Tag Archives: Boeing

Submarine-killer

Boeing will provide the first P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft for Australia and additional P-8As for the U.S. Navy following a $1.49 billion contract award from the Navy for 13 aircraft. The order includes nine aircraft for the U.S. Navy and four Poseidon aircrafts for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), a long-time partner to the U.S. Navy on P-8A development.

Boeing took its Next-Generation 737-800 and adapted it for the United States Navy P-8A and its variant for India the P-8I
Boeing took its Next-Generation 737-800 and adapted it for the United States Navy P-8A and its variant for India the P-8I

«By working together since the early stages of P-8A development, the U.S. and Australia have created one airplane configuration that serves the needs of both countries», said Captain Scott Dillon, U.S. Navy P-8 program manager. «The U.S. and Australian P-8As will be able to operate with each other effectively and affordably for decades to come».

This latest award puts Boeing on contract to build the Navy’s second lot of full-rate production aircraft, bringing the U.S. Navy’s fleet total to 62 P-8As. Boeing has delivered 28 Poseidon aircrafts to date.

«Delivering premier aircraft on schedule and on cost has become a hallmark of the P-8 program», said James Dodd, Boeing vice president and general manager of Mobility, Surveillance and Engagement. «We look forward to building on Boeing’s long-standing relationship with Australia by providing the quality, value and capability of the P-8A».

Based on Boeing’s Next-Generation 737-800 commercial airplane, the P-8A offers the worlds’ most advanced Anti-Submarine (ASW), Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. The U.S. Navy has deployed the first two P-8A patrol squadrons since operations started in 2013.

Australia’s participation in the P-8 program began in 2009 when the government signed the first in a series of memorandums of understanding to work with the U.S. Navy on system design and development. The U.S. Navy and the RAAF also established a joint program office that operates at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.

Production of the first Australian P-8A will begin later this year, with delivery to the RAAF scheduled for 2016. Boeing will also provide the RAAF with a complete training system for the P-8A, using simulators to train pilots and mission crews to operate the aircraft, its sensors, communications and weapons systems without relying on costly live flights.

P-8 has twice the sonobuoy processing capability and can carry 30 percent more sonobuoys than any maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft currently flying
P-8 has twice the sonobuoy processing capability and can carry 30 percent more sonobuoys than any maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft currently flying

 

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
P-8 has the ability to control unmanned air vehicles (level 2 control-receive) to extend sensor reach
P-8 has the ability to control unmanned air vehicles (level 2 control-receive) to extend sensor reach

Inmarsat Global Xpress

When the third Boeing-built Inmarsat-5 satellite, which is now in orbit, becomes fully operational later this year, it will provide the technology and coverage necessary for worldwide high-speed broadband access.

The Inmarsat-5 F3 satellite launched Friday aboard an International Launch Services (ILS) Proton Breeze M rocket from Baikonur, Kazakhstan (ILS Photo)
The Inmarsat-5 F3 satellite launched Friday aboard an International Launch Services (ILS) Proton Breeze M rocket from Baikonur, Kazakhstan (ILS Photo)

Inmarsat-5 F3 sent signals from space following its launch on August 28, on an International Launch Services Proton Breeze M launch vehicle. After reaching final orbit, the spacecraft will undergo testing and checkout before becoming operational.

«The Inmarsat Global Xpress network will be the first high-speed Ka-band broadband network to span the world», said Rupert Pearce, CEO, Inmarsat. «New technology and engineering design will allow us to steer capacity where it’s needed most and adjust to shifting subscriber usage patterns and evolving demographics over the minimum 15-year life span of the network. We can now look forward to the introduction of global GX commercial services by the end of this year».

Each of the three Inmarsat-5 satellites use fixed narrow spot beams to deliver higher speeds through more compact terminals. Steerable beams direct additional capacity in real-time to where it’s needed to provide seamless, global broadband communications coverage to Inmarsat users worldwide on land, at sea, and in the air. The first two Inmarsat-5 Global Xpress satellites were launched December 2013 and February 2015, respectively. A fourth Boeing-built Inmarsat-5 (F4) is scheduled for delivery in mid-2016.

«The 702HP (high power) satellite is ideally suited for delivering the advanced capabilities Inmarsat required for this mission», said Mark Spiwak, president, Boeing Satellite Systems International. «More than 20 of these 702HP spacecraft are in orbit now for customers, including Inmarsat, providing reliable, affordable and innovative service».

Boeing has a strategic marketing partnership with Inmarsat and currently provides both military Ka-band and commercial Global Xpress services to U.S. government customers. Boeing recently concluded an extensive demonstration program for ten U.S. government customer communities using the Inmarsat-5 F2 spacecraft.

First Growler

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) received on July 30 its first EA-18G Growler. Prime contractor Boeing and the U.S Navy formally presented the aircraft to the RAAF at a ceremony in St. Louis in the United States. Former Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Geoff Brown (ret’d), who represented the RAAF at the ceremony, confirmed that Australia would be the first nation outside the United States to fly the airborne electronic attack platform.

Boeing unveils first Royal Australian Air Force EA-18G Growler at a rollout ceremony July 29 in St. Louis, Missouri
Boeing unveils first Royal Australian Air Force EA-18G Growler at a rollout ceremony July 29 in St. Louis, Missouri

«The Growlers will complement our existing and future air combat capability, and ours will be a much more lethal force with this advanced technology», Air Marshal Brown said. «In many respects, it’s the final piece of the air power jigsaw puzzle for the RAAF, and my prediction is it will have one of the biggest strategic effects for the Australian Defence Force since the introduction of the F-111 in the 1970s».

A derivative of the F/A-18F Super Hornet, the EA-18G Growler is the only aircraft in production providing tactical jamming and electronic protection. The Growler will enhance Air Force’s current fleet of 24 Super Hornets and future fleet of F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSF), and advances «Plan Jericho», the initiative to transform the Air Force into an integrated, networked force able to deliver air power in all operating environments. Growler will also be a key enabler for both maritime and land forces.

The first aircraft to be delivered, A46-301, made its first flight on July 13 but was formally presented in front of RAAF and U.S. Navy representatives, Boeing employees and the Governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon. «The aircraft will now fly to Naval Air Station China Lake, California, for flight testing and then Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington State, where RAAF operators will continue training with U.S. Navy aircrew to gain expertise in the highly technical electronic warfare mission», Air Marshal Brown said.

The second RAAF Growler has also made its first flight, while the following 10 aircraft are in various stages of assembly at Boeing’s St. Louis plant. On current plans, all 12 aircraft will arrive in Australia by the end of 2017.

The Royal Australia Air Force’s first Growler demonstrates capabilities in its first flight demonstration
The Royal Australia Air Force’s first Growler demonstrates capabilities in its first flight demonstration

 

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

 

Fastest delivery

The seventh C-17A Globemaster III aircraft arrived in Australia at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Amberley on July 29, marking the fastest C-17A delivery in Australian fleet. Minister for Defence Kevin Andrews said the rapid acquisition of the aircraft is a testament to the close relationship that exists between Australia and the United States.

Arrival of the seventh Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster III at RAAF Base Amberley
Arrival of the seventh Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster III at RAAF Base Amberley

«The active involvement of a number of United States and Australian agencies has been pivotal in meeting the successful delivery of this aircraft and I applaud everyone involved in the acquisition program», Minister Andrews said. «This acquisition signifies considerable work opportunities for the local industry, with $300 million being spent to upgrade facilities. With its proven ability to transport heavy equipment, vehicles and helicopters in a short time frame, the C-17A’s capabilities are vital to Australia’s national security and safety».

Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Leo Davies, AO, CSC said the acquisition of two additional C-17A aircraft will increase the Australian Defence Force’s capacity to provide vital community and humanitarian assistance.

«The C-17A fleet has been integral to recent operations including the rapid deployment of Australian forces in support of the Iraq Government, assistance in the Queensland floods, and the recovery of MH17 victims from Eastern Ukraine», Air Marshal Davies said.

«This latest acquisition will bolster our existing fleet of strategic lift aircraft – providing vital heavy airlift support to a range of operations, and increase our capacity to provide swift disaster relief and humanitarian assistance at home and abroad. Under Plan Jericho, the Air Force is dedicated to developing a networked, future joint force that can respond across the spectrum – from combat to humanitarian support. An additional two C-17A aircraft will help us achieve that», Air Marshal Davies said.

The Government announced the acquisition of two additional C-17A aircraft in April 2015 representing a $1 billion investment in Australia’s security and Defence Force. The eighth C-17A is planned to arrive in Australia in late 2015.

On 29 July 2015, the seventh C-17A Globemaster III for the Royal Australian Air Force touched down at RAAF Base Amberley on its delivery flight to Australia
On 29 July 2015, the seventh C-17A Globemaster III for the Royal Australian Air Force touched down at RAAF Base Amberley on its delivery flight to Australia

 

Technical Specifications

 

External dimensions

Wingspan to winglet tip 169.8 ft/51.74 m
Length 174 ft/53.04 m
Height at tail 55.1 ft/16.79 m
Fuselage diameter 22.5 ft/6.86 m

 

Cargo compartment

Cargo compartment crew One loadmaster
Cargo floor length 68.2 ft/20.78 m
Ramp length 21.4 ft/6.52 m structural length
Loadable width 18 ft/5.49 m
Loadable height (under wing) 12.3 ft/3.76 m
Loadable height (aft of wing) 14.8 ft/4.50 m
Ramp to ground angle 9 degrees
Ramp capacity 40,000 lbs/18,144 kg
Aerial delivery system capacity
Pallets Eleven 463L(*) pallets (including 2 on ramp)
Single load airdrop 60,000 lbs/27,216 kg platform
Sequential loads airdrop 110,000 lbs/49,895 kg (60 ft/18.29 m of platforms)
Logistic rail system capacity Eighteen 463L(*) pallets (including 4 on ramp)
Dual-row airdrop system Up to eight 18 foot/5.49 m platforms or twelve 463L(*) pallets
Combat offload All pallets from ADS (Alternative Distribution Systems) or logistic rail systems

(*) Each 463L pallet is 88 in/2.24 m wide, 108 in/2.74 m long and 2-1/4 in/0.57 m high. The usable space is 84 in/2.13 m by 104 in/2.64 m. It can hold up to 10,000 lbs/4,500 kg of cargo (not exceeding 250 lbs/113 kg per square inch) at 8 g. Empty, each pallet weighs 290 lbs/130 kg, or 355 lbs/160 kg with two side nets and a top net.

 

Seating

Sidewall (permanently installed) 54 (27 each side, 18 in/45.72 cm wide, 24 in/60.96 cm spacing center to center)
Centerline (stored on board) 48 (in sets of six back-to-back, 8 sets)
Palletized (10-passenger pallets) 80 on 8 pallets, plus 54 passengers on sidewall seats

 

Aeromedical evacuation

Litter stations (onboard) Three (3 litters each)
Litter stations (additional kit) Nine
Total capability (contingency) 36 litters and 54 ambulatory
The aircraft, serial A41-213, will join a fleet of C-17As operated by No. 36 Squadron, providing a strategic airlift capability for Australia, as well as tactical roles such as airdrop
The aircraft, serial A41-213, will join a fleet of C-17As operated by No. 36 Squadron, providing a strategic airlift capability for Australia, as well as tactical roles such as airdrop

 

Cockpit

Flight crew 2 pilots
Observer positions 2
Instrument displays 2 full-time all-function Head-Up Displays (HUD), 4 multi-function active matrix liquid crystal displays
Navigation system Digital electronics
Communication Integrated radio management system with Communications Open System Architecture (COSA)
Flight controls system Quadruple-redundant electronic flight control with mechanical backup system

 

Wing

Area 3,800 ft2/353.03 m2
Aspect Radio 7.165
Wing sweep angle 25 degrees
Airfoil type Supercritical
Flaps Fixed-vane, double-slotted, simple-hinged

 

Winglet

Height 8.92 ft/2.72 m
Span 9.21 ft/2.81 m
Area 35.85 ft2/3.33 m2
Sweep 30 degrees
Angle 15 degrees from vertical

 

Horizontal tail

Area 845 ft2/78.50 m2
Span 65 ft/19.81 m
Aspect ratio 5.0
Sweep 27 degrees

 

Landing gear

Main, type Triple Tandem
Width (outside to outside) 33.7 ft/10.26 m
Tires 50×21-20
Nose, type Single strut, steerable with dual wheels
Tires 40×16-14
Wheelbase 65.8 ft/20.06 m

 

Engine Specifications

Thrust 40,440 lbs/179.9 kN/18,345 kgf
Weight 7,100 lbs/3,220 kg
Length 146.8 in/3.73 m
Inlet diameter 78.5 in/1.99 m
Maximum diameter 84.5 in/2.15 m
Bypass ratio 5.9 to 1
Overall pressure ratio 30.8 to 1
An eighth C-17A will be delivered to Australia by late 2015
An eighth C-17A will be delivered to Australia by late 2015

Modernization for GPS

The 10th Boeing GPS IIF satellite has reached orbit and sent its first signals after being launched on July 15, 2015. This satellite advances the U.S. Air Force’s modernization program for GPS, improving accuracy and enhancing security for the navigation system used by millions of people around the world every day.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V blasts off from Cape Canaveral with the GPS IIF-10 mission for the U.S. Air Force (United Launch Alliance photo)
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V blasts off from Cape Canaveral with the GPS IIF-10 mission for the U.S. Air Force (United Launch Alliance photo)

The Boeing-built GPS IIFs are the newest generation of GPS satellites, delivering a longer design life, greater accuracy, increased signal power for civil applications, a more robust military M-code signal and variable power for better jamming resistance. The IIFs also are outfitted with the new civilian L-5 signal, which, when fully operational, will be used for emergency applications.

«The GPS IIF-10 launch milestone continues a series of recent unparalleled successes for the GPS IIF program», said Dan Hart, vice president, Boeing Government Space Systems. «We understand the importance of this system to the global community, both civil and military, and the government-Boeing team is partnering to assure mission success and operational excellence».

GPS IIF-10 lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V expendable launch vehicle at 11:36 a.m. EDT. About three hours and 23 minutes later, the spacecraft was released into its medium earth orbit of about 12,000 miles/19,312.1 km.

Boeing will support the U.S. Air Force in performing on-orbit checkout of GPS IIF-10 before it is formally declared operational in about one month. The next GPS satellite, GPS IIF-11, was shipped to Cape Canaveral on June 8 in preparation for the third and final IIF launch of 2015 later this fall.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Defense, Space & Security is one of the world’s largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Defense, Space & Security is a $31 billion business with 53,000 employees worldwide.

 

As the number of GPS devices increases globally, so does our dependence on GPS, but satellites wear out.  Bringing innovations from their airplane assembly lines to GPS production, Boeing is helping to make GPS service available wherever, whenever you need it

Five MV-22s in Japan

Bell Boeing, a strategic alliance between Bell Helicopter, a Textron company, and Boeing, was awarded a U.S. Navy contract for five Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft to be delivered to Japan, marking the first sale of the aircraft through the U.S. government’s foreign military sales program. The contract for the Block C aircraft (the first five of up to 17 MV-22 Ospreys) includes support, training, and equipment. The versatile V-22 tiltrotor will allow Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force greatly enhanced capabilities, while providing an ideal platform for relief efforts in response to natural disasters.

U.S. Marines inspect an MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft after landing on the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter destroyer JS Hyuga (DDH-181) during amphibious exercise Dawn Blitz 2014
U.S. Marines inspect an MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft after landing on the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter destroyer JS Hyuga (DDH-181) during amphibious exercise Dawn Blitz 2014

«The Bell Boeing team is honored to have Japan as the first international customer for the V-22 tiltrotor», said Mitch Snyder, executive vice president of Military Business for Bell Helicopter. «The distinct performance envelope of the V-22 will provide Japan with an ideal solution when the need arises. When assets are required on-target in a location without an airstrip, the self-deployable Osprey provides customers with an unrivaled combination of speed, range, and payload to execute a variety of missions».

The V-22 is currently in service with the United States Marine Corps (MV-22) and the United States Air Force Special Operations Command (СМ-22). This year, the United States Navy announced their decision to procure 44 V-22 aircraft.

At twice the speed of a helicopter, the Osprey carries 24 combat troops, or up to 20,000 pounds/9,072 kg of internal cargo or 15,000 pounds/6,804 kg of external cargo. Its cargo bay can accommodate nine litters with medical personnel and equipment
At twice the speed of a helicopter, the Osprey carries 24 combat troops, or up to 20,000 pounds/9,072 kg of internal cargo or 15,000 pounds/6,804 kg of external cargo. Its cargo bay can accommodate nine litters with medical personnel and equipment

«This is an important day for the Bell Boeing team in Japan and for the U.S.-Japan Alliance», said Shelley Lavender, president of Boeing Military Aircraft. «The V-22 redefines what’s operationally possible for a country, and we’re looking forward to delivering this capability to Japan as we continue our enduring partnership there».

The Osprey’s mission capabilities include troop transport, disaster relief, personnel recovery, medical evacuation, logistics support, and executive transport.

Under the current program of record, the U.S. Marine Corps will purchase 360 MV-22s for missions including amphibious assault, ship-to-objective maneuvers and sustained operations ashore
Under the current program of record, the U.S. Marine Corps will purchase 360 MV-22s for missions including amphibious assault, ship-to-objective maneuvers and sustained operations ashore

 

General Characteristics

Dimensions
Length Fuselage: 57.3 feet/17.46 m
Stowed: 63.0 feet/19.20 m
Width Rotors turning: 84.6 feet/25.78 m
Stowed: 18.4 feet/5.61 m
Height Nacelles vertical: 22.1 feet/6.73 m
Stabilizer: 17.9 feet/5.46 m
Rotor Diameter 38.1 feet/11.6 m
Performance @ 47,000 lbs/21,318.8 kg
Maximum Cruise Speed, Sea Level (SL) 270 knots/311 mph/500 km/h
Maximum Rate of Climb (RC), A/P mode SL 4,100 feet per minute/1,250 m/min
Service Ceiling, ISA* 24,000 feet/7,315 m
OEI** Service Ceiling, ISA* 9,500 feet/2,896 m
HOGE*** Ceiling, ISA* 5,700 feet/1,737 m
Mission Radius 428 NM/492 miles/793 km – MV-22 Block C with 24 troops, ramp mounted weapon system, SL STD, 20 min loiter time
Weights
Take-Off, Vertical, Maximum 52,600 lbs/23,859 kg
Take-Off, Short, Maximum 57,000 lbs/25,855 kg
Take-Off, Self-Deploy 60,500 lbs/27,443 kg
Cargo Hook, Single 10,000 lbs/4,536 kg
Cargo Hook, Dual Capability 12,500 lbs/5,670 kg
Fuel Capacity
MV-22 1,721 Gal/6,513 L
CV-22 2025 Gal/7,667 L
Engines
Model AE1107C (Rolls-Royce Liberty)
AEO**** VTOL***** normal power 6,150 shp/4,586 kW
Crew
Cockpit – crew seats 2 MV-22/3 CV-22
Cabin – crew seat/troop seats 1/24

* International Standard Atmosphere

** One Engine Inoperative

*** Hover Ceiling Out of Ground Effect

**** All Engines Operating

***** Vertical Take-Off and Landing

The U.S. Navy is also slated to get 48 MV-22s, which could be used for fleet logistic support and search and rescue
The U.S. Navy is also slated to get 48 MV-22s, which could be used for fleet logistic support and search and rescue

The Air Force Special Operations Command acquired 50 CV-22 variants, with enhanced capabilities tailored for their unique mission requirements. The CV-22 reached initial operational capability in 2009, while the Marines’ variant deployed in late 2007

Initial Flight Tests

According to Dominic Gates, The Seattle Times correspondent, Boeing concluded the first phase of airworthiness testing of its 767 tanker prototype on June 2, 2015. This time the plane even looked like a real KC-46 tanker, though it is not quite there yet. This first prototype plane is testing the airframe and how it flies. The second test plane, which will be a real KC-46 tanker outfitted with working aerial-refueling systems, is to fly in summer.

Boeing said its Air Force tanker prototype completed a 4.3-hour flight on June 2, 2015, with a refueling boom and wing refueling pods installed, although that equipment was not functional (By: John D. Parker/John D. Parker/Boeing)
Boeing said its Air Force tanker prototype completed a 4.3-hour flight on June 2, 2015, with a refueling boom and wing refueling pods installed, although that equipment was not functional (By: John D. Parker/John D. Parker/Boeing)

On Tuesday’s flight, the Boeing KC-46 tanker prototype for the first time carried a refueling boom, a rigid tube extended back from the plane’s underside that is used to pass fuel to an aircraft flying behind and below the tanker. The prototype was also fitted with wing-refueling pods, which are used to refuel aircraft with different in-flight fuel-docking systems that fly behind and to the side of the tanker.

This equipment was not wired up and was not functional. However, the flight provided data on how these external attachments affect the jet’s behavior.

After the prototype’s maiden flight in December 2014, Boeing worked on the plane for five full months before it flew again. Then it flew three test flights on successive days last week. Tuesday’s flight lasted 4.3 hours and went well, said tanker spokesperson Chick Ramey.

Boeing has a contract to deliver to the U.S. Air Force the first 18 operational KC-46 tankers in 2017. The Air Force plans to buy a total 179 tankers under a $49 billion contract.

This first test plane will now enter planned ground testing, including Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification testing of the fuel systems. After that, it will return to the air for the next phase of airworthiness testing, which will push the limits of speed and altitude and support follow-on testing. The final two test airplanes in the flight-test program are expected to fly by the end of the year, Ramey said.

The KC-46 program office requested the warhead be custom-designed by the Weapons Division to evaluate the highest threat scenario possible (U.S. Navy photo)
The KC-46 program office requested the warhead be custom-designed by the Weapons Division to evaluate the highest threat scenario possible (U.S. Navy photo)

Moreover, it is said in the Defense-aerospace.com that the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) successfully supported the Boeing KC-46 tanker with the most detailed, advanced weapons survivability test series ever conducted at the Weapons Survivability Lab (WSL), China Lake, California on April 7.

«Excellent tests», said KC-46 lead engineer Scott Wacker, weapons survivability expert. «These have never been done before, so I’m happy to say that we met all our objectives. I believe that we are advancing the state of the art in understanding vulnerability in aircraft». (Source: US Naval Air Systems Command)

The tests, outlined by the KC-46 Live Fire Test and Evaluation Program (LFT&E), will be used to assess KC-46, system-level survivability in high fidelity, operational environments against ballistic and advanced threats. The results provided a wide range of data instrumental in mitigating worst-case scenarios for the aircraft, which directly improves and preserves warfighting capability. «There were over 330 channels collecting raw data, 10 high speed cameras recording 10,000 to 100,000 frames per second and 30 real time video feeds», said Eric Brickson, KC-46 LFT&E engineer. «We had a very extensive list of requirements and NAWCWD met them all».

Representatives from NAWCWD, Boeing, the U.S. Air Force and the Institute for Defense Analysis were among several of the organizations and stakeholders present to witness the event at the WSL. «It was a very successful test», said Col. Chris Coombs, Air Force. «We designed these tests against the aircraft to see how it would perform, so we’d know if the people, whether they are pilots, operators or passengers, could survive on this plane under the most relevant of circumstances».

According to the KC-46 Program Office, plans call for the procurement of 179 KC-46s to replace one third of the existing aerial refueling fleet.

The KC-46A is intended to replace the United States Air Force's aging fleet of KC-135 Stratotankers and provides vital air refueling capability for the United States Air Force
The KC-46A is intended to replace the United States Air Force’s aging fleet of KC-135 Stratotankers and provides vital air refueling capability for the United States Air Force

 

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 meters)

Length:                                                     165 feet, 6 inches (50.5 meters)

Height:                                                     52 feet, 10 inches (15.9 meters)

Maximum Takeoff Weight:         415,000 pounds (188,240 kilograms)

Maximum Landing Weight:         310,000 pounds (140,614 kilograms)

Fuel Capacity:                                     212,299 pounds (96,297 kilograms)

Maximum Transfer Fuel Load:  207,672 pounds (94,198 kilograms)

Maximum Cargo Capacity:         65,000 pounds (29,484 kilograms)

Maximum Airspeed:                     360 KCAS/0.86 M/414 mph/667 km/h

Service Ceiling:                                  43,100 feet/13,137 m

Maximum Distance:                        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

Boeing KC-46 Pegasus
Boeing KC-46 Pegasus

Final Operational

Australia now has the most advanced air battle space management capability in the world, with the Royal Australian Air Force’s Boeing E-7A Wedgetail aircraft achieving Final Operational Capability. The fleet of six Wedgetail aircraft reached the milestone this month with the entire capability, from physical aircraft to logistics, management, sustainment, facilities and training, now fully operational and able to support ongoing operations.

Several years after they first entered service, and after flying over 1,200 hours on combat missions, Australia’s six Boeing E-7 Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft have attained Full Operational Capability (FOC)
Several years after they first entered service, and after flying over 1,200 hours on combat missions, Australia’s six Boeing E-7 Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft have attained Full Operational Capability (FOC)

The Wedgetail has already proven to be highly reliable and effective on operations and this achievement will further Australia’s capabilities. The aircraft deployed on Operation Okra in the Middle East region, completing over 100 surveillance sorties with our coalition partners, flying more than 1,200 hours. The Wedgetail also provided coordination and flight safety capability for the air search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the Southern Indian Ocean.

The Wedgetail is tailored to meet the specific Air Force requirements, with six Boeing 737 aircraft modified to accommodate sophisticated mission systems and advanced multi-role radar. The aircraft significantly enhances the effectiveness of Australia’s existing Australian Defence Force and civil surveillance agencies and helps maintain an advanced technological capability.

Squadron Leader Andrew Boeree (foreground) shows the Minister for Defence, The Hon Kevin Andrews MP, and the Member for Solomon, Mrs Natasha Griggs MP, the onboard Mission System on the situational display in a No 2 Squadron E-7A Wedgetail aircraft
Squadron Leader Andrew Boeree (foreground) shows the Minister for Defence, The Hon Kevin Andrews MP, and the Member for Solomon, Mrs Natasha Griggs MP, the onboard Mission System on the situational display in a No 2 Squadron E-7A Wedgetail aircraft

Deputy Chief of Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal Gavin Davies, AO, CSC said the E-7A Wedgetail provides Australia with the ability to control and survey vast areas of operation, and contribute to Australia’s modern and fully integrated combat force under Plan Jericho.

«The aircraft’s advanced multi-role radar gives the Air Force the ability to survey, command, control and coordinate joint air, sea and land operations in real time», Air Vice-Marshal Davies said. «As we transition into a more technologically advanced force as part of Plan Jericho, the Wedgetail will be able to support future aircraft and surveillance systems».

The home operating base for the E-7A Wedgetail aircraft is Royal Australian Air Force Base Williamtown in New South Wales.

The Minister for Defence, The Hon Kevin Andrews MP (bottom of the stairs), and the Deputy Chief of Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal Gavin 'Leo' Davies, AO, CSC exit a No 2 Squadron E-7A Wedgetail aircraft after being shown the onboard Mission System
The Minister for Defence, The Hon Kevin Andrews MP (bottom of the stairs), and the Deputy Chief of Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal Gavin ‘Leo’ Davies, AO, CSC exit a No 2 Squadron E-7A Wedgetail aircraft after being shown the onboard Mission System

 

Technical Specifications

Contractor Boeing, Northrop Grumman
Airframe Boeing 737-700 Increased Gross Weight (IGW) airframe
Radar Northrop Grumman «MESA» electronically scanned array radar system with 360 degrees/Air and Maritime modes/200+ NM range (230 miles/370 km)/All Weather
Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) 300 NM/345 miles/555 km
System Architecture Open
Consoles Open
Operational ceiling 41,000 feet/12,496.8 m
Range 3,500 NM/4,028 miles/6,482 km
Flight Crew 2
Mission Crew 6 to 10
Inventory Total force, 6
Australian Aviation Journalist, Anthony Moclair is the first journalist to go flying on the A30 E-7A Wedgetail
Australian Aviation Journalist, Anthony Moclair is the first journalist to go flying on the A30 E-7A Wedgetail

Australia Accepts

At a ceremony on May 6, 2015 at Royal Australian Air Force Base Townsville in northern Queensland, Australia commissioned their first two Boeing CH-47F Chinook advanced configuration aircraft. It is a major milestone in the updating of the Australian Army’s cargo helicopter fleet.

Boeing has delivered the first two of seven CH-47F Chinooks to the Australian Army at a ceremony in Queensland. The remaining aircraft will be delivered throughout 2015 (Boeing photo)
Boeing has delivered the first two of seven CH-47F Chinooks to the Australian Army at a ceremony in Queensland. The remaining aircraft will be delivered throughout 2015 (Boeing photo)

The acquisition is part of an ongoing transformation that is allowing Australia to build one of the world’s newest and most technologically advanced armed forces. Five additional new Chinooks will be delivered this year, eventually replacing an existing fleet of six older Boeing CH-47D Chinooks.

«The outgoing CH-47D Chinooks have proved highly effective in Australian operations, and the new CH-47F Chinook will deliver an improved cargo helicopter for Australia’s Army», said Rear Admiral Tony Dalton of Australia’s Defence Materiel Organisation. «Furthermore, the project to deliver the new Chinooks remains on schedule and under budget».

Australia was among the Chinook’s first international customers and now there are almost twenty countries operating the helicopter.

The Chinook is a true multi-role, vertical-lift platform. Its primary mission is transport of troops, artillery, equipment, and fuel
The Chinook is a true multi-role, vertical-lift platform. Its primary mission is transport of troops, artillery, equipment, and fuel

«Working with our Australian allies to build a modernised Chinook fleet enables more seamless operations with U.S. and other forces», said Colonel Robert Barrie, project manager, U.S. Army Cargo Helicopter Office.

«The Australian Army values the features and capabilities of the advanced CH‑47F Chinook and we delivered them as promised», said Steve Parker, Boeing vice president, Cargo Helicopters and H-47 program manager. «These aircraft will meet their demanding mission requirements now and well into the future».

The Australian Chinook fleet is flown by the Army’s 5th Aviation Regiment, 16th Aviation Brigade. Under the scope of the contract, Boeing Defence Australia will provide delivery and on-site operational maintenance support to the seven aircraft.

For more than 70 years, Boeing and Australia have maintained a partnership operating and supporting a broad range of platforms that now includes, in addition to Chinook, the Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control System and C-17 Globemaster III.

The current CH-47F modernization programs will ensure this tandem rotor helicopter remains in the Army fleet through the 2030s
The current CH-47F modernization programs will ensure this tandem rotor helicopter remains in the Army fleet through the 2030s

 

Technical Specifications

Rotor Diameter 18.29 m/60 feet
Length with Rotors Operating 30.14 m/98 feet, 10.7 inch
Fuselage 15.46 m/50 feet, 9 inch
Height 5.68 m/18 feet, 7.8 inch
Fuselage Width 3.78 m/12 feet, 5 inch
Fuel Capacity 20,411 kg/45,000 lbs
Maximum Gross Takeoff 36,700 kg/81,000 lbs
Maximum Gross Weight 22,680 kg/50,000 lbs
Useful Load 10,886 kg/24,000 lbs
Maximum Speed 170 KTAS/196 mph/302 km/h
Cruise Speed 157 KTAS/181 mph/291 km/h
Service Ceiling 6,096 m/20,000 feet
Mission Radius 200 NM/370.4 km
Chinooks serve the armed forces of 19 countries around the world
Chinooks serve the armed forces of 19 countries around the world

Hall thruster

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), and Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) are collaborating to host a Hall thruster experiment onboard the X-37B flight vehicle (Boeing). The experiment will be hosted on Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) mission 4, the fourth flight of the X-37B reusable space plane.

In a testing procedure, the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle taxis on the flightline in June 2009 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California (Courtesy photo)
In a testing procedure, the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle taxis on the flightline in June 2009 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California (Courtesy photo)

The first three OTV flights have accumulated a total of 1,367 days of on-orbit experimentation prior to successful landings and recoveries at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The X-37B program performs risk reduction, experimentation, and concept of operations development for reusable space vehicle technologies, and it is administered by RCO.

The Hall thruster that will fly on the X-37B experiment is a modified version of the units that have propelled SMC’s first three Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications spacecraft. A Hall thruster is a type of electric propulsion device that produces thrust by ionizing and accelerating a noble gas, usually xenon. While producing comparatively low thrust relative to conventional rocket engines, Hall thrusters provide significantly greater specific impulse, or fuel economy. This results in increased payload carrying capacity and a greater number of on-orbit maneuvers for a spacecraft using Hall thrusters rather than traditional rocket engines.

This experiment will enable in-space characterization of Hall thruster design modifications that are intended to improve performance relative to the state-of-the-art units onboard AEHF. The experiment will include collection of telemetry from the Hall thruster operating in the space environment as well as measurement of the thrust imparted on the vehicle. The resulting data will be used to validate and improve Hall thruster and environmental modeling capabilities, which enhance the ability to extrapolate ground test results to actual on-orbit performance. The on-orbit test plans are being developed by AFRL and administered by RCO.

The experiment has garnered strong support from AFRL senior leadership. «Space is so vitally important to everything we do», said Major General Tom Masiello, AFRL commander. «Secure comms, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), missile warning, weather prediction, precision navigation and timing all rely on it, and the domain is increasingly contested. A more efficient on-orbit thruster capability is huge. Less fuel burn lowers the cost to get up there, plus it enhances spacecraft operational flexibility, survivability and longevity».

Dr. Greg Spanjers, the AFRL Space Capability Lead and Chief Scientist of the Space Vehicles Directorate, added, «AFRL is proud to be able to contribute to this research teamed with our partners at SMC, RCO, NASA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Aerojet Rocketdyne. It was great to see our Government-Contractor team identify an opportunity and then quickly respond to implement a solution that will offer future Air Force spacecraft even greater capabilities».

The first X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle waits in the encapsulation cell of the Evolved Expendable Launch vehicle April 5, 2010, at the Astrotech facility in Titusville, Florida. Half of the Atlas V five-meter fairing is visible in the background. The Hall thruster being tested on this flight provide significantly greater specific impulse, or fuel economy and may lead to increased payload carrying capacity and a greater number of on-orbit maneuvers for a spacecraft using Hall thrusters rather than traditional rocket engines (Courtesy photo)
The first X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle waits in the encapsulation cell of the Evolved Expendable Launch vehicle April 5, 2010, at the Astrotech facility in Titusville, Florida. Half of the Atlas V five-meter fairing is visible in the background. The Hall thruster being tested on this flight provide significantly greater specific impulse, or fuel economy and may lead to increased payload carrying capacity and a greater number of on-orbit maneuvers for a spacecraft using Hall thrusters rather than traditional rocket engines (Courtesy photo)

 

Facts

Length 29 feet, 3 inches/8.91 m
Height 9 feet, 6 inches/2.90 m
Wing Span 14 feet, 11 inches/4.55 m
Experiment Bay Size 7 feet/2.13 m by 4 feet/1.22 m
Launch Weight 11,000 pounds/4,990 kg
Orbit Range 110-500 miles/177-805 km above Earth