Tag Archives: Boeing

FLRAA Mission Profile

The Lockheed Martin Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 DEFIANT successfully completed FLRAA mission profile test flights, including confined area landings and low-level flight operations. These flights validate DEFIANT’s relevancy to the Army’s mission, providing agility at the objective (also known as the «X»), and increased survivability, all while reducing pilot workload. View the video of the latest flight testing.

DEFIANT
The SB>1 DEFIANT Technology Demonstrator recently executed a confined area landing among the trees in south Florida as part of the Lockheed Martin Sikorsky-Boeing team’s effort to validate aircraft design and relevance to the Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft mission profile. (Lockheed Martin Sikorsky-Boeing photo)

«We fully demonstrated DEFIANT’s ability to execute the FLRAA mission profile by flying 236 knots in level flight, then reducing thrust on the propulsor to rapidly decelerate as we approached the confined, and unimproved, landing zone», said Bill Fell, DEFIANT chief flight test pilot at Sikorsky and a retired U.S. Army Master aviator. «This type of level body deceleration allowed us to maintain situational awareness and view the landing zone throughout the approach and landing without the typical nose-up helicopter deceleration. This confined area was extremely tight, requiring us to delay descent until nearly over the landing spot, followed by a near-vertical drop. We landed DEFIANT precisely on the objective with little effort as we descended into this narrow hole while maintaining clearance on all sides».

SB>1 DEFIANT is the technology demonstrator proving out transformational capabilities for the DEFIANT X weapon system, the Sikorsky-Boeing team offering for the U.S. Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) competition as part of the Army’s Future Vertical Lift program. DEFIANT X will enable crews to fly low and fast through complex terrain, where Army aviators spend most of their time. It will extend capabilities of Army Aviation on the modern battlefield – and is designed to fit in the same footprint as a BLACK HAWK. With DEFIANT X, the U.S. Army will deliver troops and cargo in future combat at twice the range of the current fleet.

«It’s what we call building combat power rapidly, and aircraft like the DEFIANT X can do that», said Tony Crutchfield, retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General and now vice president of Army Systems at Boeing. «In the Pacific, it’s even more important because your lines of operation are going to be dispersed over a wide area; you’re going to have these small bases and supply lines that’ll be positioned either on ships or on islands. You’re going to want to move more assets, maneuver in confined terrain and survive to build that combat power faster than your adversary can – so you can win».

DEFIANT X incorporates Sikorsky X2 Technology to operate at high speeds while maintaining low-speed handling qualities. This critical capability provides pilots with increased maneuverability and survivability in high-threat environments, allowing them to penetrate enemy defenses while reducing exposure to enemy fire. DEFIANT X’s X2 coaxial rotor system and pusher prop allows for a high degree of maneuverability in and around the objective which is also directly linked to survivability.

DEFIANT achievements include:

  • Greater than 60-degree banked turns.
  • Demonstrating mission-relevant cargo capacity by lifting a 5,300-pound/2,404-kg Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System external load.
  • Exceeding 245 knots/282 mph/454 km/h in level flight.
  • Demonstrated Level 1 low-speed agility with fly-by-wire controls.
  • Integration of U.S. Army test pilots into the Defiant program.
  • Based on the Collier Award-winning X2 Technology.

DEFIANT X Tech Demonstrator Shows Low-Level Flight and Confined Area Landing Capabilities

First Carrier Tests

The U.S. Navy and Boeing have successfully maneuvered the Boeing-owned T1 test asset on a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier for the first time – an early step forward in ensuring the MQ-25 Stingray unmanned aerial refueler will seamlessly integrate into carrier operations.

MQ-25 Stingray
An MQ-25 Stingray test asset conducts deck handling maneuvers, including connecting to the catapult and clearing the landing area, while underway aboard USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77). This unmanned carrier aviation demonstration marked the first time the Navy conducted testing with the MQ-25 at sea (Boeing/Tim Reinhart)

During an underway demonstration aboard the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), Navy flight deck directors – known as «yellow shirts» – used standard hand signals to direct T1 just like any other carrier-based aircraft. Instead of a pilot receiving the commands, however, it was a Boeing MQ-25 Stingray Deck Handling Operator (DHO) right beside the «yellow shirt» who commanded the aircraft using a new handheld deck control device.

«This is another significant step forward in demonstrating MQ-25’s integration into the Carrier Air Wing on the flight deck of our Fleet’s aircraft carriers», said Captain Chad Reed, Unmanned Carrier Aviation program manager. «The success of this event is a testament to the hard work of our engineers, testers, operators and the close collaboration and teaming from Naval Air Force Atlantic and the crew aboard USS George H.W. Bush CVN-77».

The demonstration was intended to ensure the design of the MQ-25 Stingray will successfully integrate into the carrier environment and to evaluate the functionality, capability and handling qualities of the deck handling system both in day and night conditions. Maneuvers included taxiing on the deck, connecting to the catapult, clearing the landing area and parking on the deck.

«The Navy has a rigorous, well-established process for moving aircraft on the carrier. Our goal was to ensure the MQ-25 Stingray fits into the process without changing it», said Jim Young, MQ-25 Stingray chief engineer. «From the design of the aircraft to the design of the system moving it, our team has worked hard to make the MQ-25 Stingray carrier suitable in every way».

DHO’s trained in Boeing’s deck handling simulation lab in St. Louis, where they practiced entering commands from simulated «yellow shirts» into the real handheld device. A simulated MQ-25 Stingray, running the aircraft’s real operational flight code and interfaces, would move accordingly. The handheld controller is a simple, easy-to-use device designed specifically for a generation of sailors who natively understand such handheld technology and have experience with controllers used in the gaming industry today.

The deck handling demonstration followed a two-year flight test campaign for the Boeing-owned T1 test asset, during which the Boeing and Navy team refueled three different carrier-based aircraft – an F/A-18 Super Hornet, an E-2D Hawkeye and an F-35C Lightning II.

«The U.S. Navy gave us two key performance parameters for the program – aerial refueling and integration onto the carrier deck», said Dave Bujold, Boeing MQ-25 program director. «We’ve shown that the MQ-25 Stingray can meet both requirements, and we’ve done it years earlier than traditional acquisition programs».

Norwegian Poseidon

The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) on November 18, 2021 accepted the first of five Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft that will be operated by the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF).

P-8A Poseidon
Boeing delivers first P-8A Poseidon to Norway

«Norway is responsible for large maritime areas in a strategically important part of the world, and the new P-8A Poseidon will represent a tremendous improvement in our ability to both protect our sovereignty and understand developments in these areas. Today’s delivery of our first P-8A Poseidon is an important milestone in the modernization of Norway’s maritime patrol aircraft capability», said Mette Sørfonden, director general of the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency. «I’m very pleased that the NDMA will soon be able to provide the Norwegian Armed Forces with a whole new generation of aircraft that will play an important role in preserving our national security for many years to come».

Norway’s first P-8A Poseidon aircraft, named Vingtor, was delivered to the NDMA during a ceremony at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington. The milestone comes four years after the NDMA entered into an agreement with the U.S. Navy for the P-8A Poseidon, and two years before the new aircraft are scheduled to begin taking over maritime patrol duties in Norway’s high north.

«We’re honored to provide this unmatched, multimission maritime patrol capability to Norway», said Stu Voboril, vice president and program manager, P-8 Poseidon Programs. «Norway joins seven other global customers that have selected or already operate the P-8 Poseidon and benefit greatly from its long-range maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare capabilities. We look forward to enhancing our continued and enduring partnership with the U.S. Navy and the Royal Norwegian Air Force, and supporting the future fleet’s sustainment and training needs».

Norway’s four remaining aircraft are all in advanced stages of production and will be delivered to the NDMA in 2022. The five P-8As will replace the RNoAF current fleet of six P-3 Orions and two DA-20 Jet Falcons and will be operated by 333 Squadron at Evenes Air Station.

Norwegian companies Nammo, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, Andoya Space and Berget currently have agreements with Boeing that are part of a tailored industrial cooperation plan related to Norway’s acquisition of five P-8A Poseidon aircraft. Boeing continues to work with the NDMA and Norwegian industry to expand that plan and support economic growth throughout Norway.

The delivery to Norway also marks the 142nd P-8 Poseidon aircraft delivered to global customers, including the U.S. Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force, the Indian Navy and the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force. First deliveries to New Zealand, Korea and Germany will take place in 2022, 2023 and 2024 respectively.

To date, the global operating P-8 Poseidon fleet has amassed more than 400,000 mishap-free flight hours. The P-8 Poseidon is a long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations. In addition, the P-8 Poseidon performs humanitarian and search and rescue missions around the globe.

Japanese Pegasus

Boeing has delivered its first KC-46A Pegasus tanker to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) marking the program’s first delivery to a customer outside the United States.

KC-46 Pegasus
Boeing Delivers First KC-46A Pegasus Tanker to Japan

«This is an exciting and historic moment for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and Boeing as Japan joins the United States with the world’s most advanced, proven and safe multi-mission combat aerial refueling capability», said James Burgess, Boeing vice president and program manager, KC-46 Pegasus Program. «We are looking forward to decades of partnership with our Japan customer to ensure aircraft mission effectiveness and enable the success of the JASDF».

The Japan KC-46A Pegasus is capable of refueling JASDF, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps aircraft. Globally, the KC-46A Pegasus has already completed more than 5,000 sorties and transferred more than 50 million pounds of fuel to other aircraft through its boom and drogue systems.

«Japan’s acquisition of KC-46A Pegasus tankers marks a significant milestone for both the program and U.S.-Japan cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region and plays a critical role in the security alliance between both countries», said Will Shaffer, president of Boeing Japan. «With its ability to carry cargo and passengers, the KC-46A Pegasus tanker can also support Japan’s humanitarian and disaster relief efforts».

The versatile, multi-role tanker carries 18 military standardized pallets (463L) in cargo configuration and accommodates a mixed load of passengers and cargo. It is also equipped with robust defensive and tactical situational awareness systems that will help Japan secure and maintain its air superiority.

The U.S. Air Force and JASDF awarded Boeing a Foreign Military Sale contract for this first JASDF KC-46A Pegasus in December 2017, and exercised an option for a second in December 2018. Options for the third and fourth JASDF KC-46As were exercised in October 2020.

Boeing builds KC-46A Pegasus aircraft for the U.S. Air Force, Japan Air Self-Defense Force and other international customers on its 767 production line in Everett, Washington. In addition, Boeing’s Japanese partners produce 16 percent of the KC-46A Pegasus airframe structure.

Boeing is currently assembling the second KC-46A Pegasus for Japan and has delivered 48 KC-46As to the U.S. Air Force, beginning with the first delivery in January 2019.

HELWS Prototype

A General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) and Boeing team has been awarded a U.S. Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) contract to develop a 300 kW-class solid state Distributed Gain High Energy Laser Weapon System. Delivery will be a 300 kW-class distributed gain laser with an integrated Boeing beam director. The objective of this contract is a demonstration of the design.

HELWS
GA-EMS and Boeing Team to Develop 300 kW-class HELWS Prototype for U.S. Army

«The high power, compact laser weapon subsystem prototype that GA-EMS will deliver under this contract will produce a lethal output greater than anything fielded to date», said Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS. «This technology represents a leap-ahead capability for air and missile defense that is necessary to support the Army’s modernization efforts and defeat next-generation threats in a multi-domain battlespace».

The partnership combines both companies’ expertise in Directed Energy to deliver best-in-class, combat-ready protection for the warfighter with unmatched speed, performance, safety and affordability. Specifically, the system will leverage GA-EMS’ scalable Distributed Gain Laser technology with Boeing’s beam director and precision acquisition, tracking and pointing software to provide a complete demonstrator with sophisticated laser and beam control.

Doctor Michael Perry, vice president for lasers and advanced sensors at GA-EMS describes the laser as «a packaged version of the 7th Generation of our Distributed Gain Design already demonstrated. The laser system employs two Gen 7 laser heads in a very compact and lightweight package. Recent architectural improvements have enabled our single-beam DG Lasers to achieve comparable beam quality to fiber lasers in a very simple design without the need for beam combination».

«We’re excited to take the next step in delivering this critical capability to the Army», said Cindy Gruensfelder, vice president and general manager of Boeing’s Missile and Weapon Systems division. «Our joint offering will leverage proven, deployed technologies to provide an industry-leading solution on an accelerated timeline».

Block II Chinook

Boeing and the U.S. Army have signed a $136 million contract for the first CH-47F Block II Chinooks.

CH-47F Block II Chinook
Currently in flight test, the CH-47F Block II Chinook brings critical modernization upgrades to the Army’s Chinook fleet (Boeing photo)

The Army exercised options for four contracted CH-47F Block II Chinooks with the aircraft scheduled for delivery beginning 2023. Separately, the Army awarded Boeing a $29 million advanced procurement contract for the second production lot of CH-47F Block II aircraft.

The Block II Chinook features multiple upgrades aimed at providing additional lift capability and increasing commonality between U.S. and allied fleets, thus reducing maintenance costs.

«This is a big step in Chinook modernization, supporting the Army’s future multi-domain vision», said Andy Builta, vice president of Cargo & Utility Helicopters and H-47 program manager. «The Block II technologies will drive commonality across the fleet and enable our soldiers to return home safely for decades».

As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defense products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries. As a top U.S. exporter, the company leverages the talents of a global supplier base to advance economic opportunity, sustainability and community impact. Boeing’s diverse team is committed to innovating for the future and living the company’s core values of safety, quality and integrity.

Five P-8A for Germany

The U.S. Navy on September 28, 2021 awarded Boeing a production contract for five P-8A Poseidon aircraft for Germany. First deliveries are slated to begin in 2024 when the P-8A Poseidon will eventually replace Germany’s fleet of P-3C Orion aircraft.

P-8A Poseidon
Boeing Awarded Contract for Five P-8A Poseidon Aircraft for Germany

«We’re pleased to have finalized this sale to Germany and to expand our footprint in-country by bringing the P-8A Poseidon and its unique multi-mission capabilities to the German Navy», said Michael Hostetter, vice president, Boeing Defense, Space & Security, Germany. «The P-8 Poseidon will ensure the German Navy’s ability to perform long-range maritime surveillance missions and will play a pivotal role in the region by leveraging existing infrastructure in Europe and full interoperability with NATO’s most advanced assets».

German industry is a critical partner with the P-8A Poseidon program. By working with local partners, Boeing will provide support, training and maintenance solutions that will bring the highest operational availability to fulfill the German Navy’s missions. On June 17, Boeing signed agreements with ESG Elektroniksystem-und Logistik-GmbH and Lufthansa Technik AG to collaborate in systems integration, training, and sustainment work. German companies that currently supply parts for the P-8A Poseidon include Aircraft Philipp Group GmbH, Aljo Aluminium-Bau Jonuscheit GmbH and Nord-Micro GmbH.

«With strategic agreements and industry partnerships already in place, we stand ready to deliver a robust sustainment package for the German Navy’s P-8A Poseidon fleet», said Doctor Michael Haidinger, president, Boeing Germany, Central & Eastern Europe, Benelux and Nordics. «Together with the German Navy, the Federal Ministry of Defense and local industry, we will ensure maximum operational availability that will allow the German Navy to meet the full range of its maritime challenges».

Deployed around the world with more than 135 aircraft in service, and over 350,000 collective mishap free flight hours, the P-8A Poseidon will significantly advance Germany’s anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and search-and-rescue mission capabilities.

Germany is the eighth nation to have acquired the P-8A Poseidon, joining the United States, Australia, India, the United Kingdom, Norway, Korea and New Zealand.

As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defense products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries. As a top U.S. exporter, the company leverages the talents of a global supplier base to advance economic opportunity, sustainability and community impact. Boeing’s diverse team is committed to innovating for the future and living the company’s core values of safety, quality and integrity.

 

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/12,497 m
Crew 9
Maximum Take-Off Gross Weight 189,200 lbs./85,820 kg

 

Mission with F-35C

The U.S. Navy and Boeing have used the MQ-25TM T1 test asset to refuel a U.S. Navy F-35C Lightning II fighter jet for the first time, once again demonstrating the aircraft’s ability to achieve its primary aerial refueling mission.

MQ-25 Stingray
Boeing’s MQ-25 T1 test asset transfers fuel to a U.S. Navy F-35C Lightning II fighter jet Sept. 13 during a flight-test mission. The U.S. Navy and Boeing have conducted three refueling flights in the past three months, including an F/A-18 Super Hornet and E-2D Hawkeye (Kevin Flynn photo)

This was the third refueling mission for the Boeing-owned test asset in just over three months, advancing the test program for the U.S. Navy’s first operational carrier-based unmanned aircraft. T1 refueled an F/A-18 Super Hornet in June and an E-2D Hawkeye in August.

«Every test flight with another Type/Model/Series aircraft gets us one step closer to rapidly delivering a fully mission-capable MQ-25 Stingray to the fleet», said Captain Chad Reed, the U.S. Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Aviation program manager. «Stingray’s unmatched refueling capability is going to increase the U.S. Navy’s power projection and provide operational flexibility to the Carrier Strike Group commanders».

During a test flight September 13, an F-35C Lightning II test pilot from the U.S. Navy’s Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two Three (VX-23) conducted a successful wake survey behind T1 to ensure performance and stability before making contact with T1’s aerial refueling drogue and receiving fuel.

«This flight was yet another physical demonstration of the maturity and stability of the MQ-25 Stingray aircraft design», said Dave Bujold, Boeing’s MQ-25 Stingray program director. «Thanks to this latest mission in our accelerated test program, we are confident the MQ-25 Stingray aircraft we are building right now will meet the U.S. Navy’s primary requirement – delivering fuel safely to the carrier air wing».

The T1 flight test program began in September 2019 with the aircraft’s first flight. In the following two years, the test program completed more than 120 flight hours – gathering data on everything from aircraft performance to propulsion dynamics to structural loads and flutter testing for strength and stability.

MQ-25 Stingray is benefitting from the two years of early flight test data, which has been integrated back into its digital models to strengthen the digital thread connecting aircraft design to production to test to operations and sustainment. Boeing is currently manufacturing the first two MQ-25 Stingray test aircraft.

T1 will be used to conduct a deck handling demonstration aboard a U.S. Navy carrier in the coming months to help advance the carrier integration progress.

Assault Aircraft

On September 7, 2021 the Sikorsky-Boeing team released the following statement on the early submittal of the proposal for DEFIANT X for the U.S. Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA).

DEFIANT X
DEFIANT X is a helicopter that offers high-speed performance while retaining traditional helicopter agility and maneuverability, delivering more combat power on the objective than other proposals for the U.S. Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft. While operating in the same footprint as the BLACK HAWK, DEFIANT X delivers transformational capability and affordability – including efficient sustainment, advanced manufacturing techniques and minimized training time and costs (Image courtesy Sikorsky and Boeing)

This statement can be attributed to Paul Lemmo, president, Sikorsky, and to Mark Cherry, vice president and general manager, Vertical Lift, Boeing Defense, Space & Security:

«Continuing a 75-year partnership with the U.S. Army, providing and sustaining the iconic BLACK HAWK, Chinook and Apache, the Sikorsky-Boeing team looks to the future with the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft – DEFIANT X. Today, Team DEFIANT completed and submitted the proposal for the U.S. Army’s FLRAA competition, offering low-risk, transformational capability that delivers on an Army critical modernization priority and advances the future of Army aviation. DEFIANT X delivers speed where it matters, survivability, unsurpassed power, maneuverability, superior handling in any environment and lower lifecycle costs – while operating in the same footprint as the BLACK HAWK. We are confident that DEFIANT X, supported by our longstanding Army industrial base suppliers, is the best choice for delivering overmatch on the Multi-Domain Operational battlefield in United States Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) and across the globe».

Rollout ceremony

Boeing, in collaboration with the U.S. Air Force and Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF), celebrated the naming and rollout of Qatar’s advanced F-15, the F-15QA Strike Eagle.

F-15QA Strike Eagle
Boeing Unveils F-15 Qatar Advanced Jets

«The rollout of the F-15QA Strike Eagle is momentous, not just in terms of capability but also in terms of the enhanced partnership it represents. The relationship the United States shares with Qatar is critical to the stability and security of the central command area of responsibility, and we are grateful for our coalition partner’s continued focus on building interoperability and combined readiness», said Lieutenant General Greg Guillot, commander of 9th Air Force. «It is a privilege and honor to stand with our Qatari counterparts this day and every day».

The first set of F-15QA Strike Eagle jets will ferry to Qatar later this year following the completion of pre-delivery pilot training.

«The Qatar F-15QA Strike Eagle program further enhanced next-generation technologies in the advanced F-15 such as the fly-by-wire flight controls, an all-glass digital cockpit and contemporary sensors, radar and electronic warfare capabilities», said Prat Kumar, vice president of the F-15 program. «Driven by digital engineering and advanced manufacturing, these aircraft represent a transformational leap for the F-15. The F-15QA Strike Eagle will enhance the superiority of the QEAF with more speed, range and payload than any fighter in the world».

Boeing has been providing maintenance and logistics support for the QEAF during pre-delivery pilot training, which began earlier this year. In addition, Boeing will establish and operate an aircrew and maintenance training center for the QEAF at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar through 2024 while also providing in-country spares and logistics support once aircraft are delivered.

«Boeing is proud to provide a holistic solution to our valued Qatari customer through tailored training and sustainment», said Torbjorn «Turbo» Sjogren, vice president of International Government & Defence for Boeing. «We look forward to our continued partnership with Qatar and further supporting their mission readiness needs».