $1 billion in business annually. The company employs highly skilled workers in Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia in support of its commercial and defense business units. Canada also is home to one of Boeing’s largest international supplier bases, with more than 200 suppliers in every region of the country, providing a diverse mix of high-value goods and services to Boeing and its customers.

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Video: First vertical landing for Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

Mar 19, 2010 0

A supersonic Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II stealth fighter rode more than 41,000 pounds of thrust to a vertical landing for the first time, confirming its required ability to land in confined areas both ashore and afloat.

“Today’s vertical landing onto a 95-foot square pad showed that we have the thrust and the control to maneuver accurately both in free air and in the descent through ground effect,” said F-35 Lead STOVL Pilot Graham Tomlinson.

Tomlinson performed an 80-knot (93 miles per hour) short takeoff from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., at 1:09 p.m. EDT. About 13 minutes into the flight, he positioned the aircraft 150 feet above the airfield, where he commanded the F-35 to hover for approximately one minute then descend to the runway.

This video includes the take-off and some nice ‘Lockheed’ music.


“The low workload in the cockpit contrasted sharply with legacy short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) platforms,” said Tomlinson, a retired Royal Air Force fighter pilot and a BAE Systems employee since 1986. “Together with the work already completed for slow-speed handling and landings, this provides a robust platform to expand the fleet’s STOVL capabilities.”

Robert J. Stevens, Lockheed Martin chairman and chief executive officer, said, “Today’s vertical landing of the F-35 BF-1 aircraft was a vivid demonstration of innovative technology that will serve the global security needs of the U.S. and its allies for decades to come. I am extremely proud of the F-35 team for their dedication, service and performance in achieving this major milestone for the program.”

Doug Pearson, Lockheed Martin vice president of F-35 Test and Verification, said, “The successful first vertical landing today met our test objectives and demonstrates the F-35B’s capacity to operate from a very small area at sea or on shore – a unique capability for a supersonic, stealth fighter. This is the first of many such tests to fully define the short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) characteristics of the world’s most capable 5th generation fighter. We will routinely conduct vertical landings and short takeoffs to further expand the operational flight envelope for the F-35B.”

This video is just the landing with radio chat.



The aircraft in today’s test, known as BF-1, is one of three F-35B STOVL jets currently undergoing flight trials at the Patuxent River test site. It is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney F135 turbofan engine driving a counter-rotating Rolls-Royce LiftFan®. The shaft-driven LiftFan system, which includes a Rolls-Royce three-bearing swivel duct that vectors engine thrust and under-wing roll ducts that provide lateral stability, produces more than 41,000 pounds of vertical lift. The F135 is the most powerful engine ever flown in a fighter aircraft.

The F-35B will replace U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B STOVL fighters and F/A-18 strike fighters. The United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, and the Italian Air Force and Navy will employ the F-35B as well. With its short takeoff and vertical landing capability, the F-35B will enable allied forces to conduct operations from small ships and unprepared fields, enabling expeditionary operations around the globe.

The F-35 program is using the Lockheed Martin-developed Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) for maintenance actions, spares tracking and technical data support.ALIS is part of the F-35’s innovative sustainment architecture monitored by the F-35 Autonomic Logistics Global Sustainment (ALGS) Operations Center in Fort Worth. The early deploymentof the F-35 net-enabled logistics system to be used by all nine partner countries helps ensure the F-35’ssmooth transition to operational status, and is a key enabler for lower life cycle costs.

The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations, advanced sustainment, and lower operational and support costs. Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Two separate, interchangeable F-35 engines are under development: the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team F136.


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Boeing receives authorised engineering organisation certification for Australian Super Hornets

Mar 17, 2010 0

Boeing Defence Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company, has received accreditation from the Commonwealth of Australia as an Authorised Engineering Organisation (AEO) for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F/A-18F Super Hornet Weapon System.

Boeing Defence Australia now is authorized to provide engineering services to support the RAAF’s 24 Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft through a combination of local engineering services and U.S. capabilities based in St. Louis.

RAAF Wing Cmdr. Jason Murray, chief engineer of the Tactical Fighter System Program Office, presented the AEO certification to Murray Brabook, Boeing Defence Australia director of Platform Maintenance, on March 2.

“AEO certification is a significant achievement, as it acknowledges Boeing Defence Australia’s compliance with the RAAF Technical Airworthiness Regulatory framework and will enable the company to provide critical engineering services to the Australian Defence Force,” Murray said.

“Becoming an AEO is an important component of Boeing Defence Australia’s Super Hornet support capabilities, and is the result of excellent teamwork and collaboration between Boeing and the Commonwealth,” Brabrook said.

Subcontracted to Boeing under the Commonwealth’s Super Hornet Sustainment Contract, Boeing Defence Australia will deliver sustainment operations at its facilities at RAAF Base Amberley.

Australia became the first international Super Hornet customer in 2007 with an order for 24 aircraft. The first contingent will arrive in-country this month, and Boeing is on schedule to deliver the remaining fighters to the RAAF throughout 2010 and 2011.

Boeing Defence Australia also is an AEO for Australia’s F-111 Weapon System and F/A-18A/B Hornet Weapon System.

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Boeing, Qatar Emiri Air Force celebrate C-17 fleet’s achievements

Mar 15, 2010 0

Boeing and the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) celebrated Qatar’s deployment of C-17 Globemaster III airlifters during an Air Force Day ceremony held on the 10th March at Doha International Airport.

“When the Qatar Emiri Air Force acquired two C-17s last year, we did so with every intention of supporting international disaster-relief and humanitarian missions around the world,” said Brig. Gen. Ahmed Al-Malki, head of Qatar’s airlift selection committee. “We take great pride in being among the first of many nations to respond to Haiti and Chile, delivering several thousand tons of food, water and medical supplies.”

Just days after Haiti was struck by an earthquake on Jan. 12, a Qatar C-17 delivered aid to the country’s capital, Port-au-Prince. On the 4th March Qatar sent a C-17 filled with humanitarian aid to Chile in response to that country’s 27th February earthquake.

“It is with great appreciation that on Air Force Day we salute the Qatar Emiri Air Force and its leadership for the many important contributions they are making right now in Chile and Haiti,” said Chris Chadwick, president, Boeing Military Aircraft. “Boeing employees everywhere were extremely moved to see Qatar’s C-17s bringing hope to those in need, and joining so many other nations on lifesaving missions. We’re proud that the C-17, with its reputation for reliability and maintainability, is serving your nation, and the people of Chile and Haiti, so well.”

Boeing delivered Qatar’s first C-17 on the 11th August and the second on Sept. 10. Qatar, the first Middle East nation to order the C-17, signed an agreement with Boeing on the 21st July, 2008, for the two advanced airlifters and associated equipment and services, as well as an option for two additional aircraft. The company provides Qatar’s C-17s with operational support, including material management and depot maintenance support, under the C-17 Globemaster III Sustainment Partnership at Al Udeid Air Base, where the QEAF’s C-17s are based.

“The Qatar Emiri Air Force’s acquisition of the C-17 is a testament to Qatar’s laudable and growing role in humanitarian relief around the world,” said Paul Kinscherff, president, Boeing Middle East. “Boeing is pleased to be a partner to the State of Qatar as it builds humanitarian capabilities, a global air transport hub, and its role in the aerospace industry.”

A total of 214 C-17s are currently in service worldwide. Nineteen of the airlifters are in service with international customers, while the U.S. Air Force, including active Guard and Reserve units, has 195. International customers include Qatar, the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force, the Canadian Forces, the Royal Australian Air Force and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability consortium of NATO and Partnership for Peace nations. The United Arab Emirates is on contract for six C-17s, which it will receive in 2011 and 2012.

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Boeing to offer NewGen Tanker to US Air Force

Mar 5, 2010 0

The Boeing Company has announced that it will offer the Boeing NewGen Tanker in the competition to supply the U.S. Air Force with a multi-mission aerial refueling aircraft that will meet all the warfighter’s mission requirements for the next several decades.

Dennis Muilenburg, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, said the Boeing NewGen Tanker will satisfy all mandatory Air Force requirements and offer an American-made tanker that will be capable, survivable, and combat-ready at the lowest cost to the taxpayer.

“Having supplied tankers to the Air Force for the past 60 years, Boeing has drawn on its unmatched aerial-refueling experience to thoroughly review and evaluate the KC-X solicitation issued by the Air Force,” Muilenburg said. “We respect and understand the KC-X requirements, and appreciate the importance of this program for the United States and its warfighters. We intend to bid for the honor to work with our Air Force customer to replace the existing fleet of KC-135 aircraft with a new-generation, multi-role tanker in a fair and transparent acquisition process.”

Boeing studied the mission requirements closely to determine the optimal airframe size that would deliver the most capability for the lowest cost to own and operate. The result was the NewGen Tanker, a widebody, multi-mission aircraft based on the proven Boeing 767 commercial aircraft, updated with the latest and most advanced technology and capable of fulfilling the Air Force’s needs for transport of fuel, cargo, passengers and patients.

The multi-mission aircraft is named NewGen because it includes several state-of-the-art systems to meet the demanding mission requirements of the future. They include:

  • A digital flight deck featuring electronic displays taken directly from the most advanced commercial airliner in existence — the Boeing 787 Dreamliner — that show all flight attitude, navigation, engine indication and crew-alerting information on screens 75 percent larger than on a commercial Airbus A330.
  • A new-generation fly-by-wire boom with an expanded refueling envelope and increased fuel offload rate. It will meet the Air Force requirement and simplify refueling operations to reduce workload for the aircrew and improve safety and reliability. Boeing is the only team in the KC-X competition that has invented, manufactured and delivered combat-tested aerial refueling booms.
  • The Boeing NewGen Tanker will be controlled by the aircrew, which has unrestricted access to the full flight envelope for threat avoidance at any time, rather than allowing computer software to limit combat maneuverability.

The NewGen Tanker will meet all of the Air Force’s 372 requirements — including a production rate at whatever level the Air Force determines — with a low-risk approach to manufacturing that relies on existing Boeing facilities in Washington state and Kansas as well as U.S. suppliers throughout the nation, with decades of experience delivering dependable military tanker and derivative aircraft.

“The NewGen Tanker will draw on the experience and talents of an integrated U.S. Tanker Team, including the best of our Boeing defense and commercial businesses and our nationwide supplier network,” said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “It’s a proven team and existing infrastructure that is ready to deliver these NewGen Tankers on Day One.”

More cost-effective to own and operate than the larger, heavier Airbus airplane, the Boeing NewGen Tanker will save American taxpayers more than $10 billion in fuel costs over its 40-year service life because it burns 24 percent less fuel. The Boeing NewGen Tanker program also will support substantially more jobs in the United States than an Airbus A330 tanker that is designed and largely manufactured in Europe.

Boeing has been designing, building, modifying and supporting tankers for decades. Those tankers include the KC-135 that will be replaced in the KC-X competition, and the KC-10 fleet. The company also has delivered four KC-767Js to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and is on contract to deliver four KC-767s to the Italian Air Force. Three of the four Italian tankers are in flight test, with the fourth airplane in production.

The Air Force released its final KC-X Request for Proposal on Feb. 24. Boeing will deliver its proposal by May 10, within the 75-day period set forth in the terms of the solicitation. The Air Force is expected to announce its decision later this year.

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Boeing completes P-8A weapons ground vibration tests

Feb 15, 2010 0

Boeing successfully completed stores (weapons) ground vibration testing on P-8A Poseidon test aircraft T1 on the 5th February in Seattle. The tests will provide data to validate predictions of aircraft performance prior to flight testing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, later this year.

During the monthlong series of tests, 18 different weapons configurations were loaded onto the test aircraft. For each test condition, external shakers induced vibration of the aircraft’s wings, stabilizer and stores to verify the stores’ effect on the P-8A’s fuselage. The aircraft’s response was measured with more than 100 accelerometers and other external devices.

“T1 responded as predicted throughout the rigorous set of tests,” said Chuck Dabundo, Boeing vice president and P-8 program manager. “This is a major milestone for the team and paves the way for in-flight testing and verification of the P-8A’s weapons capabilities.

” The Boeing P-8 team completed a successful ground vibration test of the full aircraft, minus weapons, in May 2009.

T1 is one of five test aircraft being assembled and tested as part of the System Development and Demonstration contract Boeing received in 2004. The U.S. Navy plans to purchase 117 P-8A anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft. Initial operational capability is planned for 2013.

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Boeing to continue providing F/A-18 engineering services to Royal Australian Air Force

Feb 8, 2010 0

Boeing Defence Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company, has been awarded a $1.5 million contract for the provision of engineering support services for the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) fleet of F/A-18A/B Hornet aircraft.

The 30-month contract, managed by the Tactical Fighter Systems Program Office (TFSPO) at RAAF Base Williamtown, requires Boeing Defence Australia to deliver repair plans for faults uncovered during F/A-18A/B Hornet maintenance.

“This contract maintains our F/A-18 engineering capability as it increases our overall business on the platform,” said Brad Hume, Boeing Defence Australia F/A-18 program manager.

Boeing Defence Australia has delivered engineering support services to the TFSPO for the past six years. It also continues to perform Hornet Upgrade Phase 2.3, which involves upgrading the Electronic Warfare Self Protection Suite on 68 aircraft and modifying 76 wing pylons. Phase 2.3 is expected to be completed in 2012.

“The RAAF’s decision to award this contract to us demonstrates their faith in Boeing’s ability to support the F/A-18 platform,” Hume said. “We will continue working closely with our customer to maintain the Hornet’s air combat capability.”

Under the new contract, engineering services will now be delivered under Boeing Defence Australia’s Authorised Engineering Organisation (AEO) certificate.


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