Tag Archives: Boeing

Second T-X
Takes Flight

Boeing and partner Saab have completed the first flight of their second production-ready T-X aircraft, which is identical to the first and designed specifically for the U.S. Air Force advanced pilot training requirement.

Designed for U.S. Air Force, Boeing T-X proves low risk, performance, manufacturing repeatability
Designed for U.S. Air Force, Boeing T-X proves low risk, performance, manufacturing repeatability

During the one-hour flight, lead T-X Test Pilot Steve Schmidt and Boeing Test Pilot for Air Force Programs Matt Giese validated key aspects of the aircraft and further demonstrated the low-risk and performance of the design, proving its repeatability in manufacturing.

«The jet handled exactly like the first aircraft and the simulator, meeting all expectations», said Giese. «The front and back cockpits work together seamlessly and the handling is superior. It’s the perfect aircraft for training future generations of combat pilots».

Both pilots trained for the flight using the complete Boeing T-X system, which includes ground-based training and simulation.

«Our successful flight test program is a testament to the fact that our offering is the right choice for the U.S. Air Force», said Schmidt. «This aircraft was built to Air Force requirements and designed to fulfill the Air Education and Training Command mission».

The Boeing T-X aircraft has one engine, twin tails, stadium seating, and an advanced cockpit with embedded training. The all-new, purpose-built design offers flexibility to evolve as technology, missions, and training needs change.

Boeing and Saab revealed their design in September 2016 and flew the first aircraft last December.

T-X will replace the Air Force’s aging T-38 aircraft. Initial operating capability is planned for 2024.

Swedish defense and security company Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions ranging from military defense to civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents and constantly develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers’ changing needs. Saab is a $4 billion business with approximately 14,000 employees in about 35 countries.

First Australian
Growler

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, today welcomed the first EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft to the Royal Australian Air Force. Flying into the Australian International Airshow at Avalon from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in the United States, the Growlers are a potent and technologically advanced new capability for the Australian Defence Force.

An EA-18G Growler aircraft arrives at Avalon for the 2017 Australian International Airshow
An EA-18G Growler aircraft arrives at Avalon for the 2017 Australian International Airshow

Minister Payne said the Growler was a true force-multiplier. «The Growler can disrupt military electronic systems, such as radars, to protect personnel and improve situational awareness», Minister Payne said. «Australia is the only country outside the United States flying the EA-18G Growler and its arrival is a significant leap forward in Australia’s joint electronic warfare capability and introduces a dedicated electronic attack option», Minister Payne said.

Minister Payne today also announced that Australia will partner with the United States to develop a next-generation radar and radio jammer for the Growler. «This is a $250 million investment by the Turnbull Government that will future proof the Growler’s capability», Minister Payne said. «As this is a rapidly evolving area we will work in partnership with the United States Navy to develop the next generation jamming capability, which will ensure that these aircraft remain at the technological forefront throughout their service life».

The Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Leo Davies, said the Growler was a vital part of Air Force’s evolution to a future fifth-generation Air Force. «The EA-18G Growler will operate as part of our networked and integrated force, capable of sharing electronic intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data with other aircraft, as well as with the Army and Navy. The Growler is powerful and flexible. It can undertake a range of non-kinetic tasks, ranging from jamming, to blocking radar displays, and suppressing an adversary’s air defence system», Air Marshal Davies said.

Australia has purchased 12 EA-18G Growlers, which will be delivered to RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland by the middle of 2017.

 

Technical Specifications

Length 60.2 feet/18.3 m
Height 16 feet/4.9 m
Wing Span 44.9 feet/13.7 m
Weight Empty 33,094 lbs/15,011.2 kg
Recovery Weight 48,000 lbs/21,772.4 kg
Internal Fuel 13,940 lbs/6,323.1 kg
Maximum External Fuel 9,744 lbs/4,419.8 kg
Engines 2 × F414-GE-400
Thrust 44,000 lbs/19,958 kgf/195.72 kN
Spot Factor 1.23
Crew One Pilot, one Weapon Systems Officer

 

Tanker Production Lot

The U.S. Air Force today awarded Boeing $2.1 billion for 15 KC-46A Pegasus tanker aircraft, spare engines and wing air refueling pod kits. This order is the third low-rate initial production lot for Boeing. The first two came in August 2016 and included seven and 12 planes, respectively, as well as spare parts.

The KC-46A Pegasus is a multirole tanker that can refuel allied and coalition military aircraft and also carry passengers, cargo and patients (Boeing photo)
The KC-46A Pegasus is a multirole tanker that can refuel allied and coalition military aircraft and also carry passengers, cargo and patients (Boeing photo)

Boeing plans to build 179 of the 767-based refueling aircraft for the U.S. Air Force to replace its legacy tanker fleet. Tanker deliveries will begin later this year.

«This award is great news for the joint Boeing-Air Force team and reinforces the need for this highly efficient and capable tanker aircraft», said Mike Gibbons, Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tanker vice president and program manager. «Our Boeing industry team is hard at work building and testing KC-46 Pegasus aircraft, and we look forward to first delivery».

«Placing an order for another 15 aircraft is another important milestone for the KC-46 Pegasus program», said Colonel John Newberry, U.S. Air Force KC-46 Pegasus System program manager. «I know the warfighter is excited about bringing this next generation capability into the inventory».

Boeing received an initial contract in 2011 to design and develop the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation tanker aircraft. As part of that contract, Boeing built four test aircraft – two configured as 767-2Cs and two as KC-46A Pegasus tankers. Those test aircraft, along with the first production plane, have completed nearly 1,500 flight hours to date.

The KC-46A Pegasus is a multirole tanker that can refuel all allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures and can carry passengers, cargo and patients.

Boeing is assembling KC-46 Pegasus aircraft at its Everett, Washington, facility.

 

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

 

50th P-8A Poseidon

The U.S. Navy accepted its 50th P-8A Poseidon (P-8A) aircraft at the Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Florida on January 5, 2017. The Navy’s Poseidon is replacing the legacy P-3 Orion and will improve an operator’s ability to efficiently conduct anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. The P-8A program of record calls for a total requirement for 117 of the 737-based anti-submarine warfare jets.

Navy partnership hits milestone, 50th P-8A delivered
Navy partnership hits milestone, 50th P-8A delivered

«I’d like to formally thank the team, including PMA-290, Boeing and our entire P-8A industry team, as we deliver the 50th P-8A Poseidon early and under budget», said Captain Tony Rossi, the Navy’s program manager for Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft. «This milestone demonstrates outstanding work ethic, professionalism and dedication to the fleet».

«The P-8A is special», added Rossi. «This is the first time a Navy combat aircraft was built from the ground up on a commercial production line. We’ve leveraged commercial expertise and experience, and a highly reliable airframe, the 737, which has reduced production time and overall production costs». Since the initial contract award, the program has reduced P-8 costs by more than 30 percent and has saved the U.S. Navy more than $2.1 Billion.

«Together, we and our industry partners are transforming today’s maritime patrol and reconnaissance force for the evolving threats and diverse mission requirements», he said. «This replacement for the P-3C builds on lessons-learned, while enhancing those capabilities with unique features, such as an electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor turret and increased acoustic processing capability with 64 passive sonobuoys, 32 multistatic sonobuoys and concurrent passive and active processing».

The fleet’s transformation from the legacy P-3C to the P-8A is expected to be completed by Fiscal Year 2019.

As of April 2016, all six active and one fleet replacement squadron at NAS Jacksonville have completed their fleet transition training from the P-3C to the P-8A and the first west coast P-8A squadron, VP-4, has relocated its home port from Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. All squadrons will complete transition training by Fiscal Year 2019.

 

Technical Specifications

Wing Span 123.6 feet/37.64 m
Height 42.1 feet/12.83 m
Length 129.5 feet/39.47 m
Propulsion 2 × CFM56-7B engines
27,000 lbs/12,237 kgf/120 kN thrust
Speed 490 knots/564 mph/908 km/h
Range 1,200 NM/1,381 miles/2,222 km with 4 hours on station
Ceiling 41,000 feet/12,496 m
Crew 9
Maximum Take-Off Gross Weight 189,200 lbs/85,820 kg

 

T-X First Flight

Boeing and partner Saab on 20 December 2016 completed the first flight of their all-new T-X aircraft, which is designed specifically for the U.S. Air Force’s training requirements.

Boeing and partner Saab on 20 December 2016 completed the first flight of their all-new T-X aircraft, which is designed specifically for the U.S. Air Force’s training requirements (Boeing photo)
Boeing and partner Saab on 20 December 2016 completed the first flight of their all-new T-X aircraft, which is designed specifically for the U.S. Air Force’s training requirements (Boeing photo)

During the 55-minute flight, lead T-X Test Pilot Steven Schmidt and Chief Pilot for Air Force Programs Dan Draeger, who was in the seat behind Schmidt, validated key aspects of the single-engine jet and demonstrated the performance of the low-risk design.

«I’ve been a part of this team since the beginning, and it was really exciting to be the first to train and fly», Schmidt said. «The aircraft met all expectations. It’s well designed and offers superior handling characteristics. The cockpit is intuitive, spacious and adjustable, so everything is within easy reach».

«It was a smooth flight and a successful test mission», Draeger added. «I had a great all-around view throughout the flight from the instructor’s seat, which is critical during training».

Both pilots trained for the flight using the complete Boeing T-X system, which includes ground-based training and simulation.

With one engine, twin tails, stadium seating and an advanced cockpit with embedded training, the Boeing T-X is more affordable and flexible than older, existing aircraft.

Boeing and Saab revealed their first two T-X aircraft in September. The second is currently in ground testing and expected to fly in early 2017.

T-X will replace the Air Force’s aging T-38 aircraft. Initial Operating Capability (IOC) is planned for 2024.

Finnish fighter

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Finland for F/A-18 Mid-Life Upgrade Program and related support, equipment, and training. The estimated cost is $156 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on December 2, 2016.

Finland has expanded the scope of the mid-life update of its F-18C Hornet fighters, some of which are seen here during an exercise in the Netherlands, and which will now include MIDS-JTRS terminals (USAFE photo)
Finland has expanded the scope of the mid-life update of its F-18C Hornet fighters, some of which are seen here during an exercise in the Netherlands, and which will now include MIDS-JTRS terminals (USAFE photo)

The Government of Finland has requested a possible sale of follow-on equipment and support for Finland’s F/A-18 Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) program, consisting of: Ninety (90) Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio System (MIDS-JTRS) variant(s). The proposed program support also includes software test and integration center upgrades, flight testing, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, transportation, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support. Total estimated program cost is $156 million.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United State by helping to improve the security of a friendly country which has been and continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe.

The Finnish Air Force (FAF) intend to purchase this MLU program equipment and services to extend the useful life of its F/A-18 fighter aircraft and enhance their survivability and communications connectivity. The FDF needs this upgrade to keep pace with technology advances in sensors, weaponry, and communications. Finland has extensive experience operating the F/A-18 aircraft and will have no difficulty incorporating the upgraded capabilities into its forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The principal contractors will be Raytheon in Waltham, Massachusetts; Lockheed Martin in Bethesda, Maryland; The Boeing Company in St. Louis, Missouri; BAE North America in Arlington, Virginia; General Electric in Fairfield, Connecticut; General Dynamics in West Falls Church, Virginia; Northrop Grumman in Falls Church, Virginia; Rockwell Collins in Cedar rapids, Iowa; ViaSat in Carlsbad, California; and Data Link Solutions in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require multiple trips to Finland involving U.S. Government and contractor representatives for technical reviews, support, and training.

Poseidon in Australia

Australia’s first P-8A arrived in the capital city of Canberra November 16, carrying Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, The Honourable Christopher Pyne, Minister for Defence Industry, The Honourable Peter Dutton, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection and other senior government leaders.

First P-8A Poseidon Arrives in Australia
First P-8A Poseidon Arrives in Australia

«The Poseidon is a cutting-edge surveillance and anti-submarine aircraft which will dominate the skies around our nation’s coastline», Prime Minister Turnbull said. «We just had a demonstration of some of the very impressive capabilities on board this morning. It is a potent and highly versatile aircraft».

This is the first of eight Australian P-8As under contract with Boeing as part of a cooperative program with the U.S. Navy begun in 2009 to collaborate on the aircraft’s development. Four additional Poseidon have been approved and funded by the Australian government. In addition to the U.S. Navy, the Indian Navy flies the P-8I variant and the United Kingdom has confirmed its purchase of nine of the P-8A variant.

The P-8A Poseidon is a long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations. A derivative of the Next-Generation 737-800, the P-8A combines superior performance and reliability with an advanced mission system that ensures maximum interoperability in the future battle space. The aircraft is militarized with maritime weapons, a modern open mission system architecture, and commercial-like support for affordability.

 

Technical Specifications

Wing Span 123.6 feet/37.64 m
Height 42.1 feet/12.83 m
Length 129.5 feet/39.47 m
Propulsion 2 × CFM56-7B engines; 27,000 lbs/12,237 kgf/120 kN thrust
Speed 490 knots/564 mph/908 km/h
Range 1,200 NM/1,381 miles/2,222 km with 4 hours on station
Ceiling 41,000 feet/12,496 m
Crew 9
Maximum Take-Off Gross Weight 189,200 lbs/85,820 kg

 

First major upgrade

Australia’s Super Hornets have undergone their first major upgrade. The job was finished on budget and two weeks ahead of schedule by the Electronic Attack Enterprise team, consisting of Air Force, Defence’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, Boeing Defence Australia and Raytheon Australia.

The Royal Australian Air Force’s entire fleet of F/A-18F Super Hornet fighters have cow completed their first upgrade, as part of the Spiral Upgrade Program under which the fleet will receive incremental capability upgrades (RAAF photo)
The Royal Australian Air Force’s entire fleet of F/A-18F Super Hornet fighters have cow completed their first upgrade, as part of the Spiral Upgrade Program under which the fleet will receive incremental capability upgrades (RAAF photo)

The work was the first stage of the Super Hornet Spiral Upgrade Program under which the fleet will receive incremental capability upgrades.

The program is being conducted in parallel with the US Navy F/A-18F upgrade program to ensure the technology remains in line with the world’s largest and only other Super Hornet operator.

The 12-month Increment 1 program delivered updates to the aircraft training system, as well as to software and hardware.

These included the installation of Navigation Warfare to provide GPS navigation protection, a Distributed Targeting System to enable precision targeting, and an upgraded Solid State Recorder for the cockpit.

Five separate structural modifications to improve fatigue life and eliminate hazards were incorporated with the hardware upgrades.

OC Air Combat and Electronic Attack System Program Office Group Captain (GPCAPT) Jason Agius said the program’s success demonstrated a mature and integrated support capability.

«The completion of Increment 1 was essentially a coming-of-age for the Super Hornet support system», he said.

«It was the first time we brought together every element of the support system, from program management, logistics and engineering through to training and deeper maintenance. The project’s completion on budget and ahead of schedule is a testament to how well it worked. As prime contractor, Boeing Defence Australia exhibited ingenuity and innovation in foreseeing and addressing challenges. They used their knowledge to add value and insight at every stage and worked in close partnership with both Air Force and training system services provider Raytheon to guarantee the program’s success. The project’s completion ahead of schedule is a strategically important achievement for Air Force and one of which all involved should be proud».

Boeing Defence Australia’s Super Hornet Program Manager, Chris Gray said the program demonstrated the value of Air Force and industry working as one team.

T-X Competition

Boeing and its partner Saab AB will use their two production T-X aircraft, revealed on September 13, to show the U.S. Air Force the performance, affordability, and maintainability advantages of their approach.

The Boeing and Saab T-X aircraft (Boeing photo)
The Boeing and Saab T-X aircraft (Boeing photo)

Boeing T-X is an all-new aircraft designed specifically for the U.S. Air Force training mission, and takes advantage of the latest technologies, tools and manufacturing techniques. It is an advanced aircraft designed to evolve as technologies, missions and training needs change. The design is more affordable and flexible than older, existing aircraft.

«Our T-X is real, ready and the right choice for training pilots for generations to come», said Boeing Defense, Space & Security President and CEO Leanne Caret.

The Boeing T-X aircraft has one engine, twin tails, stadium seating and an advanced cockpit with embedded training. The system also offers state-of-the-art ground-based training and a maintenance-friendly design for long-term supportability.

«It’s an honor to build the future of Air Force training», said Saab President and CEO Håkan Buskhe. «We have created the best solution thanks to great cooperation and a clear strategy since day one».

T-X will replace the Air Force’s aging T-38 aircraft. Initial Operating Capability (IOC) is planned for 2024.

Swedish defense and security company Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions ranging from military defense to civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents and constantly develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers’ changing needs. Saab is a $4 billion business with approximately 14,000 employees in about 35 countries.

Approved for production

The KC-46A Pegasus program received Milestone C approval from Frank Kendall, the under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, signaling the aircraft is ready to enter into production. Work is now underway to award the first two low-rate initial production lots within the next 30 days.

KC-46A Tanker completes aerial refueling required for Milestone C
KC-46A Tanker completes aerial refueling required for Milestone C

«I commend the team for diligently working through some difficult technical challenges», said Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James. «The KC-46 program has made significant strides in moving the Air Force toward the modernization needed in our strategic tanker fleet».

Securing approval to begin low-rate initial production required completion of several aerial refueling demonstrations, to include refueling an F-16 Fighting Falcon, C-17 Globemaster III and A-10 Thunderbolt II off the boom, and an AV-8 Harrier II and F/A-18 Hornet off both hose and drogue systems. The KC-46 Pegasus also proved its receiver capability by taking fuel from a KC-10 Extender.

Some demonstrations were delayed due to higher than expected axial loads in the boom. Boeing installed hydraulic pressure relief valves to alleviate loads and last month all remaining demonstrations were quickly completed.

«The KC-46 is ready to take the next step», said Air Force Chief of Staff General David L. Goldfein. «Our Air Force and Boeing team stepped up to meet the recent challenges. I’m especially proud of the employees on the floor of the Boeing plant and employees of all our industry partners, who work every day to deliver game-changing capability to the warfighter. My hat’s off to them and our program leads».

The Air Force will soon award contracts to Boeing for two lots, totaling 19 aircraft, and associated spare parts for a pre-negotiated $2.8 billion combined value.

The first aircraft deliveries will be to McConnell Air Force Base (AFB), Kansas, and Altus AFB, Oklahoma. A total of 18 tankers are scheduled to be delivered by early 2018.

«I am exceedingly proud of the KC-46 program office for clearing the production hurdle», said Darlene Costello, an Air Force Service Acquisition executive. «We have crossed an important milestone, and I appreciate Boeing’s continued focus as they work to finish development prior to first aircraft delivery».

Going forward in the test program, the KC-46 Pegasus will complete a robust schedule of Federal Aviation Administration and military certification flight testing, including refueling test flights, in order to achieve certification for aircraft in the U.S. Air Force and Department of Defense inventory.

15-inch (38.1 centimeter) 787-style advanced electronic displays
15-inch (38.1 centimeter) 787-style advanced electronic displays

 

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

The KC-46A Pegasus is a widebody, multirole tanker that can refuel all U.S., allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures