The U.S. Air Force has conducted a test launch of unarmed LGM-30G Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
The Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) says in a statement the missile was launched at 11:01 p.m. Tuesday November 6, 2018, to determine the accuracy and reliability of the system and such tests «are not related to any real-world events».
The command says the missile’s re-entry vehicle reached its intended target but details about the test can’t be released.
The Air Force tests Minuteman missiles by launching them from California to a target in the Pacific Ocean.
In July, a missile was intentionally destroyed over the Pacific due to an unspecified in-flight anomaly.
The Air Force Global Strike Command is located at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.
Intercontinental Ballistic Missile
Three solid-propellant rocket motors: first stage ATK refurbished M55A1; second stage ATK refurbished SR-19; third stage ATK refurbished SR-73
Technologies chemical systems division thrust
first stage: 203,158 pounds/92,151 kg; second stage: 60,793 pounds/27,575 kg; third stage: 35,086 pounds/15,915 kg
79,432 pounds/36,030 kg
5.5 feet/1.67 m
5,218 NM/6,005 miles/9,664 km
approximately Mach 23/15,000 mph/24,000 km/h at burnout
Speaking ahead of this week’s NATO conference, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced that the Ministry of Defence is in discussion with Boeing and the Royal Australian Air Force about the potential for the E-7 Wedgetail radar aircraft to replace the current Sentry fleet.
The E-7 Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) System is able to fly for long periods of time and manage the battlespace from the sky, providing situational awareness and tracking multiple airborne and maritime targets at the same time. It then uses the information it gathers to direct other assets like fighter jets and warships. It has already been proven on operations in the battle against Daesh in Iraq and Syria.
Further discussions are set to take place before any investment decision is made, as the MOD follows a stringent approvals process to ensure the aircraft meets the military requirement and represents value-for-money. If selected, UK industry could be involved significantly with the programme, from modification work to through life support.
Speaking ahead of the meeting of Defence Ministers in NATO, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: «The Wedgetail is the stand-out performer in our pursuit of a new battlespace surveillance aircraft, and has already proved itself in Iraq and Syria. Running air operations from the sky, it could be an excellent asset for the RAF and give us a real edge in this increasingly complex world. Our future with Australia will already see us operate the same maritime patrol aircraft, world-class Type 26 warships and supersonic F-35 jets. Wedgetail may join that formidable armoury and help us work together to take on the global threats that we both face».
Following market analysis and discussions with other potential providers, the MOD has concluded that the potential procurement of the E-7 represents the best value for money option for the UK against need, whilst representing a significant opportunity for increased defence cooperation and collaboration with our key ally Australia.
The MOD will work closely with Boeing to ensure Britain’s leading defence industry could also benefit from any deal.
Named after Australia’s largest bird of prey, the wedge-tailed eagle, the high-performing aircraft has been proven on operations with the Royal Australian Air Force, having seen action against Daesh over Syria and Iraq and impressing US Forces in the ‘Red Flag’ series of large-scale exercises.
The Wedgetail uses a standard Boeing 737 airliner modified to carry a sophisticated Northrop Grumman active electronically-scanned radar and can cover four million square kilometres over a single 10-hour period. If selected, it would replace the E-3D Sentry, which entered service in 1992.
It is a proven and reliable aircraft that has been in-Service with the Royal Australian Air Force for some time, with potential to considerably reduce the risk normally associated with acquiring a complex new platform of this nature. The aircraft is based on the Boeing 737 airliner family as is the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft due to enter service in 2019.
The news represents a further development of the UK’s increasingly close military capability and industrial relationship with Australia, who recently selected the British Type 26 design for its future frigate. That decision confirmed the UK’s world-leading ship design capabilities, whilst strengthening collaboration in anti-submarine warfare and demonstrating the value of the global five-eyes partnership.
With its proven interoperability, the Wedgetail could also link up with the RAF’s latest arrival, the F-35 Lightning, providing pilots with the latest intelligence and situational awareness demonstrating how a modernised next generation Air Force can fight and win in an increasingly complex and dangerous environment, characterised by high speed and low observability.
With Australia also a partner in the F-35 programme, the RAF and the Royal Australian Air Force will have further opportunities to work together across platforms and with other allies such as the United States to share and collect data and conduct joint training missions, all leading to faster, more effective and more integrated combat forces.
Boeing will provide its MH-139 helicopter and related support to the U.S. Air Force to replace the more than 40-year-old UH-1N «Huey» helicopters used to protect America’s intercontinental ballistic missile bases.
The program awarded on September 24, 2018, is valued at $2.4 billion for up to 84 helicopters, training devices and associated support equipment.
«We’re grateful for the Air Force’s confidence in our MH-139 team», said David Koopersmith, vice president and general manager, Boeing Vertical Lift. «The MH-139 exceeds mission requirements, it’s also ideal for VIP transport, and it offers the Air Force up to $1 billion in acquisition and lifecycle cost savings».
The MH-139 derives from the Leonardo AW139, which is used by more than 270 governments, militaries and companies worldwide. Leonardo will assemble the helicopters at its northeast Philadelphia plant, with Boeing integrating military-specific components at its facility south of that city.
The contract also includes operations, maintenance, training systems and support equipment for the MH-139 aircraft.
«We’re proud to provide the U.S. Air Force with solutions across the entire services ecosystem», said Ed Dolanski, president of U.S. Government Services, Boeing Global Services. «With the AW139 platform’s more than 2 million flight hours and established supply chain, we look forward to applying our expertise to drive cost savings while supporting mission readiness».
Rolls-Royce engines have been selected by Boeing to power the U.S. Navy’s new MQ-25 Stingray aircraft, which will provide unmanned, carrier-based air-to-air refuelling.
The U.S. Navy has awarded the MQ-25A engineering and manufacturing contract to Boeing to provide four aircraft. The MQ-25 is designed to provide the U.S. Navy with a much-needed refuelling capability and extend the range of combat aircraft from carriers.
Each MQ-25 aircraft will be powered by a single Rolls-Royce AE 3007N engine, manufactured in Indianapolis, U.S. The AE 3007N, the latest variant of the Rolls-Royce AE family of engines, will provide more than 10,000 lbs./4,536 kg of thrust and additional electrical power to the aircraft.
Jarrett Jones, Rolls-Royce, Executive Vice President, Customer Business, Government Relations and Sales, said: «Congratulations to Boeing for being selected to develop this historic aircraft in support of the U.S. Navy. For Rolls-Royce, it will expand our Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) expertise with unmanned aircraft in the U.S. Navy fleet, which includes the Triton and Fire Scout aircraft».
The proven Rolls-Royce AE family of engines includes turbofan, turboprop and turboshaft variants, and the total AE engine fleet has accumulated more than 74 million engine flight hours. AE engines power aircraft for the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, and a variety of military and civilian aircraft in service around the world. Rolls-Royce has delivered nearly 7,000 AE engines from the company’s advanced manufacturing facility in Indianapolis.
The AE 3007H turbofan engine powers the U.S. Navy’s Triton and the Air Force Global Hawk, as well as commercial and business aviation aircraft. The AE 2100 turboprop powers the Lockheed Martin C-130J and LM-100J, as well as the C-27J and Saab 2000; and the AE 1107C turboshaft powers the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey operated by the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force. The MT7, a marinized variant of the AE 1107, will power the U.S. Navy’s Ship-to-Shore Connector hovercraft.
The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Republic of Korea (ROK) of six (6) P-8A Patrol Aircraft for an estimated cost of $2.10 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on September 13, 2018.
The Republic of Korea (ROK) has requested to buy six (6) P-8A Patrol Aircraft, which includes:
nine (9) Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio Systems 5 (MIDS JTRS 5) (one (1) for each aircraft, one (1) for the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) and two (2) as spares);
fourteen (14) LN-251 with Embedded Global Positioning Systems (GPS)/Inertial Navigations Systems (EGIs) (two (2) for each aircraft and two (2) as spares);
forty-two (42) AN/AAR-54 Missile Warning Sensors (six (6) for each aircraft and six (6) as spares).
Also included are:
Tactical Open Mission Software (TOMS);
Electro-Optical (EO) and Infrared (IO) MX-20HD;
AN/AAQ-2(V)1 Acoustic System;
ALQ-240 Electronic Support Measures;
AN/ALE-47 Counter Measures Dispensing System;
operation support systems;
software, engineering, and logistics technical assistance;
foreign liaison officer support;
contractor engineering technical services;
repair and return;
other associated training, logistics, support equipment and services.
The total estimated program cost is $2.1 billion.
The ROK is one of the closest allies in the INDOPACOM Theater. The proposed sale will support U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives by enhancing Korea’s naval capabilities to provide national defense and significantly contribute to coalition operations.
The ROK procured and has operated U.S.-produced P-3 Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) for over 25 years, providing interoperability and critical capabilities to coalition maritime operations. The ROK has maintained a close MSA acquisition and sustainment relationship with the U.S. Navy over that period. The proposed sale will allow the ROK to modernize and sustain its MSA capability for the next 30 years. As a long-time P-3 operator, the ROK will have no difficulty transitioning its MSA force to P-8A.
The proposed sale of this equipment and support does not alter the basic military balance in the region.
The prime contractor will be The Boeing Company, Seattle, WA. Additional contractors include:
Air Cruisers Co LLC;
Arnprior Aerospace, Canada;
AVOX Zodiac Aerospace;
Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC)/EMS;
DLS or ViaSat, Carlsbad, California;
Exelis, McLean, Virginia;
GC Micro, Petaluma, California;
General Electric, UK;
Northrop Grumman Corp, Falls Church, Virginia;
Pole Zero, Cincinnati, Ohio;
Raytheon, Waltham, Massachusetts;
Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids, Iowa;
Spirit Aero, Wichita, Kansas;
Symmetries Telephonics, Farmingdale, New York;
Terma, Arlington, Virginia;
The purchaser typically requests offsets. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale. Any offset agreement will be defined in negotiations between the Purchaser and the prime contractor.
Implementation of this proposed sale will require approximately three (3) U.S. government personnel and ten (10) contractor personnel to support the program in country.
There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.
This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.
123.6 feet/37.64 m
42.1 feet/12.83 m
129.5 feet/39.47 m
2 × CFM56-7B engines
27,000 lbs./12,237 kgf/120 kN thrust
490 knots/564 mph/908 km/h
1,200 NM/1,381 miles/2,222 km with 4 hours on station
In Greek mythology, a phoenix is an extraordinary bird that is born again, rising from the ashes of its predecessor.
A video aptly titled, «The Phoenix Rises», played at a ceremony held August 27 in Hangar 1635 to celebrate the rebirth of one of the original F-22 Raptors ever built.
Base leadership joined the 411th Flight Test Squadron and F-22 Combined Test Force, along with Lockheed Martin and Boeing representatives, to welcome back to life Raptor #91-4006, which has been on the ground for almost six years.
The fifth-generation fighter was one of the first F-22 Raptors to have avionics installed for testing and has been at the 411th FLTS since it arrived in May 2001.
However, in November 2012, Raptor 4006 needed costly upgrades and the decision was made to put it into storage, possibly never to fly again due to the budget sequestration at the time, according to Lieutenant Colonel Lee Bryant, 411th FLTS commander and F-22 CTF director.
«This was a gainfully employed airplane when she was working», said Steve Rainey, Lockheed Martin F-22 chief test pilot and member of the F-22 CTF. Rainey also emceed the ceremony.
After eventually getting approval and funding from the Air Force to overhaul the Raptor, a «purple» team of Air Force, Lockheed and Boeing personnel worked for 27 months here at Edwards to restore the jet back to flying status. This included 25,000 man-hours and almost 11,000 individual fixes/parts. The completed refurbishment extends the Raptor’s life from 2,000 flight hours to 4,000 FH and gives it newer avionics systems for testing.
Rainey was the first military F-22 Raptor pilot while in the Air Force and has worked on the Raptor program almost since its beginning. It was only fitting that the rise of the new phoenix was completed July 17 when Rainey took the newly refurbished Raptor to the sky for its «second first flight».
Raptor 4006 is currently the oldest flying F-22. It will now be used as a flight sciences aircraft, which will be an integral part of F-22 fleet modernization.
«It increases our test fleet from three to four giving us another flight sciences jet», said Bryant. «This will help us tackle the expanding F-22 modernization program».
Brigadier General E. John Teichert, 412th Test Wing commander, said he has flown 4006 numerous times when was assigned to the 411th FLTS as a project pilot and later as a squadron commander.
«Our warfighter needs her back flying again», said Teichert.
Today, the Air Force has 183 Raptors in its inventory and boasts that the F-22 cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft.
The F-22 Raptor’s combination of stealth, supercruise capability, maneuverability and integrated avionics, coupled with improved supportability, represents an exponential leap in warfighting capabilities from previous generations of fighters. The Raptor performs both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions allowing full realization of operational concepts vital to the 21st century Air Force.
Boeing will build the U.S. Navy’s first operational carrier-based unmanned aircraft, the MQ-25 Stingray aerial refueler, through an $805 million contract awarded on August 30, 2018.
Boeing was awarded the engineering and manufacturing development contract to provide four aircraft. Boeing plans to perform the MQ-25 Stingray work in St. Louis.
«As a company, we made an investment in both our team and in an unmanned aircraft system that meets the U.S. Navy’s refueling requirements», said Leanne Caret, president and CEO, Boeing Defense, Space & Security. «The fact that we’re already preparing for first flight is thanks to an outstanding team who understands the Navy and their need to have this important asset on carrier decks around the world».
MQ-25 Stingray is designed to provide the U.S. Navy with a much-needed refueling capability. According to the U.S. Navy, the MQ-25 Stingray will allow for better use of combat strike fighters by extending the range of deployed Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, Boeing EA-18G Growler, and Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II aircraft. MQ-25 Stingray will also seamlessly integrate with a carrier’s catapult and launch and recovery systems.
«MQ-25A is a hallmark acquisition program», said Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, and Acquisition James F. Geurts. «This program is a great example of how the acquisition and requirements communities work hand in hand to rapidly deliver capabilities to our Sailors and Marines in the fleet».
When operational, MQ-25 Stingray will improve the performance, efficiency, and safety of the carrier air wing and provide longer range and greater persistence tanking capability to execute missions that otherwise could not be performed.
«This is an historic day», said Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson. «We will look back on this day and recognize that this event represents a dramatic shift in the way we define warfighting requirements, work with industry, integrate unmanned and manned aircraft, and improve the lethality of the airwing – all at relevant speed. Everyone who helped achieve this milestone should be proud we’re here. But we have a lot more to do. It’s not the time to take our foot off the gas. Let’s keep charging».
The award is the culmination of a competitive source selection process supported by personnel from Naval Air Systems Command and the Unmanned Carrier Aviation program office (PMA-268) at Patuxent River.
MQ-25 is an accelerated acquisition program that expedites decisions that will enable rapid actions with less overhead. The intent is to significantly reduce development timelines from contract award to initial operational capability by five to six years. By reducing the number of key performance parameters to mission tanking and carrier suitability, industry has increased flexibility to rapidly design a system that meets those requirements.
Boeing has been providing carrier aircraft to the U.S. Navy for more than 90 years.
The U.S. Air Force will announce a winner in its T-X Advanced Pilot Training System competition this summer, and Boeing’s T-X team is ready.
«This is an exciting time», said Ted Torgerson, T-X senior director. «Only our (Boeing) T-X is built specifically for the U.S. Air Force. Our new, flexible design meets all requirements and can evolve as technologies, missions and training needs change».
Boeing designed, built and flew the first T-X in only 36 months. «We built a special culture here with T-X. Our team dedicated a lot of time and talent to it, and we have already accomplished incredible things. I’m proud to be a member of this team», added Torgerson.
Boeing’s T-X team shares a common view of the program and each other.
«Collectively we’ve worked hard and have been dedicated to developing new techniques and shaping new ideas for the common goal of delivering a new T-X aircraft and ground-based training system that will help train the next generation of pilots», said Jim Robinson, T-X ground-based training systems lead engineer.
A Boeing T-X win will support 17,000 U.S. jobs in 34 states.
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.
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».
Aerial refueling and airlift
The Boeing Company
2 × Pratt & Whitney 4062
62,000 lbs./275.790 kN/28,123 kgf – Thrust per High-Bypass engine (sea-level standard day)
157 feet, 8 inches/48.1 m
165 feet, 6 inches/50.5 m
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
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
360 KCAS (Knots Calibrated AirSpeed)/0.86 M/414 mph/667 km/h
43,100 feet/13,137 m
7,299 NM/8,400 miles/13,518 km
18 pallet positions
15 permanent seats for aircrew, including aeromedical evacuation aircrew
58 total (normal operations); up to 114 total (contingency operations)
58 patients (24 litters/34 ambulatory) with the AE Patient Support Pallet configuration; 6 integral litters carried as part of normal aircraft configuration equipment
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.
«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».
Airborne Re-supply/Logistics to the Seabase (AR/LSB)
Two Rolls-Royce Liberty AE1107C engines, each delivering 6,150 shaft horsepower/4,586 kW
63 feet/19.2 m
84.6 feet/25.8 m with rotors turning
22 feet, 1 inch/6.73 m with nacelles vertical
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)
Cruise: 269 knots/310 mph/498 km/h
25,000 feet/7,620 m
1,165 NM/1340 miles/2,158 km
4 – pilot, copilot, crew chief, second aircrewman; 23 passengers