All posts by Dmitry Shulgin

Tempest

Announcing the publication of the new Combat Air Strategy at the Farnborough International Airshow, the Defence Secretary said he had taken action to strengthen the UK’s role as a global leader in the sector and to protect key skills across the UK industrial base.

British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson speaks at the Farnborough airshow in front of a full-scale mockup of Tempest, the Royal Air Force’s future combat aircraft concept, for which he said £2 billion has been earmarked (UK MoD photo)
British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson speaks at the Farnborough airshow in front of a full-scale mockup of Tempest, the Royal Air Force’s future combat aircraft concept, for which he said £2 billion has been earmarked (UK MoD photo)

He outlined the Strategy in front of the combat aircraft concept model which has been developed by UK industry in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence – being publicly unveiled for the first time, it acts as a powerful demonstration of the UK’s world leading technical capability and industrial expertise.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

  • «We have been a world leader in the combat air sector for a century, with an enviable array of skills and technology, and this Strategy makes clear that we are determined to make sure it stays that way. It shows our allies that we are open to working together to protect the skies in an increasingly threatening future – and this concept model is just a glimpse into what the future could look like.
  • British defence industry is a huge contributor to UK prosperity, creating thousands of jobs in a thriving advanced manufacturing sector, and generating a UK sovereign capability that is the best in the world.
  • Today’s news leaves industry, our military, the country, and our allies in no doubt that the UK will be flying high in the combat air sector as we move into the next generation».

For the last 100 years the UK combat air industrial sector has ensured the UK has been at the forefront of technological and engineering developments, delivering world leading capability to the RAF and our allies. This Strategy will ensure the UK continues to maintain this leading position.

The Strategy outlines the way in which the UK will acquire future Combat Air capabilities to maximise the overall value the UK derives from the sector. The framework will balance military capability, international influence, and economic and prosperity benefit along with the overall cost.

It reinforces the commitment in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review to deliver the Future Combat Air System Technology Initiative (FCAS TI). The Government, in partnership with industry, is taking steps to grow existing world-leading design engineering capacity and skills, ensuring that the UK continues to be at the cutting edge of combat air technology.

The concept aircraft has been put together by British firms including BAE Systems, Leonardo, MBDA and Rolls-Royce, which have joined together with the RAF Rapid Capabilities Office to form ‘Team Tempest’ to pursue the opportunity.

Team Tempest brings together the UK’s world leading industry and sovereign capabilities across future combat air’s four key technology areas: advanced combat air systems and integration (BAE Systems); advanced power and propulsion systems (Rolls-Royce); advanced sensors, electronics and avionics (Leonardo) and advanced weapon systems (MBDA).

The MOD will now set up a dedicated team to deliver the combat air acquisition programme. They will deliver a business case by the end of the year and have initial conclusions on international partners by next summer – with engagement with potential partners beginning immediately.

Early decisions around how to acquire the capability will be confirmed by the end of 2020, before final investment decisions are made by 2025. The aim is then for a next generation platform to have operational capability by 2035.

The UK is already a world-leader in the combat air sector, with a mix of skills and technologies unique in Europe, supporting over 18,000 highly skilled jobs. The sector delivers a turnover in excess of £6bn a year and has made up over 80% of defence exports from the UK over the last ten years.

Investment in combat air technology, combined with the strengths of UK industry, has resulted in the UK being the only Tier 1 partner with the US on the F-35 Lightning II programme, with British industry delivering 15% by value of every F-35 built. The UK has been able to help define the operational capabilities of the aircraft, while reinforcing UK industrial capability, critical skills and supporting wider economic prosperity.

The UK also continues to lead the way in combat air power as one of the four partner nations in the Eurofighter Typhoon programme. With more than 20,000 flying hours on deployed operations to date, the Typhoon delivers world leading capability, unparalleled reliability and proven interoperability with our allies. The MOD will continue to invest in the Typhoon for decades to come, with the best technologies being carried forward on to next-generation systems.

The F-35 Lightning II and the Typhoon are two complementary multi-role combat aircraft that will make up the RAF’s combat air fleet, placing the UK at the forefront of combat air technology – with the Typhoon expected to remain in UK service until at least 2040.

The concept aircraft has been put together by British firms including BAE Systems, Leonardo, MBDA and Rolls-Royce
The concept aircraft has been put together by British firms including BAE Systems, Leonardo, MBDA and Rolls-Royce

Flight testing

The KC-46 Pegasus program achieved an important milestone July 6, 2018, at Boeing Field, Seattle, with completion of the final flight tests required for first aircraft delivery planned in late October.

A KC-46A Pegasus tanker takes off from Boeing Field, Seattle, June 4, 2018. The KC-46 Pegasus program achieved an important milestone July 6, with completion of the final flight tests required for first aircraft delivery to the U.S. Air Force (Courtesy photo)
A KC-46A Pegasus tanker takes off from Boeing Field, Seattle, June 4, 2018. The KC-46 Pegasus program achieved an important milestone July 6, with completion of the final flight tests required for first aircraft delivery to the U.S. Air Force (Courtesy photo)

The integrated Air Force and Boeing test team completed all required test points for the Remote Vision System and for receiver certifications of the F-16 Fighting Falcon and C-17 Globemaster III. These two receivers, coupled with testing completed in June of KC-135 Stratotanker refueling the KC-46 Pegasus as a receiver, are the minimum required for delivery.

«With this milestone complete, the test program has demonstrated a level of maturity that positions Boeing to deliver, and the Air Force to accept, an aircraft by the end of October 2018», said Doctor Will Roper, the Air Force service acquisition executive.

The KC-46 Pegasus test program is now transitioning to follow-on receiver aircraft testing and certifications required for operational testing starting in 2019.

On June 4, 2018, Chief of Staff of the Air Force General David L. Goldfein met with the men and women testing the KC-46 Pegasus at Boeing Field to witness their hard work firsthand. While flying on a scheduled KC-46 Pegasus test mission, Goldfein flew the aircraft and its boom in between test points and observed C-17 Globemaster III receiver aircraft certification testing.

«It was a pleasure to fly the KC-46 Pegasus, an aircraft that will enhance our lethality and global warfighting capabilities», Goldfein said. After the recent test point completion, he added, «I am encouraged by the team’s progress in putting another significant milestone behind us. The collective Air Force, Boeing, Federal Aviation Administration, and Defense Contract Management Agency team is laser-focused on the remainder of activities needed to certify and accept this much-needed tanker in late October. I am excited for our Air Force as we move closer to having this aircraft in the hands of our warfighters who will unleash its demonstrated capabilities in support of the Joint fight».

 

General Characteristics

Primary Function Aerial refueling and airlift
Prime Contractor The Boeing Company
Power Plant 2 × Pratt & Whitney 4062
Thrust 62,000 lbs./275.790 kN/28,123 kgf – Thrust per High-Bypass engine (sea-level standard day)
Wingspan 157 feet, 8 inches/48.1 m
Length 165 feet, 6 inches/50.5 m
Height 52 feet, 10 inches/15.9 m
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) 415,000 lbs./188,240 kg
Maximum Landing Weight 310,000 lbs./140,614 kg
Fuel Capacity 212,299 lbs./96,297 kg
Maximum Transfer Fuel Load 207,672 lbs./94,198 kg
Maximum Cargo Capacity 65,000 lbs./29,484 kg
Maximum Airspeed 360 KCAS (Knots Calibrated AirSpeed)/0.86 M/414 mph/667 km/h
Service Ceiling 43,100 feet/13,137 m
Maximum Distance 7,299 NM/8,400 miles/13,518 km
Pallet Positions 18 pallet positions
Air Crew 15 permanent seats for aircrew, including aeromedical evacuation aircrew
Passengers 58 total (normal operations); up to 114 total (contingency operations)
Aeromedical Evacuation 58 patients (24 litters/34 ambulatory) with the AE Patient Support Pallet configuration; 6 integral litters carried as part of normal aircraft configuration equipment

 

Einstein Box

Lockheed Martin Skunk Works and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recently performed a series of flight tests demonstrating how a System of Systems (SoS) approach enables seamless – and rapid – integration across air, space, land, sea and cyber in contested environments.

DARPA, Lockheed Martin demonstrates technologies to enable a connected warfighter network
DARPA, Lockheed Martin demonstrates technologies to enable a connected warfighter network

The demonstrations held at the Naval Air Warfare Center in China Lake, California, were part of a five-year DARPA program called System of Systems Integration Technology and Experimentation (SoSITE). The flight tests demonstrated interoperability between a ground station, flying test bed, a C-12 and flight test aircraft, and proved the ability to transmit data between those systems using STITCHES, a novel integration technology.

The test used the Skunk Works developed Enterprise Open System Architecture Mission Computer version 2 (EMC2), known as the «Einstein Box», as the open computing environment, providing security protections between systems. The Einstein Box enables rapid and secure experimentation before deploying the capability to operational systems. The team successfully demonstrated four key capabilities:

  • The ability to automatically compose and transmit messages between systems, including those using legacy datalinks;
  • The first use of Non-Enterprise Data Links to create new, rich information exchanges in-flight through Link-16, enabling greater speed, agility, modernization and effectiveness;
  • The ability to link ground-based cockpit simulators with live aircraft systems in real time to demonstrate how a SoS approach reduces the data-to-decision timeline;
  • Integration between the APG-81 radar, currently used on the F-35, and DARPA’s Automatic Target Recognition software to reduce operator workload and to create a comprehensive picture of the battlespace.

Demonstrating rapid and affordable integration of mission systems into existing and new architectures, SoSITE will help U.S. forces maintain their advantage in today’s dynamic world.

«The successful demonstrations focused on advancing integration technologies to increase capabilities of systems in operation today, enabling our warfighters to use those systems in unexpected ways», said Justin Taylor, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works Mission Systems Roadmaps director. «The SoS approach is essential for allowing U.S. forces to rapidly reconfigure systems and prevail over any threat».

The project was led by Lockheed Martin Skunk Works in partnership with the U.S. Air Force and support from industry partners Apogee Research, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, BAE Systems, Phoenix Flight Test, General Dynamics and Rockwell Collins.

Skunk Works’ expertise in open system architecture spans more than a decade. The success of SoSITE is a critical step to enabling multi-domain operations and maintaining superiority in the future battlespace. In its 75th year, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works is proud to advance SoS integration in partnership with DARPA as they celebrate 60 years of creating breakthrough technologies and capabilities for national security.

Limited User Testing

Northrop Grumman Corporation has delivered software to the U.S. Army for the UH-60V Black Hawk helicopter to enter Limited User Testing (LUT) – a critical milestone leading into production.

As the supplier of the Integrated Avionics Suite for the UH-60V Black Hawk helicopter, Northrop Grumman has delivered software for the helicopter to enter Limited User Testing – a critical milestone leading into production
As the supplier of the Integrated Avionics Suite for the UH-60V Black Hawk helicopter, Northrop Grumman has delivered software for the helicopter to enter Limited User Testing – a critical milestone leading into production

Under a contract awarded in 2014, Northrop Grumman is partnering with the U.S. Army Prototype Integration Facility and prime contractor Redstone Defense Systems to modernize the Army’s fleet of UH‑60L helicopters through cost-effective cockpit upgrades, replacing older analog gauges with digital electronic instrument displays.

Northrop Grumman is supplying the Integrated Avionics Suite for the upgraded aircraft, designated the UH-60V, which features one of the Army’s most advanced avionics solutions to enable the complex missions of the army aviation warfighter.

Through this latest milestone, Northrop Grumman has provided a digital cockpit software build that includes all the functionality required for LUT, which will evaluate the system’s operational readiness, capabilities and compatibility with the UH-60M Pilot-Vehicle Interface. This important test informs the Milestone C Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) decision. The UH-60V is scheduled to enter LRIP in 2019.

«This software delivery milestone is an important step forward in our journey to provide cutting-edge capabilities and mission-enabling solutions to warfighters through an affordable, low-risk digital cockpit upgrade», said Ed Griebel, director, land & avionics C4ISR division, Northrop Grumman. «Our mission solution preserves investment in the Black Hawk fleet while modernizing the aircraft to provide warfighters with a decisive advantage».

Northrop Grumman’s scalable, fully integrated mission equipment package enables enhanced pilot situational awareness and mission safety, as well as decreased pilot workload and life cycle cost. The UH-60V’s Pilot-Vehicle Interface (PVI) is nearly identical to the UH‑60M PVI, providing common training and operational employment.

Northrop Grumman’s open architecture approach provides greater flexibility and enables upgrades to be done with or without the original equipment manufacturer’s involvement. In addition to the UH-60V, Northrop Grumman’s scalable and fully integrated architecture is and can be applied to numerous platforms such as the E‑2D, AH-1F/S and other aircraft worldwide. The operators of these aircraft can reduce their logistics footprint by having common avionics in multiple platforms and avoid sustaining large component inventories.

The UH-60V meets the standards for safety-critical software development and is designed to comply with the Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency’s Global Air Traffic Management requirements, enabling the system to traverse military and civilian airspace worldwide. It is also certifiable and compliant with safety-critical avionics standards such as DO-178C.

Acceptance Trials

Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 13, the future USS Wichita, completed Acceptance Trials in the waters of Lake Michigan. LCS-13 is the seventh Freedom-variant LCS designed and built by the Lockheed Martin-led industry team and is slated for delivery to the U.S. Navy later this summer.

Littoral Combat Ship 13 (Wichita) Completes Acceptance Trials
Littoral Combat Ship 13 (Wichita) Completes Acceptance Trials

«LCS 13’s completion of Acceptance Trials means this ship is one step closer to joining the fleet and conducting critical maritime operations for the Navy», said Joe DePietro, vice president, Small Combatants and Ship Systems at Lockheed Martin. «This ship is agile, powerful and lethal, and the industry team and I are looking forward to her delivery, commissioning and deployment».

The trials, conducted July 9-12, included a full-power run, maneuverability testing and air detect-to-engage demonstrations of the ship’s combat system. Major systems and features were demonstrated including aviation support, and small boat launch handling and recovery.

«I am extremely proud of our LCS team including our shipbuilders at Fincantieri Marinette Marine», said Jan Allman, Fincantieri Marinette Marine President and CEO. «These are complex vessels, and it takes a strong team effort to design, build and test these American warships».

The future USS Wichita is one of eight ships in various stages of production and test at Fincantieri Marinette Marine, with one more in long-lead production.

The next Freedom-variant in the class is LCS-15, the future USS Billings. LCS-15 is scheduled to complete sea trials this year.

Lockheed Martin’s Freedom-variant LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship, designed to support focused-missions in the areas of mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare. The Freedom-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals.

 

Ship Design Specifications

Hull Advanced semiplaning steel monohull
Length Overall 389 feet/118.6 m
Beam Overall 57 feet/17.5 m
Draft 13.5 feet/4.1 m
Full Load Displacement Approximately 3,200 metric tons
Top Speed Greater than 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range at top speed 1,000 NM/1,151 miles/1,852 km
Range at cruise speed 4,000 NM/4,603 miles/7,408 km
Watercraft Launch and Recovery Up to Sea State 4
Aircraft Launch and Recovery Up to Sea State 5
Propulsion Combined diesel and gas turbine with steerable water jet propulsion
Power 85 MW/113,600 horsepower
Hangar Space Two MH-60 Romeo Helicopters
One MH-60 Romeo Helicopter and three Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (VTUAVs)
Core Crew Less than 50
Accommodations for 75 sailors provide higher sailor quality of life than current fleet
Integrated Bridge System Fully digital nautical charts are interfaced to ship sensors to support safe ship operation
Core Self-Defense Suite Includes 3D air search radar
Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) gunfire control system
Rolling-Airframe Missile Launching System
57-mm Main Gun
Mine, Torpedo Detection
Decoy Launching System

 

Freedom-class

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Freedom (LCS-1) 06-02-2005 09-23-2006 11-08-2008 San Diego, California
USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) 07-11-2009 12-07-2010 09-22-2012 San Diego, California
USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) 10-27-2011 12-18-2013 11-21-2015 San Diego, California
USS Detroit (LCS-7) 08-11-2012 10-18-2014 10-22-2016 San Diego, California
USS Little Rock (LCS-9) 06-27-2013 07-18-2015 12-16-2017 San Diego, California
USS Sioux City (LCS-11) 02-19-2014 01-30-2016
USS Wichita (LCS-13) 02-09-2015 09-17-2016
USS Billings (LCS-15) 11-02-2015 07-01-2017
USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) 07-18-2016 04-14-2018
USS St. Louis (LCS-19) 05-17-2017
USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21) 02-22-2018
USS Cooperstown (LCS-23)
USS Marinette LCS-25
USS Nantucket (LCS-27)

 

Patrol aircraft

Leonardo has signed a contract to supply an ATR 72MP aircraft to the Italian Customs Police and provide associated logistics support and training services. The contract, valued about 44-million euros, was awarded following a European tender and includes options which would bring the total value up to 250 million euros. The first delivery will take place in 2019.

Italy’s customs police ordered its first ATR-72MP maritime patrol aircraft, similar to this one operated by the Italian Air Force, with more on option. Delivery is planned for 2019 (Leonardo photo)
Italy’s customs police ordered its first ATR-72MP maritime patrol aircraft, similar to this one operated by the Italian Air Force, with more on option. Delivery is planned for 2019 (Leonardo photo)

Alessandro Profumo, Leonardo’s CEO, said: «We are proud that the Italian Customs Police, which already operates our aircraft and helicopters, continues to place their trust in our capabilities. The ATR 72MP, based on the modern ATR 72-600 regional turboprop aircraft, is a tangible example of Leonardo’s leadership position in both platforms and their systems. This is an aircraft that can carry out numerous roles including maritime patrol, searching for and identifying surface vessels, Search & Rescue (SAR) missions, the prevention of narcotic-trafficking, piracy and smuggling, territorial water security and the monitoring-of and intervention-in ecological disasters. It comes equipped with our latest-generation communications and data sharing systems, meaning the aircraft can transmit and receive real-time information to and from ground-based command and control centres and airborne/maritime platforms, improving coordination and maximising operational effectiveness».

The ATR 72MP will be part of the Italian Customs Police’s range of airborne and naval capabilities which can be called on to respond to the wide range of missions carried out by the organisation. Because of its airborne capabilities, the Customs Police is the only law enforcement agency in Italy able to provide full surveillance coverage along the entirety of the country’s coastal border and in international waters.

Equipment on-board the ATR 72MP for the first time will support the Italian Customs Police in carrying out specific surveillance activities that come under their responsibility. The ATR 72MP will perform maritime patrol and search using on-board sensors to detect and identify sensitive targets, maintaining a position of low observability when necessary, monitoring target’s behaviour, recording proof for prosecutions and directing naval and land-based assets.

The ATR 72MP, already in service with the Italian Air Force which refers to it as the P-72A, is equipped with Leonardo’s ‘ATOS’ (Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance) modular mission system. The ATOS manages the aircraft’s wide spectrum of sensors, fusing the information gathered in complex situations and presenting a single tactical picture to operators, providing excellent situational awareness.

Thanks to the system’s advanced man-machine interface, only two system operators are needed to fully exploit the ATOS in the aircraft’s standard configuration. Thanks to its commercial design, the ATR 72MP also features crew ergonomics that help maintain the efficiency and effectiveness of operators during lengthy missions such as maritime patrol, search and identification, search and rescue, counter-smuggling, anti-piracy and territorial water protection, all of which typically last in excess of 8 hours.

Operational Test

USS Coronado (LCS-4) and Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 1 (VX-1) completed the first comprehensive Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) for the MQ-8C Fire Scout, June 29.

PACIFIC OCEAN (June 21, 2018). Aviation Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Salvatore Green, left, and Aviation Electronics Technician 3rd Class Jake Price, both assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 1, prepare the MC-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter for launch aboard the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS-4) (U.S. Navy photo by Ensign Jalen Robinson/Released)
PACIFIC OCEAN (June 21, 2018). Aviation Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class Salvatore Green, left, and Aviation Electronics Technician 3rd Class Jake Price, both assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 1, prepare the MC-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter for launch aboard the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS-4) (U.S. Navy photo by Ensign Jalen Robinson/Released)

Results from this IOT&E will inform decision-makers on how best to integrate the U.S. Navy’s newest unmanned helicopter with Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) and other platforms.

During the IOT&E, the MQ-8C Fire Scout performed several mission scenarios aboard Coronado off the coast of southern California. These operations are an important milestone for the LCS and Fire Scout programs and demonstrated cohesion between the surface and aviation platforms.

«The results, lessons learned, and recommendations reported on following this underway test period are absolutely invaluable to the future of the MQ-8C Fire Scout’s mission effectiveness and suitability to perform that mission», said Lieutenant Commander Seth Ervin, the lead for the VX-1 detachment aboard Coronado.

Coronado and VX-1 conducted simulated engagements to evaluate Fire Scout’s role in target identification, intelligence gathering and surface warfare operations.

The testing also focused on developing practices for simultaneously operating and maintaining both the MQ-8C Fire Scout and the MH-60S Seahawk. Results confirmed that while it requires extensive planning and coordination across the ship, simultaneous operations can be conducted.

«It has been challenging and rewarding to be one of the first maintainers afforded the opportunity to take both aircraft aboard the ship. Working together, we made the overall product more functional and efficient for the fleet», said Aviation Machinist’s Mate Second Class Salvatore Greene, a member of VX-1.

The chance to contribute to technological and tactical improvements within the LCS community creates a notable opportunity for Coronado’s experienced crew.

«My crew is excited to build upon their past experiences operating with Fire Scout and continue to improve our proficiency as a war-fighting team», said Commander Lawrence Repass, the commanding officer of Coronado.

The first ship-based flight of the MQ-8C Fire Scout occurred aboard USS Jason Dunham (DDG-109) in December 2014, and previous underway testing was also conducted with USS Montgomery (LCS-8) in April 2017.

Pierside testing of the MQ-8C Fire Scout will continue onboard Coronado throughout mid-July with a focus on maintenance and cyber. Coronado is one of four designated LCS testing ships homeported in San Diego.

LCS is a high-speed, agile, shallow draft, mission-focused surface combatant designed for operations in the littoral environment, yet fully capable of open ocean operations. As part of the surface fleet, LCS has the ability to counter and outpace evolving threats independently or within a network of surface combatants.

 

Specifications

Length 41.4 feet/12.6 m
Width 7.8 feet/2.4 m
Blades Folded Hangar 7.8×34.7×10.9 feet/2.4×10.6×3.3 m
Height 10.9 feet/3.3 m
Rotor Diameter 35 feet/10.7 m
Gross Takeoff Weight 6,000 lbs./2,721.5 kg
Engine Rolls-Royce M250-C47B with FADEC (Full Authority Digital Electronic Control)

 

Performance

Speed 140 knots/161 mph/259 km/h (maximum)
Operational Ceiling 17,000 feet/5,182 m
Maximum Endurance 14 hrs.
Maximum Payload (Internal) 1,000 lbs./453.6 kg
Typical Payload 600 lbs./272 kg (11 hrs. endurance)
Maximum Sling Load 2,650 lbs./1,202 kg

 

Engine Specifications

Power 651 shp/485.45 kW
Pressure ratio 9.2
Length 42.95 inch/1.09 m
Diameter 24.81 inch/0.63 m
Basic weight 274 lbs./124.3 kg
Compressor 1CF (centrifugal high-pressure)
Turbine 2HP (two-stage high-pressure turbine), 2PT (two-stage power turbine)

 

$4 billion contract

Bell Boeing Joint Program Office, Amarillo, Texas, is awarded $4,191,533,822 for modification P00008 to convert the previously awarded V-22 tiltrotor aircraft advance acquisition contract (N00019-17-C-0015) to a fixed-price-incentive-fee multiyear contract. This contract provides for the manufacture and delivery of 39 CMV-22B aircraft for the U.S. Navy; 14 MV-22B aircraft for the U.S. Marine Corps; one CV-22B for the U.S. Air Force; and four MV-22B aircraft for the government of Japan.

The U.S. Navy will use its new CMV-22B for transporting personnel and cargo from shore to aircraft carriers, eventually replacing the C-2 Greyhound, which has been in service since the mid-1960s (Boeing image)
The U.S. Navy will use its new CMV-22B for transporting personnel and cargo from shore to aircraft carriers, eventually replacing the C-2 Greyhound, which has been in service since the mid-1960s (Boeing image)

«Bell Boeing is pleased to extend production of the V-22, supporting our warfighters with one of the most versatile and in-demand platforms in the U.S. arsenal», said Chris Gehler, Bell Vice President for the V-22 Program. «This multiyear production contract provides program production stability through at least 2024».

The U.S. Navy will use its new CMV-22B for transporting personnel and cargo from shore to aircraft carriers, eventually replacing the C-2 Greyhound, which has been in service since the mid-1960s.

«By combining aircraft for three services and a key U.S. Ally into one multiyear order, the U.S. Navy gets more capability for its procurement dollar», said Kristin Houston, Vice President, Boeing Tiltrotor Programs and Director, Bell Boeing V-22 Program. «It also enables the U.S. Navy to begin advancing its carrier onboard delivery fleet with modern tiltrotor aircraft. It’s a true win-win».

 

CMV-22B Specifications

Primary Function Airborne Re-supply/Logistics to the Seabase (AR/LSB)
Contractor Bell-Boeing
Propulsion Two Rolls-Royce Liberty AE1107C engines, each delivering 6,150 shaft horsepower/4,586 kW
Length 63 feet/19.2 m
Wingspan 84.6 feet/25.8 m with rotors turning
Height 22 feet, 1 inch/6.73 m with nacelles vertical
Weight Maximum gross, vertical take-off: 52,600 lbs./23,859 kg; Short take-off; 57,000 lbs./25,855 kg (testing in progress to increase)
Airspeed Cruise: 269 knots/310 mph/498 km/h
Ceiling 25,000 feet/7,620 m
Range 1,165 NM/1340 miles/2,158 km
Crew 4 – pilot, copilot, crew chief, second aircrewman; 23 passengers

 

$484 million order

Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation (OSK) company, announced today that the U.S. Army has placed a $484 million order for 1,574 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV) and associated installed and packaged kits.

This latest order follows the completion of the Multiservice Operational Test and Evaluation (MOT&E) conducted by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps and further demonstrates that the JLTV program continues to be a top modernization priority for our armed services
This latest order follows the completion of the Multiservice Operational Test and Evaluation (MOT&E) conducted by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps and further demonstrates that the JLTV program continues to be a top modernization priority for our armed services

«This latest order follows the completion of the Multiservice Operational Test and Evaluation (MOT&E) conducted by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps and further demonstrates that the JLTV program continues to be a top modernization priority for our armed services», said George Mansfield, Vice President and General Manager of Joint Programs at Oshkosh Defense. «The JLTV is ready to support our troops, and we look forward to getting more soldiers and Marines into this extremely mobile, protected, and proven next-generation light tactical vehicle».

In addition to the recently completed operational testing, the JLTV also completed Reliability Qualification Testing earlier this year, accumulating over 100,000 miles and exceeding reliability requirements.

To date, Oshkosh has produced more than 2,000 JLTVs and has delivered more than 1,600 JLTVs to the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. A Full Rate Production (FRP) decision is expected in FY19.

Polar System

Northrop Grumman Corporation reached a significant milestone in the Enhanced Polar System (EPS) Control and Planning Segment (CAPS) program last fall when the U.S. Air Force signed the DD-250, representing formal acceptance of EPS CAPS by the customer.

Northrop Grumman Enhanced Polar System Control and Planning Segment Accepted by US Air Force
Northrop Grumman Enhanced Polar System Control and Planning Segment Accepted by US Air Force

This milestone marks the completion of a five-year effort to design, develop, test and deliver the EPS CAPS for the Military Satellite Communications Systems Directorate (MILSATCOM) and the beginning of a new effort, valued at $23 million, to extend the company’s support role through December 2018.

«Our commitment to quality and performance underpinned our ability to deliver on a ground system of this complexity and strategic importance», said Kenny Robinson, vice president, strategic force programs, Northrop Grumman. «We worked closely with our customer to meet all acceptance criteria, leading to a high-quality product that meets, and in many cases, exceeds functional, performance and security requirements. We are proud to serve as a mission partner on EPS CAPS and committed to supporting the Air Force as we prepare for initial operating capacity».

The U.S. Air Force’s EPS provides secure, jam-resistant satellite communications coverage to forces in the North Polar Region (above 65 degrees north latitude) in support of national objectives. CAPS is a next-generation ground system that receives telemetry and supplies configuration commands, mission planning and cryptographic planning for the two EPS polar-orbiting payloads.

Completion of the DD-250 milestone required meeting a set of rigorous acceptance criteria. This included complying with the Security Technical Implementation Guide, which is published by the Defense Information Systems Agency to help government and commercial computer networks achieve maximum security.

«Typically, ground systems take between 8-10 years to complete. However, in just under five years, the EPS CAPS team completed a full life-cycle of requirements, design, development, testing and acceptance to complete this effort», added Robinson.

The follow-on support contract started September 2017 and will span 15 months to include operations and maintenance of EPS CAPS during testing of the overall system.

Northrop Grumman was awarded the original contract in November 2012 to develop, build and deliver EPS CAPS. The MILSATCOM directorate at the Air Force’s Space and Missile System Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, is acquiring EPS and EPS CAPS.

Primary design, development and testing was performed in Redondo Beach, California, with additional CAPS work performed in Orlando, Florida, and Needham and Marlborough, Massachusetts.