Tag Archives: Lockheed Martin

Weapon Concept

The joint Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and U.S. Air Force Hypersonic Airbreathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) completed yet another successful flight test. The Lockheed Martin version of the missile, with its Aerojet Rocketdyne scramjet, capped a program that accomplished all of its initial objectives. It was the final flight test for HAWC, which is providing critical data to inform Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) hypersonic technology maturation efforts.

Hypersonic Airbreathing Weapon Concept (HAWC)
Artist’s concept of Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapons Concept (HAWC) vehicle

«This month’s flight added an exclamation point to the most successful hypersonic airbreathing flight test program in U.S. history», said Walter Price, an Air Force deputy for the HAWC program. «The things we’ve learned from HAWC will certainly enhance future U.S. Air Force capabilities».

The Lockheed Martin missile again flew at speeds greater than Mach 5/3,836 mph/6,174 km/h, higher than 60,000 feet/18,288 m, and farther than 300 nautical miles/345 miles/555.6 km. This latest flight demonstrated improved capabilities and performance. The nation’s hypersonic portfolio now has two feasible hypersonic airbreathing missile designs (Lockheed Martin and Raytheon) to improve and mature in the future.

«The HAWC program created a generation of new hypersonic engineers and scientists», said Andrew “Tippy” Knoedler, the HAWC program manager. «HAWC also brought a wealth of data and progress to the airbreathing hypersonic community. The industry teams attacked the challenge of scramjet-powered vehicles in earnest, and we had the grit and luck to make it work».

Even though the HAWC program has executed the final phase of the program, there is still data to analyze and more opportunities to mature the technology. DARPA plans to continue that maturation in the More Opportunities with HAWC (MOHAWC) program by building and flying more vehicles that build upon HAWC’s advances. Those missiles will expand the operating envelope of the scramjet and provide technology on-ramps for future programs of record.

«We had our share of difficulties», said Knoedler. «Through a pandemic, a strained supply chain, and atmospheric rivers, our industry partners forged ahead, mitigating the risks where they could and accepting others. They delivered on their promises, proving the feasibility of the concept».

F-16 Block 70

Lockheed Martin on January 24, 2023 announced the successful first flight of the F-16 Block 70 at its Greenville, South Carolina site.

F-16 Block 70
F-16 Block 70 first flight

The flight occurred January 24 at 9:17 a.m. ET, with Lockheed Martin test pilots Dwayne «Pro» Opella and Monessa «Siren» Balzhiser at the helm. Total flight time was approximately 50 minutes and included airworthiness checks, such as engine, flight control and fuel system checks, as well as basic aircraft handling.

«Today’s successful flight is a testament of the hard work, dedication and commitment to our customers and their missions», said OJ Sanchez, vice president, Integrated Fighter Group, which includes the F-16 program. «This milestone demonstrates Lockheed Martin’s commitment to advancing this program and getting this much-needed aircraft and its advanced 21st Century Security capabilities to the warfighter».

This F-16 Block 70 jet is the first of 16 jets to be delivered to Bahrain. Six countries have selected Block 70/72 aircraft. In addition to the current official backlog of 128 jets to-date to be built in Greenville, Jordan last year signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) for eight jets and last week signed an additional LOA for four more jets. Lockheed Martin has received a contract to begin Jordan’s long-lead activities. Bulgaria has also signed an LOA for an additional eight jets for its fleet. Once these are finalized, the backlog will increase to 148.

«Lockheed Martin is fully committed to delivering quality platforms for our customers’ critical missions, and I am so proud of our talented team in Greenville», said Danya Trent, F-16 Vice President and Site Lead in Greenville. «This is the culmination of significant development, design, digital engineering, supply chain and production line advances to an already proven platform that will continue to deliver decades of service in support of customers’ national security».

F-16 Block 70/72
F-16 Block 70 first flight against the sky

 

About the F-16

The F-16 is a strategic and valuable choice for many customers around the world seeking advanced, 4th generation fighter aircraft capabilities, regional and worldwide partnerships, and affordable lifecycle costs. More than 3,000 F-16s are operating today in 25 countries. The F-16 has flown an estimated 19.5 million flight hours and at least 13 million sorties. Today’s latest version, the Block 70/72, offers unparalleled capabilities and will be flown by at least five countries beginning in the mid-2020s.

GV22-0020 F-16 Bahrain EB1 First Flight 20230125 V2 from LM Aero Multimedia on Vimeo.

Directed Energy Interceptor

Lockheed Martin achieved first light from the Directed Energy Interceptor for Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense System (DEIMOS) system, which verifies that the laser’s optical performance parameters align with the system design parameters.

DEIMOS
Lockheed Martin Achieves First Light in Latest Laser Lab Demonstration

Lockheed Martin’s 50 kW-class DEIMOS system is a ruggedized, tactical laser weapon system that can be integrated into the Stryker combat vehicle to deliver robust directed energy capability to the U.S. Army’s challenging Maneuver-SHort Range Air Defense (M-SHORAD) mission.

«The 50 kW-class laser weapon system brings another critical piece to help ensure the U.S. Army has a layered air defense capability», said Rick Cordaro, vice president, Lockheed Martin Advanced Product Solutions. «DEIMOS has been tailored from our prior laser weapon successes to affordably meet the Army’s larger modernization strategy for air and missile defense and to improve mission success with 21st Century Security solutions».

 

Why It Matters

Lockheed Martin’s DEIMOS first light demonstration is a crucial milestone along the path to helping the Army perform its DE M-SHORAD mission, which is intended to deliver a maneuverable laser system capable of negating unmanned aerial systems, rotary-wing aircraft and rockets, artillery and mortars.

First light measures the expected beam quality of the system while testing end-to-end performance of our game-changing, low-cost Spectral Beam Combination (SBC) architecture. The key benefit of the company’s SBC is that power can be scaled while retaining the excellent beam quality of the individual fiber lasers.

In 2022, Lockheed Martin demonstrated Layered Laser Defense (LLD) capability by defeating two surrogate cruise missiles at tactically relevant ranges. This LLD capability:

  • Shares many common elements with the DEIMOS system architecture, such as allowing for a single operator to engage and destroy SHORAD targets.
  • Can be seamlessly integrated into various platforms.
  • Can fit on tactical platforms such as a Stryker vehicle because it was designed with constraints in terms of Size, Weight and Power (SWaP).

 

What’s Next

Utilizing a philosophy of «build a little, test a little, learn a lot», Lockheed Martin will expand the DEIMOS test program in 2023, culminating with field integration tests in 2024. This thorough approach is designed to reduce risk, to enable soldier touchpoints and to provide proof points of compelling mission capabilities.

The Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) is leading the DE M-SHORAD prototyping effort and is expected to transition the program to the Program Executive Office (PEO) Missiles & Space in 2024.

5,000th «Hawk»

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, on January 20, 2023 delivered its 5,000th «Hawk» variant helicopter, a U.S. Army UH-60M Black Hawk. The iconic aircraft will continue to support medium-lift requirements for the U.S. military and international operators for decades into the future.

UH-60M Black Hawk
Sikorsky marks the delivery of the 5,000th «Hawk» helicopter, a UH-60M (pictured), at its headquarters in Stratford, Connecticut, January 20, 2023 (Photo courtesy Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company)

Sikorsky celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.

«Sikorsky, as a company, has been forged by the Black Hawk», said Sikorsky President Paul Lemmo. «The Black Hawk and its variants deliver when reliability and performance are nonnegotiable. Hawk aircraft continue to demonstrate their versatility and readiness with the latest technological advancements and ongoing U.S. and global investment in the aircraft».

Customers worldwide depend on the Black Hawk platform and its derivatives, including MH-60R/S maritime operations helicopters, MH-60T multi-mission helicopters, HH-60W rescue helicopters and internationally built S-70 Black Hawks to include the baseline FIREHAWK, which have all proven their versatility and capability across a spectrum of challenging mission sets.

Sikorsky’s highly skilled and experienced workforce manufactures the latest generation of Hawk aircraft built in Stratford, and there is high international demand for the Sikorsky S-70 Black Hawk, manufactured by Lockheed Martin’s PZL Mielec facility in Poland. More than 35 international customers operate the Black Hawk thanks to its global support network and continued modernization.

The U.S. Army, the largest Black Hawk operator, noted the key role the aircraft continues to fulfill during military and civil operations around the world, in addition to its significant contribution towards Joint All Domain Operations.

«For more than 40 years the Black Hawk has remarkably supported Soldiers in every major contingency operation the Army has executed», said Colonel Calvin Lane, the utility helicopter project manager for the Program Executive Office Aviation. «Even though the helicopter has been around longer than most of the Soldiers it now supports, the Army plans for it to be in front line service another 40 years and beyond. And everyone who contributes to the delivery of this aircraft in any way, contributes directly to providing combat capability that protects Soldiers and helps the Army accomplish its mission».

Sikorsky
Sikorsky Delivers 5,000th «Hawk», Highlights Versatility and Future of Iconic Helicopter

 

The Future of the Black Hawk

As U.S. Army Future Vertical Lift (FVL) aircraft are fielded, the Black Hawk will remain the foundational tactical air assault and utility aircraft for the U.S. Army. Modernization efforts that improve Black Hawk availability and reliability by lowering direct operating costs include:

  • A Modular Open Systems Approach allowing rapid integration of emerging technologies to maintain relevance in future operations by increasing reach, survivability, lethality and sustainment;
  • Improved Turbine Engine to increase lift capability and range;
  • Advanced Digital Vehicle Management Systems supporting Degraded Visual Environment and automated operations;
  • Digital tools including predictive analytics that reduce aircraft downtime and maintenance costs.

In February 2022, Lockheed Martin flew its first uninhabited Optionally Piloted Vehicle (OPV) Sikorsky UH-60A/S-70 Black Hawk testbed helicopter powered by Sikorsky’s MATRIX autonomy technology in collaboration with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Subsequent flights at U.S. Army’s Project Convergence 2022 demonstrated future utility missions for the platform, which shows no signs of relinquishing its preeminent medium-lift capability through continuous innovation and investment.

«We are committed to all H-60 and S-70 operators and look forward to enduring partnerships on the Hawk program in the years to come», added Nathalie Previte, vice president of Army and Air Force Systems at Sikorsky. «It remains our priority to fulfill our customers’ requirements and meet the needs of current and future operational units. With unmatched versatility and global interoperability, Hawk aircraft continue to advance 21st century security».

Amelia Earhart

The sixth Global Positioning System III (GPS III) satellite designed and built by Lockheed Martin has been launched and is propelling to its operational orbit approximately 12,550 miles / 20,197 km above Earth, where it will contribute to the ongoing modernization of the U.S. Space Force’s GPS constellation.

GPS III SV06
GPS III satellite at Lockheed Martin facility outside of Denver, Colorado

GPS III Space Vehicle 06 (GPS III SV06) launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 7:24 a.m. EST on January 18, 2023. About 83 minutes after liftoff, U.S. Space Force and Lockheed Martin engineers at the company’s Denver Launch & Checkout Operations Center confirmed signal acquisition of GPS III SV06 and now have the space vehicle «flying» under their control.

GPS III SV06 is the 25th Military-Code satellite introduced to the constellation. The satellite will provide advanced technology to aide Space Force operators in their mission by providing Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) data to military and civil users worldwide.

«Lockheed Martin is incredibly proud to support the Space Force’s GPS team as it continues to add world-class capabilities that underpin U.S. national security with enhanced performance and accuracy», said Andre Trotter, Lockheed Martin vice president for Navigation Systems. «With the last GPS III satellite complete and ready to launch, production of the first GPS IIIF vehicle is underway».

GPS is a satellite-based radio navigation system that delivers the gold standard in PNT services to America’s military, U.S. allies and civil users. The satellites serve as a crucial technological foundation for internet, financial, transportation and agricultural operations, with more than 4 billion users depending on the PNT signals.

GPS III vehicles provide three times greater accuracy and eight times greater anti-jamming capability over existing satellites in the constellation. To better address mission needs and emerging threats, Lockheed Martin intentionally created GPS III with a modular design, allowing new technology and capabilities to be added in the future.

Lockheed Martin has completed production on its original GPS III SV1-10 contract, with the Space Force declaring SV10 Available for Launch on December 8, 2022. GPS III SV06 will soon join SV01-05 in orbit. GPS III SV07-10 are completed and in storage at the company’s facility waiting for the U.S. Space Force to call them up for launch.

Lockheed Martin is also designing and building the GPS III Follow On (GPS IIIF) for the Space Force, which will feature even more innovative capabilities than its predecessors. GPS IIIF satellites will feature an accuracy-enhancing laser retroreflector array, a new search and rescue payload, a fully digital navigation payload and more next-generation technology. In November 2022, Space Systems Command announced it exercised the third production option valued at approximately $744 million for the procurement of three additional GPS IIIF satellites from Lockheed Martin, meaning the company is now contracted to build SV11-20.

Royal Canadian Air Force

The Government of Canada announced on January 9, 2023, it is procuring Lockheed Martin’s 5th Generation F-35A Lightning II aircraft as a result of the Future Fighter Capability Project competition.

F-35A Lightning II
Canada Announces the Procurement of the F-35 Lightning II

The Royal Canadian Air Force will receive 88 F-35A Lightning II multirole stealth fighters, a sustainment solution tailored to Canada’s sovereign requirements and a comprehensive training program.

«Canada is our friend and a close ally. Their decision to procure almost 90 jets underscores the value of the incredible F-35 Lightning II», said U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General Mike Schmidt, program executive officer, F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office. «The F-35 is the best in the world, providing unmatched interoperability to America, Canada and the additional 15 nations that have selected the fighter. It is a global game-changer. Through power-projection, the F-35 is at the tip of the spear for deterrence. Its forward presence will continue to ensure that potential adversaries choose diplomacy over armed conflict».

«We are honored the Government of Canada has selected the F-35A Lightning II, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian defence industry to deliver and sustain the aircraft», said Bridget Lauderdale, Lockheed Martin’s vice president and general manager of the F-35 Lightning II program. «The selection of F-35 strengthens allied airpower in Canada, North America and around the world».

The F-35 Lightning II strengthens Canada’s operational capability with its allies as a cornerstone for interoperability with NORAD and NATO. As a critical node in the 21st Century Security mission space, the F-35 Lightning II gives pilots an advantage against any adversary and enabling them to execute their mission and come home safe.

«Together with our Canadian industry partners, we are honoured by this selection and the sustainment of critical jobs that will continue to equip Canadian workforces with advanced skills», said Lorraine Ben, chief executive, Lockheed Martin Canada. «The F-35 program yields tremendous economic benefits for Canada’s aerospace and defence industry, and we look forward to continued growth».

To date, the F-35 Lightning II operates from 27 bases worldwide, with nine nations operating F-35s on their home soil. There are more than 890 F-35s in service today, with more than 1,870 pilots and 13,500 maintainers trained on the aircraft.

Rocket Motor Production

Northrop Grumman Corporation will assume production of rocket motors for the U.S. Army’s Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS), fulfilling the full contract production quantity. The company recently delivered its 15,000th rocket motor and 20,000th warhead to Lockheed Martin for final assembly.

GMLRS
Northrop Grumman will assume production of rocket motors for the U.S. Army’s Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) (Photo credit: Lockheed Martin)

«We are proactively investing in production facilities and technologies in support of producing even higher rates of rocket motors faster and more affordably to meet our customer’s anticipated demand», said Jim Kalberer, vice president of missile products, Northrop Grumman. «We are leveraging our capacity and modern manufacturing facilities to deliver critical military needs».

The propulsion system, once delivered to Lockheed Martin’s Camden, Arkansas, final assembly facility, will be integrated into GMLRS missiles – a ballistic rocket designed to engage targets from 15 to 70 kilometers/9.3 to 43.5 miles. Northrop Grumman’s safety enhancing insensitive munition provides the system structural integrity under extreme conditions such as heat, shock and adjacent detonations. The ignition safety device further improves the weapon system’s safety characteristics by preventing unwanted combustion.

«Northrop Grumman is a trusted supplier of GMLRS rocket motors with robust manufacturing capacity to meet the demands of our customer», said Jay Price, vice president of Precision Fires for Lockheed Martin.

Northrop Grumman designed and constructed a purpose-built manufacturing facility at the Allegany Ballistics Laboratory in Rocket Center, West Virginia, using lean manufacturing and digital engineering techniques which enables a robust and resilient Defense Industrial Base. The facility provides for the efficient design, development and production of this critical weapon system component.

F-35 Fleet

The F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) and Lockheed Martin have finalized the contract for the production and delivery for up to 398 F-35s for $30 billion, including U.S., international partners and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) aircraft in Lots 15 and 16, with the option for Lot 17.

F-35 Lightning II
F-35 Lightning II Fleet Now at 894 Aircraft After 141 Deliveries in 2022

«The F-35 delivers unsurpassed capability to our warfighters and operational commanders», said Air Force Lieutenant General Mike Schmidt, program executive officer, F-35 Joint Program Office. «This contract strikes the right balance between what’s best for the U.S. taxpayers, military services, allies and our foreign military sales customers. The F-35 is the world’s premier multi-mission, 5th-generation weapon system, and the modernized Block 4 capabilities these new aircraft will bring to bear strengthens not just capability, but interoperability with our allies and partners across land, sea, air and cyber domains».

The agreement includes 145 aircraft for Lot 15, 127 for Lot 16, and up to 126 for the Lot 17 contract option, including the first F-35 Lightning II aircraft for Belgium, Finland and Poland.

Lot 15-17 aircraft will be the first to include Technical Refresh-3 (TR-3), the modernized hardware needed to power Block 4 capabilities. TR-3 includes a new integrated core processor with greater computing power, a panoramic cockpit display and an enhanced memory unit.

These aircraft will add to the growing global fleet, currently at 894 aircraft after 141 deliveries this year. The F-35 Lightning II team was on track to meet the commitment of 148 aircraft as planned; however, due to a temporary pause in flight operations, which is still in effect, necessary acceptance flight tests could not be performed.

The finalized contract caps off a year of the F-35 Lightning II delivering combat-proven airpower around the world and continued international growth. This year, Finland, Germany and Switzerland signed Letters of Offer and Acceptance (LOAs) as an important step in their procurement of F-35 Lightning II aircraft.

«Continuing to add new countries to our global F-35 fleet further validates the capability and affordability of this aircraft in providing 21st Century Security to nations and allies», said Bridget Lauderdale, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager, F-35 Lightning II Program. «There is simply no other aircraft that can do all that the F-35 does to defeat and deter even the most advanced threats».

F-35 Lightning II program participants currently include 17 countries. To date, more than 1,870 pilots and 13,500 maintainers have been trained, and the F-35 Lightning II fleet has surpassed more than 602,000 cumulative flight hours.

Full Rate Production

The CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter has entered Full Rate Production (FRP) and its deployment phase, following a decision review by Frederick J. Stefany, Acting Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition.

CH-53K King Stallion
U.S. Marines with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 461 prepare for takeoff in CH-53K King Stallions at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, August 16, 2022 (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Corporal Adam Henke)

FRP occurs at the end of Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) following a review assessing the results of Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E), Live Fire Test and Evaluation (LFT&E), production readiness reviews, risk, and affordability analyses. On December 21, the Acquisition Decision Memorandum was signed, authorizing entry of the CH-53K King Stallion into FRP.

FRP is an important milestone to the H-53 Heavy Lift Program Office (PMA-261), as it allows the program to proceed beyond LRIP and begin increasing procurement quantities, thereby gaining production efficiencies and reducing unit costs.

«We have successfully demonstrated the performance and reliability of this aircraft», said Colonel Kate Fleeger, PMA-261 program manager. «With FRP we will continue to build on the strong manufacturing, sustainment and support that has been established for the CH-53K King Stallion».

The Marine Corps continues to execute its transition from the CH-53E Super Stallion to the CH-53K King Stallion and is on schedule to declare Full Operational Capability (FOC) in FY2029.

PMA-261 manages the cradle to grave procurement, development, support, fielding and disposal of the entire family of H-53 heavy lift helicopters.

 

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

Mid-Range Capability

The U.S. Army accepted delivery of the first prototype Mid-Range Capability (MRC) battery. The MRC provides a land-based, ground-launched system with a range between the Army’s Precision Strike Missile and the Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon.

Mid-Range Capability (MRC)
Army accepts delivery of first prototype MRC battery

Building from existing U.S. Navy missile and launcher systems, the MRC provides a fires capability that has not existed in the U.S. Army since the implementation of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty in 1987. Answering the call to the Army’s No. 1 modernization priority, Long-Range Precision Fires, the MRC can defeat a variety of mid-range targets.

«The MRC rapidly progressed from a blank piece of paper in July 2020, to the Soldiers’ hands in just over two years. The Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) team, as well as our joint service and industry partners, delivered this hardware so Soldiers can begin training as quickly as possible», said Lieutenant General Robert Rasch, Director of the Army RCCTO.

Initial hardware delivery occurred with ongoing support planned through December 2022 in preparation for training to begin after the holidays. The delivery includes a complete MRC ground equipment and reload capability, which comprises a battery operations center, four launchers, prime movers, and modified trailers.

The MRC achieves operational capability in fiscal year 2023 upon completion of system testing, training, and delivery of the missiles. Delivering the ground hardware first allows the Soldiers to train on the equipment, create doctrine for the system, and develop tactics, techniques, and procedures.

The MRC Project Office works closely with the Soldiers and Sailors who benefit from this system via embedded Soldier-Sailor Centered Design Events. These events provided critical user feedback throughout the design process and ensured Soldiers and Sailors were at the center of this effort.

In executing the mid-range fires system and testing, the Army continues to work in close coordination with its joint service and agency partners.

MRC
Dino Pusinsky, Director of Next Generations Solutions for Lockheed Martin with Gary Hallinan, RCCTO’s Mid-Range Capability Project Manager. The first Mid-Range Capability battery was delivered to the U.S. Army, increasing their capability to address threats and provide support in multi-domain operations (Lockheed Martin)