Lockheed Martin completed the successful integration of a Telephonics RDR-1700B radar onto a 74K aerostat for land and sea missions. This latest milestone follows Lockheed Martin’s successful integration of various payloads including radar sensors from Telephonics, Leonardo and Northrop Grumman as well as electro-optic/infra-red cameras from L-3 Wescam.
«The integration of the Telephonics radar showcases our continued commitment to exploring the latest technologies as part of our aerostat systems», said Jerry Mamrol, vice president of Navigation, Surveillance and Unmanned Systems for Lockheed Martin. «It allows for multi-domain, modular and open architecture capabilities for faster, more cost-effective development efforts».
The Lockheed Martin 74K Aerostat System, with integrated multi-mission payloads and high operational availability, has supported the warfighter in many harsh and challenging environments. The 74K aerostat system leverages a wide-area, secure communications backbone for the integration of threat reporting from multiple available sensor assets. With more than 1.6 million combat mission flight hours, the robust design, communications relay and C4 integration on the 74K aerostat supports automated interoperability between tactical and theater surveillance assets and dissemination of operational threat data to aid interdiction of hostile fires and unconventional threats.
Lockheed Martin has specialized in lighter-than-air technology for over 95 years, delivering persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems to the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy and national agencies.
The Missile Defense Agency awarded Lockheed Martin a nine-month, $25.5 million contract extension to continue development of its Low Power Laser Demonstrator (LPLD) missile interceptor concept. This program, awarded August 31, builds on a 2017 contract to develop an initial LPLD concept.
Lockheed Martin’s LPLD concept consists of a fiber laser system on a high-performing, high-altitude airborne platform. LPLD is designed to engage missiles during their boost phase – the short window after launch – which is the ideal time to destroy the threat, before it can deploy multiple warheads and decoys.
Over the course of this contract, Lockheed Martin will mature its LPLD concept to a tailored critical design review phase, which will bring the design to a level that can support full-scale fabrication.
«We have made great progress on our LPLD design, and in this stage, we are particularly focused on maturing our technology for beam control – the ability to keep the laser beam stable and focused at operationally relevant ranges», said Sarah Reeves, vice president for Missile Defense Programs at Lockheed Martin Space. «LPLD is one of many breakthrough capabilities the Missile Defense Agency is pursuing to stay ahead of rapidly-evolving threats, and we’re committed to bringing together Lockheed Martin’s full expertise in directed energy for this important program».
Lockheed Martin expands on advanced technology through its laser device, beam control capabilities, and platform integration – ranging from internal research and development investments in systems like the Advanced Test High Energy Asset (ATHENA) to programs such as the Laser Advancements for Next-generation Compact Environments (LANCE) for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).
Continued LPLD development will take place at Lockheed Martin’s Sunnyvale, California campus through July 2019.
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 directed energy systems development, missile design and production, hit-to-kill capabilities, infrared seekers, command and control/battle management, and communications, precision pointing and tracking optics, radar and signal processing, as well as threat-representative targets for missile defense tests.
U.S. Army pilots exercised supervised autonomy to direct an Optionally-Piloted Helicopter (OPV) through a series of missions to demonstrate technology developed by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The series of flights marked the first time that non-Sikorsky pilots operated the Sikorsky Autonomy Research Aircraft (SARA), a modified S-76B commercial helicopter, as an OPV aircraft.
«Future vertical lift aircraft will require robust autonomous and optimally-piloted systems to complete missions and improve safety», said Chris Van Buiten, vice president, Sikorsky Innovations. «We could not be more thrilled to welcome Army aviators to the cockpit to experience first-hand the reliability of optimally-piloted technology developed by the innovative engineers at Sikorsky and DARPA. These aviators experienced the same technology that we are installing and testing on a Black Hawk that will take its first flight over the next several months».
SARA, which has more than 300 hours of autonomous flight, successfully demonstrated the advanced capabilities developed as part of the third phase of DARPA’s Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) program. The aircraft was operated at different times by pilots on board and pilots on the ground. Sikorsky’s MATRIX Technology autonomous software and hardware, which is installed on SARA, executed various scenarios including:
Automated Take Off and Landing: The helicopter autonomously executed take-off, traveled to its destination, and autonomously landed;
Obstacle Avoidance: The helicopter’s LIDAR and cameras enabled it to detect and avoid unknown objects such as wires, towers and moving vehicles;
Automatic Landing Zone Selection: The helicopter’s LIDAR sensors determined a safe landing zone;
Contour Flight: The helicopter flew low to the ground and behind trees.
The recent Mission Software Flight Demonstration was a collaboration with the U.S. Army’s Aviation Development Directorate, Sikorsky and DARPA. The Army and DARPA are working with Sikorsky to improve and expand ALIAS capabilities developed as a tailorable autonomy kit for installation in both fixed wing airplanes and helicopters.
Over the next few months, Sikorsky will for the first time fly a Black Hawk equipped with ALIAS. The company is working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration to certify ALIAS/MATRIX technology so that it will be available on current and future commercial and military aircraft.
«We’re demonstrating a certifiable autonomy solution that is going to drastically change the way pilots fly», said Mark Ward, Sikorsky Chief Pilot, Stratford, Conn. Flight Test Center. «We’re confident that MATRIX Technology will allow pilots to focus on their missions. This technology will ultimately decrease instances of the number one cause of helicopter crashes: Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT)».
Through the DARPA ALIAS program, Sikorsky is developing an OPV approach it describes as pilot directed autonomy that will give operators the confidence to fly aircraft safely, reliably and affordably in optimally piloted modes enabling flight with two, one or zero crew. The program will improve operator decision aiding for manned operations while also enabling both unmanned and reduced crew operations.
The U.S. Army awarded Lockheed Martin a contract modification to insert Gallium Nitride (GaN) into the AN/TPQ-53 (Q-53) radar as part of the full rate production configuration.
The Q-53 is the most modern radar in the U.S. Army inventory and has the flexible architecture to address aircraft, drone and other threats in the future. The transition to GaN will provide the Q-53 with additional power for capabilities including long-range counterfire target acquisition. GaN has the added benefit of increasing system reliability and reducing lifecycle ownership costs.
«Lockheed Martin is proud the Army is adding Q-53 to our family of fielded GaN based radars», said Rick Herodes, director of the Q-53 program at Lockheed Martin. «This modification takes advantage of our broad experience with radar production and next generation radar development experience coupled with Lockheed Martin’s continuous investment in GaN and other radar technologies. This update enables Q-53 mission growth for changing Army needs. We realize how critical it is to enhance the capabilities of the Q-53 so it can be responsive to the evolving operational demands and emerging threats our deployed troops face every day».
For more than 10 years, Lockheed Martin has used an open GaN foundry model leveraging relationships with commercial suppliers that utilize the power of the expansive telecommunications market. This process eliminates the cost of foundry operations, takes advantage of the telecommunications industry’s investment in GaN, enables competition and ultimately reduces costs.
The primary mission of the multi-mission Q-53 is to protect troops in combat by detecting, classifying, tracking and identifying the location of enemy indirect fire in either 360 or 90-degree modes. Mounted on a five-ton truck, the Q-53 can be rapidly deployed, automatically leveled then operated remotely or from a command vehicle with a laptop computer. The radar is software defined allowing for quick adjustment to address emerging Army capability needs for air surveillance and counter fire target acquisition.
The Q-53 has protected warfighters around the world since 2010.
Lockheed Martin currently produces multiple Q-53 radars annually. Work on the system is performed at Lockheed Martin facilities in New York, New Jersey and Florida.
Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, announced on September 18, 2018 that final assembly of the first HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter Weapons System and Operational Flight Trainers is underway, supporting the smooth entry of the aircraft into the U.S. Air Force fleet in 2020.
Completion of the HH-60W training systems at subcontractor FlightSafety International’s facility in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, is expected in the first quarter of 2019. The Weapons System Trainer will be based at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, home of the formal HH-60W training unit. The Operational Flight Trainer will be at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, site of the first operational unit.
The HH-60W flight trainers will conform to the highest Federal Aviation Administration standards and include the capability to link with other simulators on the Combat Air Forces Distributed Mission Operations (CAF DMO) network. The flight simulators will train the full aircrew, allowing pilots and special mission aviators to train together in the same device while experiencing more complex and realistic training scenarios.
«I am excited to get these trainers in the hands of the U.S. Air Force Rescue Warriors», said Tim Healy, Director, Air Force Programs, Sikorsky. «The combat rescue mission is uniquely challenging in that it requires much of the mission planning to occur while in flight rather than prior to flight. This is due to the time-critical nature of the mission and the reality that the threat, location and condition of isolated personnel to be rescued are not fully known prior to takeoff. This requires that the aircrew become highly skilled at using the enormous networking and information capabilities that reside within the HH-60W, and that takes training and practice. These Weapons Systems and Operational Flight trainers will allow that training at the highest fidelity and realism ever seen».
Sikorsky’s current contract with the U.S. Air Force for the Engineering, Manufacturing and Development (EMD) phase of the program includes delivery of nine HH-60W helicopters as well as six aircrew and maintenance training devices, and instructional courseware designed specifically for the HH-60W aircraft. The Program of Record calls for 112 helicopters to replace the Air Force’s aging H-60G Pave Hawk fleet, which performs critical combat search and rescue and personnel recovery operations for all U.S. military services.
Lockheed Martin Corp., Orlando, Florida, has been awarded a $51,078,802, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extreme Range (JASSM-ER).
This contract effort includes all all-up round level systems engineering and programmatic activities to align and phase the work necessary to design, develop, integrate, test, and verify component and subsystem design changes to the JASSM-ER baseline electronics, hardware, firmware, and operational flight software.
JASSM-ER will also include preparation for final all-up round integration, system-level ground and flight testing, qualification, and incorporation into a future production baseline engineering change proposal.
This effort will concurrently mature a new missile control unit and necessary hardware and infrastructure to support future JASSM-ER production cut in.
Work will be performed in Orlando, Florida, and is expected to be completed by August 31, 2023. This award is the result of sole-source acquisition.
Fiscal 2017 and 2018 research and development funds in the amount of $4,898,622 are being obligated at the time of award.
Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity (FA8682-18-C-0009).
Once the next-generation GPS III satellites begin launching later this year, a series of updates to the current ground control system from Lockheed Martin will help the U.S. Air Force gain early command and control of the new satellites for testing and operations.
In 2016 and 2017, the Air Force placed Lockheed Martin under two contracts, called GPS III Contingency Operations (COps) and M-Code Early Use (MCEU), which directed the company to upgrade the existing Architecture Evolution Plan (AEP) Operational Control System (OCS), which operates today’s GPS constellation. These upgrades to the AEP OCS are intended to serve as gap fillers prior to the entire GPS constellation’s operational transition to the next generation Operational Control System (OCX) Block 1, now in development.
In April 2018, the Air Force approved Lockheed Martin’s critical design for MCEU, essentially providing a «green light» for the company to proceed with software development and systems engineering to deploy the M-Code upgrade to the legacy AEP OCS. The Air Force gave a similar nod to COps in November 2016. COps is now on schedule for delivery in May 2019 and MCEU is scheduled for delivery in January 2020.
«The Air Force declared the first GPS III satellite ‘Available for Launch’ last year, and it’s expected to launch later this year. Nine more GPS III satellites are following close behind in production flow», explained Johnathon Caldwell, Lockheed Martin’s program manager for Navigation Systems. «GPS III is coming soon, and as these satellites are launched, COps and MCEU will allow the Air Force the opportunity to integrate these satellites into the constellation and to start testing some of GPS III’s advanced capabilities even earlier».
Part of the Air Force’s overall modernization plan for the GPS, M-Code is an advanced, new signal designed to improve anti-jamming and anti-spoofing, as well as to increase secure access to military GPS signals for U.S. and allied armed forces.
To accelerate M-Code’s deployment to support testing and fielding of modernized user equipment in support of the warfighter, MCEU will upgrade the AEP OCS, allowing it to task, upload and monitor M-Code within the GPS constellation. MCEU will provide command and control of M-Code capability to eight GPS IIR-M and 12 GPS IIF satellites currently on orbit, as well as future GPS III satellites.
Following launch and check out, each future GPS III satellite will take its place in the GPS constellation. The COps modifications will allow the AEP OCS to support these more powerful GPS III satellites, enabling them to perform their positioning, navigation and timing missions for more than one billion civil, commercial and military users who depend on GPS every day. Besides the addition of GPS III, COps will also continue to support all the GPS IIR, IIR-M and IIF satellites in the legacy constellation.
Lockheed Martin has a long history of supporting ground systems, providing operations, sustainment and logistics support for nearly 60 Department of Defense satellites, including GPS, often allowing them to double their on-orbit operational design life.
Lockheed Martin also is currently under contract to develop and build ten GPS III satellites, which will deliver three times better accuracy and provide up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities. GPS III’s new L1C civil signal also will make it the first GPS satellite to be interoperable with other international global navigation satellite systems.
In Greek mythology, a phoenix is an extraordinary bird that is born again, rising from the ashes of its predecessor.
A video aptly titled, «The Phoenix Rises», played at a ceremony held August 27 in Hangar 1635 to celebrate the rebirth of one of the original F-22 Raptors ever built.
Base leadership joined the 411th Flight Test Squadron and F-22 Combined Test Force, along with Lockheed Martin and Boeing representatives, to welcome back to life Raptor #91-4006, which has been on the ground for almost six years.
The fifth-generation fighter was one of the first F-22 Raptors to have avionics installed for testing and has been at the 411th FLTS since it arrived in May 2001.
However, in November 2012, Raptor 4006 needed costly upgrades and the decision was made to put it into storage, possibly never to fly again due to the budget sequestration at the time, according to Lieutenant Colonel Lee Bryant, 411th FLTS commander and F-22 CTF director.
«This was a gainfully employed airplane when she was working», said Steve Rainey, Lockheed Martin F-22 chief test pilot and member of the F-22 CTF. Rainey also emceed the ceremony.
After eventually getting approval and funding from the Air Force to overhaul the Raptor, a «purple» team of Air Force, Lockheed and Boeing personnel worked for 27 months here at Edwards to restore the jet back to flying status. This included 25,000 man-hours and almost 11,000 individual fixes/parts. The completed refurbishment extends the Raptor’s life from 2,000 flight hours to 4,000 FH and gives it newer avionics systems for testing.
Rainey was the first military F-22 Raptor pilot while in the Air Force and has worked on the Raptor program almost since its beginning. It was only fitting that the rise of the new phoenix was completed July 17 when Rainey took the newly refurbished Raptor to the sky for its «second first flight».
Raptor 4006 is currently the oldest flying F-22. It will now be used as a flight sciences aircraft, which will be an integral part of F-22 fleet modernization.
«It increases our test fleet from three to four giving us another flight sciences jet», said Bryant. «This will help us tackle the expanding F-22 modernization program».
Brigadier General E. John Teichert, 412th Test Wing commander, said he has flown 4006 numerous times when was assigned to the 411th FLTS as a project pilot and later as a squadron commander.
«Our warfighter needs her back flying again», said Teichert.
Today, the Air Force has 183 Raptors in its inventory and boasts that the F-22 cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft.
The F-22 Raptor’s combination of stealth, supercruise capability, maneuverability and integrated avionics, coupled with improved supportability, represents an exponential leap in warfighting capabilities from previous generations of fighters. The Raptor performs both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions allowing full realization of operational concepts vital to the 21st century Air Force.
Technicians have completed construction on the spacecraft capsule structure that will return astronauts to the Moon, and have successfully shipped the capsule to Florida for final assembly into a full spacecraft. The capsule structure, or pressure vessel, for NASA’s Orion Exploration Mission-2 (EM-2) spacecraft was welded together over the last seven months by Lockheed Martin technicians and engineers at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility near New Orleans.
Orion is the world’s only exploration-class spaceship, and the EM-2 mission will be its first flight with astronauts on board, taking them farther into the solar system than ever before.
«It’s great to see the EM-2 capsule arrive just as we are completing the final assembly of the EM-1 crew module», said Mike Hawes, Lockheed Martin vice president and program manager for Orion. «We’ve learned a lot building the previous pressure vessels and spacecraft and the EM-2 spacecraft will be the most capable, cost-effective and efficient one we’ve built».
Orion’s pressure vessel is made from seven large, machined aluminum alloy pieces that are welded together to produce a strong, light-weight, air-tight capsule. It was designed specifically to withstand the harsh and demanding environment of deep space travel while keeping the crew safe and productive.
«We’re all taking extra care with this build and assembly, knowing that this spaceship is going to take astronauts back to the Moon for the first time in four decades», said Matt Wallo, senior manager of Lockheed Martin Orion Production at Michoud. «It’s amazing to think that, one day soon, the crew will watch the sun rise over the lunar horizon through the windows of this pressure vessel. We’re all humbled and proud to be doing our part for the future of exploration».
The capsule was shipped over the road from New Orleans to the Kennedy Space Center, arriving on Friday, August 24. Now in the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building, Lockheed Martin technicians will immediately start assembly and integration on the EM-2 crew module.
The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of two Littoral Combat Ships (LCSs), the future USS Sioux City (LCS-11) and USS Wichita (LCS-13), during a ceremony at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard on August 22.
Sioux City and Wichita, respectively, are the 14th and 15th Littoral Combat Ships (LCSs) to be delivered to the U.S. Navy and the sixth and seventh of the Freedom variant to join the fleet. These deliveries mark the official transfer of the ships from the shipbuilder, part of a Lockheed Martin-led team, to the U.S. Navy. It is the final milestone prior to commissioning. Both ships will be commissioned later this year, USS Sioux City (LCS-11) in Annapolis, Maryland, and USS Wichita (LCS-13) in Jacksonville, Florida.
Regarding the LCS deliveries, Captain Mike Taylor, LCS program manager, said, «The future USS Sioux City (LCS-11) is a remarkable ship which will bring tremendous capability to the Fleet. I am excited to join with her crew and celebrate her upcoming commissioning at the home of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis».
«Today also marks a significant milestone in the life of the future USS Wichita (LCS-13), an exceptional ship which will conduct operations around the globe», he said. «I look forward to seeing Wichita join her sister ships this winter».
Captain Shawn Johnston, commander, LCS Squadron Two, welcomed the ships to the fleet, saying, «The future USS Sioux City (LCS-11) is a welcome addition to the East Coast Surface Warfare Division. Both her Blue and Gold crews are ready to put this ship though her paces and prepare the ship to deploy».
«The future USS Wichita (LCS-13) is the first East Coast Mine Warfare Division ship», he said. «She will have a chance to test some of the latest and greatest mine warfare systems after she completes her remaining combat systems trials».
Several additional Freedom variant ships are under construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine. The future USS Billings (LCS-15) is preparing for trials in spring 2019. The future USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) was christened/launched in April. The future USS St. Louis (LCS-19) is scheduled for christening and launch in the fall. The future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS-21) is preparing for launch and christening in spring of 2019, while the future USS Cooperstown (LCS-23)’s keel was laid earlier this month and is undergoing construction in the shipyard’s erection bays. The future USS Marinette (LCS-25) started fabrication in February, while the future USS Nantucket (LCS-27) is scheduled to begin fabrication in the fall.
LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship designed to meet validated fleet requirements for surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and mine countermeasures missions in the littoral region. An interchangeable mission package is embarked on each LCS and provides the primary mission systems in one of these warfare areas. Using an open architecture design, modular weapons, sensor systems and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles to gain, sustain and exploit littoral maritime supremacy, LCS provides U.S. joint force access to critical theaters.
The LCS class consists of the Freedom variant and Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for the odd-numbered hulls, e.g., LCS-1). The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS-6 and follow-on even-numbered hulls). Twenty-nine LCSs have been awarded to date, with 15 delivered to the U.S. Navy, 11 in various stages of construction and three in pre-production states.
Program Executive Office for Unmanned and Small Combatants is responsible for delivering and sustaining littoral mission capabilities to the fleet. Delivering high-quality warfighting assets while balancing affordability and capability is key to supporting the nation’s maritime strategy.
Ship Design Specifications
Advanced semiplaning steel monohull
389 feet/118.6 m
57 feet/17.5 m
13.5 feet/4.1 m
Full Load Displacement
Approximately 3,200 metric tons
Greater than 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range at top speed
1,000 NM/1,151 miles/1,852 km
Range at cruise speed
4,000 NM/4,603 miles/7,408 km
Watercraft Launch and Recovery
Up to Sea State 4
Aircraft Launch and Recovery
Up to Sea State 5
Combined diesel and gas turbine with steerable water jet propulsion
85 MW/113,600 horsepower
Two MH-60 Romeo Helicopters
One MH-60 Romeo Helicopter and three Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (VTUAVs)
Less than 50
Accommodations for 75 sailors provide higher sailor quality of life than current fleet
Integrated Bridge System
Fully digital nautical charts are interfaced to ship sensors to support safe ship operation
Core Self-Defense Suite
Includes 3D air search radar
Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) gunfire control system