Tag Archives: Lockheed Martin

Einstein Box

Lockheed Martin Skunk Works and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recently performed a series of flight tests demonstrating how a System of Systems (SoS) approach enables seamless – and rapid – integration across air, space, land, sea and cyber in contested environments.

DARPA, Lockheed Martin demonstrates technologies to enable a connected warfighter network
DARPA, Lockheed Martin demonstrates technologies to enable a connected warfighter network

The demonstrations held at the Naval Air Warfare Center in China Lake, California, were part of a five-year DARPA program called System of Systems Integration Technology and Experimentation (SoSITE). The flight tests demonstrated interoperability between a ground station, flying test bed, a C-12 and flight test aircraft, and proved the ability to transmit data between those systems using STITCHES, a novel integration technology.

The test used the Skunk Works developed Enterprise Open System Architecture Mission Computer version 2 (EMC2), known as the «Einstein Box», as the open computing environment, providing security protections between systems. The Einstein Box enables rapid and secure experimentation before deploying the capability to operational systems. The team successfully demonstrated four key capabilities:

  • The ability to automatically compose and transmit messages between systems, including those using legacy datalinks;
  • The first use of Non-Enterprise Data Links to create new, rich information exchanges in-flight through Link-16, enabling greater speed, agility, modernization and effectiveness;
  • The ability to link ground-based cockpit simulators with live aircraft systems in real time to demonstrate how a SoS approach reduces the data-to-decision timeline;
  • Integration between the APG-81 radar, currently used on the F-35, and DARPA’s Automatic Target Recognition software to reduce operator workload and to create a comprehensive picture of the battlespace.

Demonstrating rapid and affordable integration of mission systems into existing and new architectures, SoSITE will help U.S. forces maintain their advantage in today’s dynamic world.

«The successful demonstrations focused on advancing integration technologies to increase capabilities of systems in operation today, enabling our warfighters to use those systems in unexpected ways», said Justin Taylor, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works Mission Systems Roadmaps director. «The SoS approach is essential for allowing U.S. forces to rapidly reconfigure systems and prevail over any threat».

The project was led by Lockheed Martin Skunk Works in partnership with the U.S. Air Force and support from industry partners Apogee Research, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, BAE Systems, Phoenix Flight Test, General Dynamics and Rockwell Collins.

Skunk Works’ expertise in open system architecture spans more than a decade. The success of SoSITE is a critical step to enabling multi-domain operations and maintaining superiority in the future battlespace. In its 75th year, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works is proud to advance SoS integration in partnership with DARPA as they celebrate 60 years of creating breakthrough technologies and capabilities for national security.

Acceptance Trials

Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 13, the future USS Wichita, completed Acceptance Trials in the waters of Lake Michigan. LCS-13 is the seventh Freedom-variant LCS designed and built by the Lockheed Martin-led industry team and is slated for delivery to the U.S. Navy later this summer.

Littoral Combat Ship 13 (Wichita) Completes Acceptance Trials
Littoral Combat Ship 13 (Wichita) Completes Acceptance Trials

«LCS 13’s completion of Acceptance Trials means this ship is one step closer to joining the fleet and conducting critical maritime operations for the Navy», said Joe DePietro, vice president, Small Combatants and Ship Systems at Lockheed Martin. «This ship is agile, powerful and lethal, and the industry team and I are looking forward to her delivery, commissioning and deployment».

The trials, conducted July 9-12, included a full-power run, maneuverability testing and air detect-to-engage demonstrations of the ship’s combat system. Major systems and features were demonstrated including aviation support, and small boat launch handling and recovery.

«I am extremely proud of our LCS team including our shipbuilders at Fincantieri Marinette Marine», said Jan Allman, Fincantieri Marinette Marine President and CEO. «These are complex vessels, and it takes a strong team effort to design, build and test these American warships».

The future USS Wichita is one of eight ships in various stages of production and test at Fincantieri Marinette Marine, with one more in long-lead production.

The next Freedom-variant in the class is LCS-15, the future USS Billings. LCS-15 is scheduled to complete sea trials this year.

Lockheed Martin’s Freedom-variant LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship, designed to support focused-missions in the areas of mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare. The Freedom-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals.

 

Ship Design Specifications

Hull Advanced semiplaning steel monohull
Length Overall 389 feet/118.6 m
Beam Overall 57 feet/17.5 m
Draft 13.5 feet/4.1 m
Full Load Displacement Approximately 3,200 metric tons
Top Speed 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
Propulsion Combined diesel and gas turbine with steerable water jet propulsion
Power 85 MW/113,600 horsepower
Hangar Space Two MH-60 Romeo Helicopters
One MH-60 Romeo Helicopter and three Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (VTUAVs)
Core Crew 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
Rolling-Airframe Missile Launching System
57-mm Main Gun
Mine, Torpedo Detection
Decoy Launching System

 

Freedom-class

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Freedom (LCS-1) 06-02-2005 09-23-2006 11-08-2008 San Diego, California
USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) 07-11-2009 12-07-2010 09-22-2012 San Diego, California
USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) 10-27-2011 12-18-2013 11-21-2015 San Diego, California
USS Detroit (LCS-7) 08-11-2012 10-18-2014 10-22-2016 San Diego, California
USS Little Rock (LCS-9) 06-27-2013 07-18-2015 12-16-2017 San Diego, California
USS Sioux City (LCS-11) 02-19-2014 01-30-2016
USS Wichita (LCS-13) 02-09-2015 09-17-2016
USS Billings (LCS-15) 11-02-2015 07-01-2017
USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) 07-18-2016 04-14-2018
USS St. Louis (LCS-19) 05-17-2017
USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21) 02-22-2018
USS Cooperstown (LCS-23)
USS Marinette LCS-25
USS Nantucket (LCS-27)

 

Full-rate production

Northrop Grumman Corporation’s center fuselage of the F-35 Lightning II recently entered full-rate production. This milestone marks the beginning of a 1.5-day Production Interval (PI) meaning a center fuselage will be produced every day and a half.

Northrop Grumman quality team performs final inspection of an F-35 center fuselage produced by the company at its Palmdale Aircraft Integration Center of Excellence
Northrop Grumman quality team performs final inspection of an F-35 center fuselage produced by the company at its Palmdale Aircraft Integration Center of Excellence

«Our customers and warfighters deserve the best», said Frank Carus, vice president and F-35 program manager, Northrop Grumman. «Every efficiency, every minute, and every dollar we save reduces costs and speeds up the F-35’s availability to the warfighter. Achieving this pace is a testament to our employees, suppliers and teammates’ commitment to quality and affordability».

Carus also noted that the 400th F-35 center fuselage was completed and delivered to Lockheed Martin last month and production of the 500th F-35 center fuselage began last week.

«This pace of military aircraft production has not been seen in decades», said Kevin Mickey, sector vice president and general manager, military aircraft systems, Northrop Grumman. «Our revolutionary approach on the integrated assembly line pairs advanced technology with data-driven analytics to manufacture advanced aircraft while delivering top quality products on time, and often ahead of schedule».

A core structure of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft, the center fuselage is produced on Northrop Grumman’s Integrated Assembly Line (IAL) at its Palmdale Aircraft Integration Center of Excellence. The IAL is a state-of-the-art facility supported by technologies exclusive to or pioneered by Northrop Grumman bringing together robotics, autonomous systems, virtual 3D and predictive automation to the forefront of center fuselage production.

«As we prepare for full rate production of the F-35, many of our teammates and suppliers are now transitioning to full rate, aligning their production lead times with the F-35 final assembly that supports increased warfighter demand», said Eric Branyan, vice president of F-35 supply chain at Lockheed Martin. «Northrop Grumman plays a critical role in the F-35 enterprise and we look forward to continuing to reduce costs, improve efficiencies and deliver transformational F-35 capabilities for the men and women in uniform».

Northrop Grumman plays a key role in the development and production of the F-35 weapons system. In addition to producing the jet’s center fuselage and wing skins for the aircraft, the company develops, produces and maintains several sensor systems, avionics, mission systems and mission-planning software, pilot and maintainer training systems courseware, electronic warfare simulation test capability, and low-observable technologies.

Initial Production

Lockheed Martin’s Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) system has successfully passed its Defense Acquisition Board review and achieved milestone C. The signed Acquisition Decision Memorandum approves the JAGM system to enter into Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP).

Lockheed Martin's Joint Air-to-Ground Missile Achieves Milestone C Decision, Enabling Low-Rate Initial Production
Lockheed Martin’s Joint Air-to-Ground Missile Achieves Milestone C Decision, Enabling Low-Rate Initial Production

JAGM is a multi-sensor air-to-ground missile that is the successor to the combat proven HELLFIRE Romeo and HELLFIRE Longbow missiles. Backward compatible with all rotary wing and fixed wing platforms that fire the HELLFIRE family of missiles, JAGM employs a multi-mode guidance section that offers enhanced performance on the battlefield. The multimode seeker combines improved Semi-Active Laser and millimeter wave radar sensors providing precision strike and fire-and-forget capability against stationary and moving land and maritime targets in adverse weather and obscured battlefield conditions.

JAGM flight tests, including ten Limited User Test flights, were completed across the performance envelope and target requirements over a period of months leading up to the successful milestone C decision. The test results demonstrated the system’s combat effectiveness and technical maturity. Additionally, the program successfully conducted supplier and prime contractor production readiness reviews establishing the program’s readiness to move into LRIP.

The U.S. Army and U.S. Navy awarded Lockheed Martin a 24-month contract for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase of the JAGM program which included JAGM production, test qualification and integration on the AH-64E Apache and AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters. The EMD phase also established an initial low-rate manufacturing capability in support of three follow-on LRIP options, with U.S. Army Initial Operational Capability expected early 2019.

The JAGM system hardware that demonstrated over 95 percent reliability in flight testing is built on the active HELLFIRE missile family production line by the same team that has produced over 75,000 missiles with a fielded reliability exceeding 97 percent.

Test Program

A team of U.S. Air Force engineers, test pilots, and Norwegian government and industry personnel recently completed a large phase of testing for the Joint Strike Missile (JSM).

A weapons load team prepares to remove a Joint Strike Missile from a 416th Flight Test Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon following a captive carriage test flight, February 27, 2018 (U.S. Air Force photo by Christopher Okula)
A weapons load team prepares to remove a Joint Strike Missile from a 416th Flight Test Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon following a captive carriage test flight, February 27, 2018 (U.S. Air Force photo by Christopher Okula)

The JSM is Norway’s advanced anti-surface warfare missile designed for the new F-35A Lighting II’s internal weapons bay. The missile can be employed against sea- and land-based targets. Norway is a partner nation in the development of the fifth-generation Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

Before proceeding with integration testing on the F-35A Lighting II, the JSM was tested at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) on F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 416th Flight Test Squadron.

«The F-16 is a much more proven and mature platform in terms of technology development», said Collin Drake, 416th FLTS JSM project engineer. «The F-35 is still undergoing its own technology development and design iterations, which brings its own challenges. It made it a lot more efficient and effective to use F-16s to be able to test, mid-cycle, a new type of weapon».

Drake said the weapons development program at Edwards AFB began in 2015. The JSM missile system was matured and proven with ground testing, captive carriage testing (flight test missions to ensure the weapon would perform its designed functions prior to being released from the aircraft), and live-drop testing to verify the JSM’s ability to safely release from the aircraft and perform its autonomous functions.

Testing included multiple variants of the JSM that increased in complexity and capability throughout the course of the program. The first JSM was a glide-only weapon with an active autopilot, but without a live engine, according to Drake. The next several tests used a version of the JSM that still did not have a warhead, but had a live engine and navigation avionics. The different variants proved the JSM could sustain extended periods of flight under its own power and successfully navigate over different terrain.

All variants of the JSM were inert until the final flight test events where it hit a target with full mission systems software and guidance. Throughout the test program, numerous software and hardware changes and updates were made. All live releases of the weapon were conducted at the Utah Test and Training Range.

«The multi-national test team, including the 416th FLTS, was able to work with the weapon developer over the course of the program to improve the JSM in an incremental fashion, which has resulted in a reliable and high-performance missile system», Drake said. «It was an enormous milestone to release the final, all-up-round weapon».

Drake said Edwards AFB’s airspace, personnel, assets and the American-Norway alliance make it the ideal situation to test the JSM.

«The weapons ranges needed simply don’t exist in Norway», Drake said. «So, they were able to come here and utilize the Edwards AFB airspace and ground test facilities for the captive carriage flight and ground testing. The 416th FLTS has a long and storied history of testing systems with our foreign partners, especially with Norway. Norway has been a partner in F-16 development since its inception, so it was a natural fit to work with the Norwegian Ministry of Defense to make this technology development program a reality. The 416th FLTS is equipped to provide flight test expertise and is adaptable to accommodate the testing of first-of-its-kind hardware and software, such as that of the Joint Strike Missile».

The next step is for the Norwegians to integrate the JSM on to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and then on to further weapons and integration testing.

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon carries a developmental test version of Norway’s Joint Strike Missile to its release point above the Utah Test and Training Range west of Salt Lake City. When development is complete, the JSM is intended for use aboard the F-35A Lighting II. The 416th Flight Test Squadron recently wrapped up JSM testing (U.S. Air Force photo by Christopher Okula)
A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon carries a developmental test version of Norway’s Joint Strike Missile to its release point above the Utah Test and Training Range west of Salt Lake City. When development is complete, the JSM is intended for use aboard the F-35A Lighting II. The 416th Flight Test Squadron recently wrapped up JSM testing (U.S. Air Force photo by Christopher Okula)

F-35B Lightning II

The United Kingdom has welcomed home its first four F-35B Lightning II advanced fighter aircraft, which will be flown by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Navy.

Lockheed Martin-Built F-35 Comes Home to RAF Marham
Lockheed Martin-Built F-35 Comes Home to RAF Marham

With the aid of air-to-air refueling, the aircraft flew non-stop across the Atlantic from the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, South Carolina where UK pilots have been undergoing intensive training on the aircraft in partnership with their USMC counterparts.

With stealth technology, advanced sensors, weapons capacity and range, the F-35 Lightning II is the most lethal, survivable and connected fighter aircraft ever built. More than a fighter jet, the F-35’s ability to collect, analyze and share data is a powerful force multiplier enhancing all airborne, surface and ground-based assets in the battlespace.

«This aircraft will truly transform how the UK conducts its defence operations and it is fitting that the next generation of combat air power has arrived as the RAF celebrates its centenary», said Peter Ruddock, Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin UK. «As a key partner in the F-35 programme from its early stages, the UK has been instrumental in shaping the design and development of the aircraft, particularly in relation to the short take-off and vertical landing capabilities».

The programme has also greatly benefitted UK industry with more than 500 British companies involved in the supply chain. Around 15 percent by value of each of the more than 3,000 F-35 Lightning II aircraft projected on the programme is manufactured in the UK, and to date the programme has generated about U.S. $13 billion in contracts for British suppliers.

The aircraft have arrived two months ahead of schedule which will allow the UK’s Lightning Force to focus on achieving initial operational capability by the end of 2018. The first flight trials with the UK’s Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers are expected later this year.

Comprehensive sustainment support for the UK’s fleet of F-35 Lightning II aircraft based at RAF Marham will be provided by Lightning Team UK, which represents the blended industry team of BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls Royce.

The UK currently has 15 F-35B Lightning II aircraft in total, the remainder of which are stationed at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Beaufort or Edwards Air Force Base in California, where they are involved in testing and training.

Around the world, there are now nearly 300 F-35 Lightning II aircraft operating from 15 bases globally and the programme has achieved more than 140,000 flight hours.

 

Specifications

Length 51.2 feet/15.6 m
Height 14.3 feet/4.36 m
Wingspan 35 feet/10.7 m
Wing area 460 feet2/42.7 m2
Horizontal tail span 21.8 feet/6.65 m
Weight empty 32,300 lbs/14,651 kg
Internal fuel capacity 13,500 lbs/6,125 kg
Weapons payload 15,000 lbs/6,800 kg
Maximum weight 60,000 lbs class/27,215 kg
Standard internal weapons load Two AIM-120C air-to-air missiles
Two 2,000-pound/907 kg GBU-31 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) guided bombs
Propulsion (uninstalled thrust ratings) F135-PW-600
Maximum Power (with afterburner) 41,000 lbs/182,4 kN/18,597 kgf
Military Power (without afterburner) 27,000 lbs/120,1 kN/12,247 kgf
Short Take Off Thrust 40,740 lbs/181,2 kN/18,479 kgf
Hover Thrust 40,650 lbs/180,8 kN/18,438 kgf
Main Engine 18,680 lbs/83,1 kN/8,473 kgf
Lift Fan 18,680 lbs/83,1 kN/8,473 kgf
Roll Post 3,290 lbs/14,6 kN/1,492 kgf
Main Engine Length 369 inch/9.37 m
Main Engine Inlet Diameter 43 inch/1.09 m
Main Engine Maximum Diameter 46 inch/1.17 m
Lift Fan Inlet Diameter 51 inch/1,30 m
Lift Fan Maximum Diameter 53 inch/1,34 m
Conventional Bypass Ratio 0.57
Powered Lift Bypass Ratio 0.51
Conventional Overall Pressure Ratio 28
Powered Lift Overall Pressure Ratio 29
Speed (full internal weapons load) Mach 1.6 (~1,043 knots/1,200 mph/1,931 km/h)
Combat radius (internal fuel) >450 NM/517.6 miles/833 km
Range (internal fuel) >900 NM/1,036 miles/1,667 km
Max g-rating 7.0
PLANNED QUANTITIES
U.S. Marine Corps 340
U.K. Royal Air Force/Royal Navy 138
Italy 30
In total 508

 

Acceptance Trials

Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 11, the future USS Sioux City (LCS-11), completed Acceptance Trials in the waters of Lake Michigan. LCS-11 is the sixth Freedom-variant LCS designed and built by the Lockheed Martin-led industry team and is slated for delivery to the U.S. Navy later this summer.

LCS-11 (Sioux City) completed Acceptance Trials in Lake Michigan
LCS-11 (Sioux City) completed Acceptance Trials in Lake Michigan

«LCS-11’s completion of Acceptance Trials means this ship is one step closer to joining the fleet and conducting critical maritime operations for the Navy», said Joe DePietro, vice president, Small Combatants and Ship Systems at Lockheed Martin. «This ship is agile, powerful and lethal, and the industry team and I are looking forward to her delivery, commissioning and deployment».

The trials, conducted May 20-24, included surface and air detect-to-engage demonstrations of the ship’s combat system. Major systems and features were demonstrated, including aviation support, small boat launch handling and recovery and ride control.

«I am extremely proud of our LCS team including our shipbuilders at Fincantieri Marinette Marine», said Jan Allman, Fincantieri Marinette Marine President and CEO. «These are complex vessels, and it takes a strong team effort to design, build and test these American warships».

The future USS Sioux City (LCS-11) is one of eight ships in various stages of production and test at Fincantieri Marinette Marine, with one more in long-lead production.

The next Freedom-variant in the class is LCS-13, the future USS Wichita. LCS-13 is slated to complete Acceptance Trials in early summer with delivery this year.

Lockheed Martin’s Freedom-variant LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship, designed to support focused-missions in the areas of mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare. The Freedom-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals.

 

Ship Design Specifications

Hull Advanced semiplaning steel monohull
Length Overall 389 feet/118.6 m
Beam Overall 57 feet/17.5 m
Draft 13.5 feet/4.1 m
Full Load Displacement Approximately 3,200 metric tons
Top Speed 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
Propulsion Combined diesel and gas turbine with steerable water jet propulsion
Power 85 MW/113,600 horsepower
Hangar Space Two MH-60 Romeo Helicopters
One MH-60 Romeo Helicopter and three Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (VTUAVs)
Core Crew 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
Rolling-Airframe Missile Launching System
57-mm Main Gun
Mine, Torpedo Detection
Decoy Launching System

 

Freedom-class

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Freedom (LCS-1) 06-02-2005 09-23-2006 11-08-2008 San Diego, California
USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) 07-11-2009 12-07-2010 09-22-2012 San Diego, California
USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) 10-27-2011 12-18-2013 11-21-2015 San Diego, California
USS Detroit (LCS-7) 08-11-2012 10-18-2014 10-22-2016 San Diego, California
USS Little Rock (LCS-9) 06-27-2013 07-18-2015 12-16-2017 San Diego, California
USS Sioux City (LCS-11) 02-19-2014 01-30-2016
USS Wichita (LCS-13) 02-09-2015 09-17-2016
USS Billings (LCS-15) 11-02-2015 07-01-2017
USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) 07-18-2016 04-14-2018
USS St. Louis (LCS-19) 05-17-2017
USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21) 02-22-2018
USS Cooperstown (LCS-23)
USS Marinette LCS-25
USS Nantucket (LCS-27)

 

LCS11AT_Social from RMS Videography on Vimeo.

Environment Test

Lockheed Martin recently put its fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-5) satellite through its paces in realistic simulations of its future launch experience. The satellite completed the tests successfully and is now in system-level testing in preparation for delivery to the U.S. Air Force in 2019.

AEHF-4 (foreground) with the antenna wings extended and AEHF-5 (background) visible in the open DELTA chamber
AEHF-4 (foreground) with the antenna wings extended and AEHF-5 (background) visible in the open DELTA chamber

For the 39 days of Thermal Vacuum Chamber (TVAC) testing, AEHF-5 was subjected to extreme cold and heat in zero atmosphere, to simulate its upcoming on-orbit life. TVAC is a part of a battery of tests that ensure a satellite will arrive in space functionally sound and ready to operate through the extreme temperature changes of space.

Following the TVAC test series, AEHF-5 completed acoustic testing, where the satellite was subjected to high intensity, low frequency sound waves that simulated the vibrations generated by a rocket propelling its payload from zero to over 17,500 miles/28,163.5 km per hour in under eight minutes.

«TVAC and acoustic tests are critical milestones in the production cycle of a satellite, where we have one shot to get it right, so we take every precaution to ensure the vehicle is ready for the harsh space environment. We design and build our AEHF satellites to serve our military’s strategic and tactical protected communications needs. The team and the satellite performed flawlessly, and AEHF-5 is now in system level testing», said Michael Cacheiro, vice president for Protected Communications at Lockheed Martin Space.

Following its anticipated 2019 launch, the satellite will join the AEHF constellation that continues to provide global, highly-secure, protected and survivable communications for U.S. and allied warfighters on ground, sea and air platforms.

In addition to AEHF-5, the fourth AEHF satellite is rapidly nearing the end of its production journey. AEHF-4 will be shipped to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station later this year in preparation for a launch on an Atlas V launch vehicle. Once on-orbit, AEHF-4 will complete the minimum constellation of AEHF satellites needed to bring global Extended Data Rate (XDR) connectivity to warfighters and international partners.

«XDR adds an unprecedented protected communication capability, providing 10 times more communications throughput than the legacy MILSTAR (Military Strategic and Tactical Relay) constellation», stated Cacheiro.

The AEHF team is led by the U.S. Air Force Military Satellite Communications Systems Directorate at the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California Lockheed Martin Space, Sunnyvale, California, is the AEHF prime contractor and system manager, with Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, Redondo Beach, California, as the satellite payload provider.

The first King

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, delivered the first CH-53 King Stallion helicopter to the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) on May 16, 2018. The aircraft is the first of an expected 200 helicopters for the Marine Corps’ fleet.

Sikorsky Begins CH-53 King Stallion Heavy Lift Helicopter Deliveries to the U.S. Marine Corps
Sikorsky Begins CH-53 King Stallion Heavy Lift Helicopter Deliveries to the U.S. Marine Corps

The CH-53K is the new build replacement for the U.S. Marine Corps’ aging CH-53E Super Stallion fleet. The CH-53E first flew in 1974 and entered service with the USMC in 1981.

«Our first delivery of a CH-53K to the Marine Corps marks the start of a new generation of true heavy lift helicopter deliveries by Sikorsky that bring unsurpassed and expanded capability across the modern battlefield to provide tremendous mission flexibility and efficiency in delivering combat power, humanitarian assistance or disaster relief for those in need», said Dan Schultz, Sikorsky President and former CH-53 pilot. «With 18 additional aircraft in various stages of production already, the entire Sikorsky team, in partnership with our suppliers, is looking forward to additional deliveries to delight our customer».

This first CH53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter will be stationed at Marine Corps Air Station New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

There the helicopter enters into the Supportability Test Plan. U.S. Marines will conduct a logistics assessment on the maintenance, sustainment and overall aviation logistics support of the King Stallion. This assessment also will validate maintenance procedures with Marine Corps maintainers conducting hands-on care/upkeep of the aircraft. The Supportability Test Plan will ensure readiness and support on the flightline when CH-53K helicopters enter into service with the USMC.

Sikorsky expects to deliver its second CH-53K King Stallion helicopter to the USMC in early 2019.

The CH-53K King Stallion test program recently completed the following milestones: maximum weight single-point cargo hook sling load of 36,000 pounds/16,329 kilograms; forward flight speed of over 200 knots/230 mph/370 km/h; 60 degrees angle of bank turns; altitude of 18,500 feet/5,639 meters Mean Sea Level (MSL); 12-degree slope landings and takeoffs; external load auto-jettison; and gunfire testing.

«I am very proud of the work accomplished to deliver the most powerful helicopter ever designed into the hands of our Marines», Lieutenant General Steven Rudder, Deputy Commandant for Aviation, said. «And confident in the teamwork and dedication in this program which will carry us to IOC (Initial Operational Capability) next year».

Sikorsky is preparing its manufacturing facility in Stratford, Connecticut, to house CH-53K King Stallion production beginning this summer.

The heavy lift helicopter made its international debut and showcased its maneuverability and advanced fly-by-wire technology during demonstration flights at the recent ILA Berlin Air Show in Berlin, Germany. For the latest video and photos from the air show please visit our Twitter and Facebook channels.

The CH-53K King Stallion is an all new aircraft, using modern intelligent design. The rugged CH-53K King Stallion helicopter is designed to ensure reliability, low maintenance, high availability and enhanced survivability in the most austere and remote forward operating bases.

 

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

Rocket Production

Lockheed Martin received an $828 million not-to-exceed contract from the U.S. Army for Lot 13 production of Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) rockets and associated equipment.

Lockheed Martin received a $828 million not-to-exceed contract from the U.S. Army for Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System rockets and associated equipment
Lockheed Martin received a $828 million not-to-exceed contract from the U.S. Army for Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System rockets and associated equipment

The contract calls for the production of GMLRS Alternative Warhead (AW) rockets, GMLRS Unitary rockets, Reduced-Range Practice Rockets (RRPRs) and integrated logistics support for the U.S. Army as well as GMLRS rounds for a number of international customers. Work will be performed at the Lockheed Martin facilities in Dallas and at the company’s Precision Fires Center of Excellence in Camden, Ark.

«The GMLRS round continues to perform exceptionally well for our customers», said Gaylia Campbell, vice president of Precision Fires and Combat Maneuver Systems at Lockheed Martin. «And we are always executing continuous improvement initiatives to enhance performance, range and affordability of these critical rounds to assure they remain the preferred precision-strike option for our warfighters».

GMLRS is an all-weather rocket designed for fast deployment that delivers precision strike beyond the reach of most conventional weapons. The GMLRS AW was the first munition developed to service area targets without the effects of unexploded ordinance, complying with the Department of Defense (DoD) cluster munitions policy. GMLRS Unitary rockets greatly exceed the required combat reliability rate and have established a reputation for affordability. The RRPR allows users to train with realistic, full-motored rockets with limited flight range, making them ideal for smaller testing ranges.

In combat operations, each GMLRS rocket is packaged in a MLRS launch pod and is fired from the Lockheed Martin High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) or M270 family of launchers. For more than 40 years, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control has been the leading designer and manufacturer of long-range, surface-to-surface precision strike solutions, providing highly reliable, combat-proven systems like MLRS, HIMARS, Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) and GMLRS to domestic and international customers.