Tag Archives: Lockheed Martin

Long Range Radar

Less than 18 months from contract award, the Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR), developed by Lockheed Martin, passed Preliminary Design Review (PDR), indicating that detailed design on the radar system can move forward. The radar system will support a layered ballistic missile defense strategy to protect the U.S. homeland from ballistic missile attacks.

The Long Range Discrimination Radar is a high-powered S-Band radar incorporating solid-state Gallium Nitride components capable of discriminating threats at extreme distances. LRDR is a key component of the Missile Defense Agency’s Ballistic Missile Defense System and will provide acquisition, tracking and discrimination data to enable separate defense systems to lock on and engage ballistic missile threats (Image courtesy Lockheed Martin)
The Long Range Discrimination Radar is a high-powered S-Band radar incorporating solid-state Gallium Nitride components capable of discriminating threats at extreme distances. LRDR is a key component of the Missile Defense Agency’s Ballistic Missile Defense System and will provide acquisition, tracking and discrimination data to enable separate defense systems to lock on and engage ballistic missile threats (Image courtesy Lockheed Martin)

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) in 2015 awarded the $784 million contract to Lockheed Martin to develop, build and test LRDR, and the company is on track on an aggressive schedule to deliver the radar to Clear, Alaska. Lockheed Martin passed PDR by demonstrating both a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 and Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) 6, putting the team on a path to achieve TRL 7 later this year allowing the program transition to manufacturing. Lockheed Martin utilized a scaled LRDR system to successfully demonstrate Critical Technology Elements (CTEs) in a relevant end to end environment.

During the two-day PDR, representatives from the MDA and the Office of Secretary of Defense, toured Lockheed Martin’s facility to see the LRDR Prototype System and the new Solid State Radar Integration Site, a self-funded test facility that will be utilized to demonstrate TRL 7 and provide significant risk reduction for development of LRDR and future solid state radar systems.

«Lockheed Martin is committed to supporting the nation’s Integrated Air & Missile Defense and homeland defense missions and we are actively investing in research and technologies that will lead to advanced solutions», said Chandra Marshall, LRDR program director, Lockheed Martin. «The Solid State Radar Integration Site will be used to mature, integrate and test the LRDR design and building blocks before we deliver the radar to Alaska. Using this test site will result in significant cost savings and less risk overall».

Similar to Lockheed Martin’s Space Fence radar system, LRDR is a high-powered S-Band radar incorporating solid-state Gallium Nitride (GaN) components, but is additionally capable of discriminating threats at extreme distances using the inherent wideband capability of the hardware coupled with advanced software algorithms.

«We built an open non-proprietary architecture that allows incorporation of the algorithms from small businesses, labs and the government, to provide an advanced discrimination capability for homeland defense», said Tony DeSimone, vice president, engineering and technology, Lockheed Martin Integrated Warfare Systems and Sensors.

LRDR is a key component of the MDA’s Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) and will provide acquisition, tracking and discrimination data to enable separate defense systems to lock on and engage ballistic missile threats, a capability that stems from Lockheed Martin’s decades of experience in creating ballistic missile defense systems for the U.S. and allied governments.

Work on LRDR is primarily performed in New Jersey, Alaska, Alabama, Florida and New York.

As a proven world leader in systems integration and development of air and missile defense systems and technologies, Lockheed Martin delivers high-quality missile defense solutions that protect citizens, critical assets and deployed forces from current and future threats. The company’s experience spans radar and signal processing, missile design and production, hit-to-kill capabilities, infrared seekers, command and control/battle management, and communications, precision pointing and tracking optics, as well as threat-representative targets for missile defense tests.

Lockheed Martin’s new Solid State Radar Integration Site in Moorestown, New Jersey, is a self-funded test facility that will be utilized to demonstrate TRL 7 and provide significant risk reduction for development of Long Range Discrimination Radar and future solid state radar systems (Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin)
Lockheed Martin’s new Solid State Radar Integration Site in Moorestown, New Jersey, is a self-funded test facility that will be utilized to demonstrate TRL 7 and provide significant risk reduction for development of Long Range Discrimination Radar and future solid state radar systems (Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin)

Low Rate
Initial Production

Lockheed Martin on April 4, 2017, announced the CH-53K King Stallion program successfully passed its Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) review and achieved a Milestone C decision that enables Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) funding.

U.S. Marines established the King Stallion's capability during initial operational assessment in October 2016
U.S. Marines established the King Stallion’s capability during initial operational assessment in October 2016

«This affirmative Milestone C decision validates the maturity and the robust capability of the King Stallion in meeting the United States Marine Corps mission requirements», said Doctor Michael Torok, Sikorsky vice president, CH-53K King Stallion Programs. «This establishes the CH-53K King Stallion as a production program and marks another critical step toward our goal of delivering this tremendous capability to the USMC».

Numerous, successfully completed pre-requisites preceded the Milestone C decision. Supplier as well as prime contractor Production Readiness Reviews took place throughout 2016 to establish the program’s readiness to move into low rate initial production. Aircraft maturity was established well in advance with over 400 flight hours achieved, and the October 2016 initial Operational Assessment by the USMC fully established the ability of the CH-53K King Stallion to achieve critical mission flight and ground scenarios in the hands of active duty Marines. Overall, post evaluation interviews of aircrew, ground crew and flight surgeons revealed a high regard for the operational capability demonstrated by the CH-53K King Stallion.

«We have just successfully launched the production of the most powerful helicopter our nation has ever designed. This incredible positive step function in capability is going to revolutionize the way our nation conducts business in the battlespace by ensuring a substantial increase in logistical throughput into that battlespace. I could not be prouder of our government-contractor team for making this happen», said Colonel Hank Vanderborght, U.S. Marine Corps program manager for the Naval Air Systems Command’s Heavy Lift Helicopters program, PMA-261.

The CH-53K King Stallion provides unmatched heavy lift capability with three times the lift of the CH-53E Super Stallion that it replaces. With more than triple the payload capability and a 12-inch wider internal cabin compared to the predecessor, the CH-53K King Stallion’s increased payloads can range from multiple U.S. Air Force standard 463L pallets to an internally loaded High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) or a European Fennek armored personnel carrier, to up to three independent external loads at once. This provides extraordinary mission flexibility and system efficiency.

The CH-53K King Stallion also offers enhanced safety features for the warfighter, including full authority fly-by-wire flight controls and mission management that reduce pilot workload and enable the crew to focus on mission execution as the CH-53K King Stallion all but «flies itself». Other features include advanced stability augmentation, flight control modes that include attitude command-velocity hold, automated approach to a stabilized hover, position hold and precision tasks in degraded visual environments, and tactile cueing that all permit the pilot to focus confidently on the mission at hand.

Further, the CH-53K King Stallion has improved reliability and maintainability that exceeds 89% mission reliability with a smaller shipboard logistics footprint than the legacy CH-53E Super Stallion.

The U.S. Department of Defense’s Program of Record remains at 200 CH-53K King Stallion aircraft. The first six of the 200 are under contract and scheduled to start delivery next year to the USMC. Two additional aircraft, the first LRIP aircraft, are under long lead procurement for parts and materials, with deliveries scheduled to start in 2020. The Marine Corps intends to stand up eight active duty squadrons, one training squadron, and one reserve squadron to support operational requirements.

 

General Characteristics

Number of Engines 3
Engine Type T408-GE-400
T408 Engine 7,500 shp/5,595 kw
Maximum Gross Weight (Internal Load) 74,000 lbs/33,566 kg
Maximum Gross Weight (External Load) 88,000 lbs/39,916 kg
Cruise Speed 141 knots/162 mph/261 km/h
Range 460 NM/530 miles/852 km
AEO* Service Ceiling 14,380 feet/4,383 m
HIGE** Ceiling (MAGW) 13,630 feet/4,155 m
HOGE*** Ceiling (MAGW) 10,080 feet/3,073 m
Cabin Length 30 feet/9.1 m
Cabin Width 9 feet/2.7 m
Cabin Height 6.5 feet/2.0 m
Cabin Area 264.47 feet2/24.57 m2
Cabin Volume 1,735.36 feet3/49.14 m3

* All Engines Operating

** Hover Ceiling In Ground Effect

*** Hover Ceiling Out of Ground Effect

 

High Energy Laser

The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command (USASMDC/ARSTRAT) announced the successful completion of the Factory Acceptance Test for the 60 kW Spectrally Combined High Power Solid State Fiber Laser program March 16.

A Soldier stands next to a High-Energy Laser Mobile Test Truck, which is planned to be integrated with a 60-kW laser that successfully completed testing earlier in March. The laser was designed and built by Lockheed Martin, headquartered in Bothell, Washington, and was managed by USASMDC/ARSTRAT Technical Center's High Energy Laser Branch, headquartered at Redstone Arsenal (Photo Credit: U.S. Army)
A Soldier stands next to a High-Energy Laser Mobile Test Truck, which is planned to be integrated with a 60-kW laser that successfully completed testing earlier in March. The laser was designed and built by Lockheed Martin, headquartered in Bothell, Washington, and was managed by USASMDC/ARSTRAT Technical Center’s High Energy Laser Branch, headquartered at Redstone Arsenal (Photo Credit: U.S. Army)

During the testing conducted last week, the laser demonstrated a sustained power of 57.5 kW for a duration of 200 seconds with good beam quality. This level exceeds the contract threshold for success, and with the addition of three more channels planned before delivery, power will exceed the 60-kW program objective.

This important technical milestone represents the first successful demonstration of a high-power fiber laser at this power level for defense applications. After delivery, the laser will be integrated with the High-Energy Laser Mobile Test Truck where it will be used in test environments to support analyses and studies related to warfighting applications.

The laser was designed and built by Lockheed Martin, headquartered in Bothell, Washington, and was managed by USASMDC/ARSTRAT Technical Center’s High Energy Laser Branch, headquartered at Redstone Arsenal.

Fiber Laser

Lockheed Martin has completed the design, development and demonstration of a 60-kW-class beam combined fiber laser for the U.S. Army.

A rendering of a truck mounted 60 kW laser weapon system for tactical U.S. Army vehicles (Graphic: Lockheed Martin)
A rendering of a truck mounted 60 kW laser weapon system for tactical U.S. Army vehicles (Graphic: Lockheed Martin)

In testing, earlier this month, the Lockheed Martin laser produced a single beam of 58 kW, representing a world record for a laser of this type. The Lockheed Martin team met all contractual deliverables for the laser system and is preparing to ship it to the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command in Huntsville, Alabama.

«Delivery of this laser represents an important milestone along the path to fielding a practical laser weapon system», said Paula Hartley, vice president, Owego, New York general manager and Advanced Product Solutions within Lockheed Martin’s Cyber, Ships & Advanced Technologies line of business. «This milestone could not have been achieved without close partnership between the U.S. Army and Lockheed Martin; we are pleased to be able to deliver this system for their further integration and evaluation».

Lockheed Martin’s laser is a beam combined fiber laser, meaning it brings together individual lasers, generated through fiber optics, to generate a single, intense laser beam. This allows for a scalable laser system that can be made more powerful by adding more fiber laser subunits. The laser is based on a design developed under the Department of Defense’s Robust Electric Laser Initiative Program, and further developed through investments by Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Army into a 60-kW-class system.

«The inherent scalability of this beam combined laser system has allowed us to build the first 60-kW-class fiber laser for the U.S. Army», said Robert Afzal, Ph.D., senior fellow for Laser and Sensor Systems. «We have shown that a powerful directed energy laser is now sufficiently light-weight, low volume and reliable enough to be deployed on tactical vehicles for defensive applications on land, at sea and in the air».

According to Afzal, the Lockheed Martin team created a laser beam that was near «diffraction-limited», meaning it was close to the physical limits for focusing energy toward a single, small spot. The laser system also proved to be highly efficient in testing, capable of translating more than 43 percent of the electricity that powered it directly into the actual laser beam it emitted.

Laser weapons provide a complement to traditional kinetic weapons in the battlefield. In the future, they will offer reliable protection against threats such as swarms of drones or large numbers of rockets and mortars. In 2015, the company used a 30-kW fiber laser weapon, known as ATHENA, to disable a truck from a mile away.

Lockheed Martin has pioneered laser weapon systems for more than 40 years, making advances in precision pointing and control, line-of-sight stabilization and adaptive optics – essential functions in harnessing and directing the power of a laser beam – and in fiber laser devices using spectral beam combining. Lockheed Martin intends to develop a family of laser weapon systems capable of various power levels tailored to address missions across sea, air and ground platforms.

Flight Tests

Lockheed Martin’s Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) completed two product verification flight tests at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

A Lockheed Martin JASSM missile closes in on a target during a test
A Lockheed Martin JASSM missile closes in on a target during a test

Focused on demonstrating the updated Global Positioning System (GPS) anti-jam hardware and software, flight testing verified effective operation in both GPS-degraded and non-jammed environments. Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit and Boeing B-52 Stratofortress bomber aircraft launched the JASSM missiles at altitudes greater than 24,000 feet/7,315 meters. The missiles navigated to and destroyed their intended targets, completing all mission objectives.

«JASSM is effective in a variety of challenging mission environments», said Jason Denney, program director of Long-Range Strike Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «With these JASSM product updates, we continue to provide a wide range of affordable options that ensure a tactical advantage for U.S. and allied warfighters».

Armed with a penetrating blast-fragmentation warhead, JASSM and JASSM-Extended Range (ER) can be used in all weather conditions. They share the same powerful capabilities and stealth characteristics, though JASSM-ER has more than two-and-a-half times the range of JASSM for greater standoff distance. In addition to the enhanced digital anti-jam GPS receiver, these highly accurate cruise missiles also employ an infrared seeker to dial into specific points on targets.

Effective against high-value, well-fortified, fixed and relocatable targets, JASSM is integrated on the U.S. Air Force’s Rockwell B-1 Lancer, Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit, Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon and McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle. The Rockwell B-1 Lancer also carries JASSM-ER. Internationally, JASSM is carried on the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A/B Hornet and the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C/D Hornet aircraft. Produced at the company’s manufacturing facility in Troy, Alabama, more than 2,000 JASSMs have been delivered. Lockheed Martin delivered the 2,000th JASSM to the U.S. Air Force in August 2016.

 

SPECIFICATIONS

JASSM’s design incorporates proven technologies and subsystems into a stealthy air vehicle to meet today’s and tomorrow’s threats.

Weight 2,250 lbs/1,020.58 kg
Length 168 inch/4.267 m
Width >25 inch/>63.5 cm
Warhead 1,000 lbs/453.59 kg Blast Fragmentation
Seeker Infrared
Range JASSM >200 NM/>230 miles/>370.4 km
Range JASSM-ER >500 NM/>575 miles/>926 km
Storage 15 years

 

Wind Tunnel Tests

Supersonic passenger airplanes are another step closer to reality as NASA and Lockheed Martin begin the first high-speed wind tunnel tests for the Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST) X-plane preliminary design at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.

Mechanical technician Dan Pitts prepares the model for wind tunnel testing (Credit: NASA)
Mechanical technician Dan Pitts prepares the model for wind tunnel testing (Credit: NASA)

The agency is testing a nine percent scale model of Lockheed Martin’s X-plane design in Glenn’s 8’ × 6’ Supersonic Wind Tunnel. During the next eight weeks, engineers will expose the model to wind speeds ranging from approximately 150 to 950 mph/241 to 1,529 km/h (Mach 0.3 to Mach 1.6) to understand the aerodynamics of the X-plane design as well as aspects of the propulsion system. NASA expects the QueSST X-plane to pave the way for supersonic flight over land in the not too distant future.

«We’ll be measuring the lift, drag and side forces on the model at different angles to verify that it performs as expected», said aerospace engineer Ray Castner, who leads propulsion testing for NASA’s QueSST effort. «We also want make sure the air flows smoothly into the engine under all operating conditions».

The Glenn wind tunnel is uniquely suited for the test because of its size and ability to create a wide range of wind speeds.

«We need to see how the design performs from just after takeoff, up to cruising at supersonic speed, back to the start of the landing approach», said David Stark, the facility manager. «The 8’ × 6’ supersonic wind tunnel allows us to test that sweet spot range of speeds all in one wind tunnel».

Recent research has shown it is possible for a supersonic airplane to be shaped in such a way that the shock waves it forms when flying faster than the speed of sound can generate a sound at ground level so quiet it will hardly will be noticed by the public, if at all.

«Our unique aircraft design is shaped to separate the shocks and expansions associated with supersonic flight, dramatically reducing the aircraft’s loudness», said Peter Iosifidis, QueSST program manager at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works. «Our design reduces the airplane’s noise signature to more of a ‘heartbeat’ instead of the traditional sonic boom that’s associated with current supersonic aircraft in flight today».

According to Dave Richwine, NASA’s QueSST preliminary design project manager, «This test is an important step along the path to the development of an X-plane that will be a key capability for the collection of community response data required to change the rules for supersonic overland flight».

NASA awarded Lockheed Martin a contract in February 2016 for the preliminary design of a supersonic X-plane flight demonstrator. This design phase has matured the details of the aircraft shape, performance and flight systems. Wind tunnel testing and analysis is expected to continue until mid-2017. Assuming funding is approved, the agency expects to compete and award another contract for the final design, fabrication, and testing of the low-boom flight demonstration aircraft.

The QueSST design is one of a series of X-planes envisioned in NASA’s New Aviation Horizons (NAH) initiative, which aims to reduce fuel use, emissions and noise through innovations in aircraft design that depart from the conventional tube-and-wing aircraft shape. The design and build phases for the NAH aircraft will be staggered over several years with the low boom flight demonstrator starting its flight campaign around 2020, with other NAH X-planes following in subsequent years, depending on funding.

Successful in Tests

Lockheed Martin’s modernized Tactical Missile System (TACMS) missile continued its streak of successful flight tests with two recent flights at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. These tests represent the third and fourth consecutive successful trials of the modernized TACMS.

A TACMS long-range missile takes flight from a Lockheed Martin M270A1 launcher during a test
A TACMS long-range missile takes flight from a Lockheed Martin M270A1 launcher during a test

In December 2016, a modernized TACMS successfully engaged and destroyed a target in a 44-mile/71-kilometer test. And in early February 2017, a fourth modernized TACMS destroyed a target at White Sands at a range of more than 124 miles/200 kilometers. In both tests, the TACMS missiles were launched from a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launcher.

«With our third and fourth consecutive successful modernized TACMS flights, I believe we have demonstrated that our production quality and new technology are ready to move forward», said Scott Greene, vice president of Precision Fires & Combat Maneuver Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «These modernized TACMS missiles will allow our warfighters to quickly and accurately address imprecisely located targets on the battlefield».

The missiles used in these two tests were produced at Lockheed Martin’s Precision Fires Production Center of Excellence in Camden, Arkansas.

As part of the U.S. Army’s TACMS Service Life Extension Program, the modernized missile includes new state-of-the-art guidance electronics and added capability to defeat area targets without leaving behind unexploded ordnance. The TACMS modernization process disassembles and demilitarizes TACMS Block 1 and 1A submunition warheads, replacing them with new unitary warheads and bringing them into compliance with Department of Defense policy on cluster munitions and unintended harm to civilians. The modernization process also resets the missile’s 10+ year shelf life.

In December 2014, Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Army signed a $74 million contract to take existing TACMS missiles from inventory and modernize them.

The TACMS platform provides maximum flexibility to quickly integrate new payloads and capabilities to meet current and future demands.

With unsurpassed performance and an unwavering commitment to production excellence, TACMS is the only long-range tactical surface-to-surface missile ever employed by the U.S. Army in combat. TACMS missiles can be fired from the entire family of Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) launchers.

Augmentation System

Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals are critical tools for industries requiring exact precision and high confidence. Now, Geoscience Australia, an agency of the Commonwealth of Australia, and Lockheed Martin have entered into a collaborative research project to show how augmenting signals from multiple GNSS constellations can enhance positioning, navigation, and timing for a range of applications.

Second-Generation Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS)
Second-Generation Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS)

This innovative research project aims to demonstrate how a second-generation Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) testbed can – for the first time – use signals from both the Global Positioning System (GPS) and the Galileo constellation, and dual frequencies, to achieve even greater GNSS integrity and accuracy. Over two years, the testbed will validate applications in nine industry sectors: agriculture, aviation, construction, maritime, mining, rail, road, spatial, and utilities.

«Many industries rely on GNSS signals for accurate, safe navigation. Users must be confident in the position solutions calculated by GNSS receivers. The term ‘integrity’ defines the confidence in the position solutions provided by GNSS», explained Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand Chief Executive Vince Di Pietro. «Industries where safety-of-life navigation is crucial want assured GNSS integrity».

Ultimately, the second-generation SBAS testbed will broaden understanding of how this technology can benefit safety, productivity, efficiency and innovation in Australia’s industrial and research sectors.

«We are excited to have an opportunity to work with Geoscience Australia and Australian industry to demonstrate the best possible GNSS performance and proud that Australia will be leading the way to enhance space-based navigation and industry safety», Di Pietro added.

Basic GNSS signals are accurate enough for many civil positioning, navigation and timing users. However, these signals require augmentation to meet higher safety-of-life navigation requirements. The second-generation SBAS will mitigate that issue.

Once the SBAS testbed is operational, basic GNSS signals will be monitored by widely-distributed reference stations operated by Geoscience Australia. An SBAS testbed master station, installed by teammate GMV, of Spain, will collect that reference station data, compute corrections and integrity bounds for each GNSS satellite signal, and generate augmentation messages.

«A Lockheed Martin uplink antenna at Uralla, New South Wales will send these augmentation messages to an SBAS payload hosted aboard a geostationary Earth orbit satellite, owned by Inmarsat», explains Rod Drury, Director, International Strategy and Business Development for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. «This satellite rebroadcasts the augmentation messages containing corrections and integrity data to the end users. The whole process takes less than six seconds».

By augmenting signals from multiple GNSS constellations – both Galileo and GPS – second-generation SBAS is not dependent on just one GNSS. It will also use signals on two frequencies – the L1 and L5 GPS signals, and their companion E1 and E5a Galileo signals – to provide integrity data and enhanced accuracy for industries that need it the most.

Partners in this collaborative research project include the government of Australia. Lockheed Martin will provide systems integration expertise in addition to the Uralla radio frequency uplink. GMV-Spain will provide their ‘magicGNSS’ processors. Inmarsat will provide the navigation payload hosted on the 4F1 geostationary satellite. The Australia and New Zealand Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information will coordinate the demonstrator projects that test the SBAS infrastructure.

Lockheed Martin has significant experience with space-based navigation systems. The company developed and produced 20 GPS IIR and IIR-M satellites. It also maintains the GPS Architecture Evolution Plan ground control system, which operates the entire 31-satellite constellation.

Block 8.1 upgrades

Airmen conducted a training flight using the first C-130J Super Hercules with a Block 8.1 upgrade at Little Rock Air Force Base (AFB) February 3, 2017.

Captain Kyle Gauthier, a 61st Airlift Squadron C-130J Super Hercules pilot and the flight commander, conducts a preflight checklist for a training sortie flight February 3, 2017, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas. During the flight, aircrews tested the operability of recent hardware and software upgrades (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Harry Brexel)
Captain Kyle Gauthier, a 61st Airlift Squadron C-130J Super Hercules pilot and the flight commander, conducts a preflight checklist for a training sortie flight February 3, 2017, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas. During the flight, aircrews tested the operability of recent hardware and software upgrades (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Harry Brexel)

The Block 8.1 upgrade enhances GPS capabilities, communications systems, updated friend-or-foe identification and allows the C-130J Super Hercules to comply with worldwide air traffic management regulations. Additionally, the upgrade program will standardize aviation systems to improve interoperability.

«This update will truly allow us to have unhindered global access», said Captain Kyle Gauthier, a 61st Airlift Squadron C-130J Super Hercules instructor pilot and the flight commander. «It will also provide pilots improved situational awareness, and a greater ability to communicate with command and control around the world».

Over the next two years Airmen from the 19th and 314th Airlift Wings will team together to test the only two Block 8.1 upgraded C-130J’s in the world at Little Rock AFB. Loadmasters, pilots and maintainers will work with Lockheed Martin to report any bugs or potential issues.

«We have put thousands of maintenance hours into this plane since it arrived», said Master Sergeant Brian Johnson, the 19th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron production superintendent. «We’re excited to see it finally up in the air».

Gauthier said, «Flying with such a new system can be difficult, but it is exciting to know you’re shaping the future of C-130J operations worldwide».

 

C-130J Super Hercules

Power Plant Four Rolls-Royce AE 2100D3 turboprops; 4,691 horsepower/3,498 kW
Length 97 feet, 9 inch/29.3 m
Height 38 feet, 10 inch/11. 9 m
Wingspan 132 feet, 7 inch/39.7 m
Cargo Compartment Length – 40 feet/12.31 m; width – 119 inch/3.12 m; height – 9 feet/2.74 m
Rear ramp Length – 123 inch/3.12 m; width – 119 inch/3.02 m
Speed 362 knots/Mach 0.59/417 mph/671 km/h at 22,000 feet/6,706 m
Ceiling 28,000 feet/8,615 m with 42,000 lbs/19,090 kg payload
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) 155,000 lbs/69,750 kg
Maximum Allowable Payload 42,000 lbs/19,090 kg
Maximum Normal Payload 34,000 lbs/15,422 kg
Range at Maximum Normal Payload 1,800 NM/2,071 miles/3,333 km
Range with 35,000 lbs/15,876 kg of Payload 1,600 NM/1,841 miles/2,963 km
Maximum Load 6 pallets or 74 litters or 16 CDS bundles or 92 combat troops or 64 paratroopers, or a combination of any of these up to the cargo compartment capacity or maximum allowable weight
Crew Three (two pilots and loadmaster)

 

Inlet Coating Repair

Lockheed Martin Corp. completed the first F-22 Raptor at the company’s Inlet Coating Repair (ICR) Speedline facility and delivered the aircraft back to the U.S. Air Force ahead of schedule.

Technicians inspect an F-22 Raptor at the F-22 Speedline in Marietta, Georgia (Lockheed Martin photo by Andrew McMurtrie)
Technicians inspect an F-22 Raptor at the F-22 Speedline in Marietta, Georgia (Lockheed Martin photo by Andrew McMurtrie)

The U.S. Air Force contracted Lockheed Martin to establish the Speedline in Marietta, Georgia, in August 2016 and the first F-22 Raptor arrived there in early November 2016. A second aircraft arrived in early December 2016 and a third in late January 2017. Lockheed Martin is on contract to perform this work on a total of 12 aircraft and a follow-on contract is anticipated. Additionally, Lockheed Martin is providing modification support services, analytical condition inspections, radar cross section turntable support and antenna calibration.

Periodic maintenance is required to maintain the special exterior coatings that contribute to the 5th Generation Raptor’s Very Low Observable (VLO) radar cross-section. The increase in F-22 Raptor deployments, including ongoing operational combat missions, has increased the demand for ICR.

«The inlet coatings work, coupled with future improved Low Observable materials and repair improvements, is a critical part of increasing the 325th Fighter Wing’s repair capacity and combat readiness», said Lieutenant Colonel Argie Moore, deputy commander of the 325th Maintenance Group.

Lockheed Martin provides sustainment services to the F-22 Raptor fleet through a U.S. Air Force-awarded Performance Based Logistics contract and a comprehensive weapons management program called Follow-on Agile Sustainment for the Raptor (FASTeR). As the original equipment manufacturer and support integrator for the F-22 Raptor, Lockheed Martin works closely with the U.S. Air Force to integrate a total life-cycle systems management process to ensure the Raptor fleet is ready to perform its mission.

Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor depot work is part of a public-private partnership agreement between the Air Force and Lockheed Martin that has been in place for nearly a decade.

 

About the F-22 Raptor

The F-22 Raptor defines air dominance. The 5th Generation F-22’s unique combination of stealth, speed, agility, and situational awareness, combined with lethal long-range air-to-air and air-to-ground weaponry, makes it the best air dominance fighter in the world.

 

General Characteristics

Primary Function Air dominance, multi-role fighter
Contractor Lockheed-Martin, Boeing
Crew 1
Length 62 feet/18.90 m
Height 16.7 feet/5.09 m
Wingspan 44.5 feet/13.56 m
Wing area 840 feet2/78.04 m2
Horizontal tail span 29 feet/8.84 m
Weight empty 43,340 lbs/19,700 kg
Maximum take-off weight 83,500 lbs/38,000 kg
Internal fuel 18,000 lbs/8,200 kg
Fuel Capacity with 2 external wing tanks 26,000 lbs/11,900 kg
Speed Mach 2 class
Ceiling >50,000 feet/15,000 m
Range* >1,600 NM/2,963 km
Power plant Two F119-PW-100 turbofan engines with two-dimensional thrust vectoring nozzles
Armament One M61A2 20-mm cannon with 480 rounds, internal side weapon bays carriage of 2 AIM-9 infrared (heat seeking) air-to-air missiles and internal main weapon bays carriage of 6 AIM-120 radar-guided air-to-air missiles (air-to-air loadout) or two 1,000-pound GBU-32 JDAMs and two AIM-120 radar-guided air-to-air missiles (air-to-ground loadout)
Unit Cost $143 million
Initial operating capability December 2005
Inventory Total force, 183

* With 2 external wing tanks