Tag Archives: Lockheed Martin

Military Code signal

The final steps to fully-enable the ultra-secure, jam-resistant Military Code (M-Code) signal on the Global Positioning System (GPS) are now underway.

GPS III SV-03 «Columbus» satellite packed prior to shipment to Cape Canaveral

As part of the U.S. military’s effort to modernize GPS, the U.S. Space Force has been steadily upgrading its existing GPS Ground Operational Control System (OCS). The Space Force recently announced Operational Acceptance of the GPS Contingency Operations (COps) upgrade, developed by Lockheed Martin. COps enabled control of the operational GPS constellation, now containing 21 M-Code capable GPS satellites, including Lockheed Martin’s first two GPS III satellites, until the next generation OCX ground control system is delivered.

 

M-Code operational availability on track for 2020

The Space Force’s M-Code Early Use (MCEU) upgrade, delivered earlier this year, will enable the OCS to task, upload and monitor M-Code within the GPS constellation, as well as support testing and fielding of modernized user equipment, prior to the completion of the next-generation ground control systems.

This Spring, work will begin to install the components needed to command and monitor the M-Code encrypted GPS signal, which enhances anti-jamming and protection from spoofing, as well as increases secure access for our forces, into the GPS OCS. M-Code signals are currently available on all the on-orbit GPS IIR-M, IIF and III space vehicles.

A key to enabling M-Code is a new software-defined receiver Lockheed Martin developed and is installing at all six Space Force monitoring sites. The M-Code Monitor Station Technology Capability (M-MSTIC) uses a commercial, off-the-shelf general purpose Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) to cost effectively receive and monitor M-Code signals. Operators can monitor the signal as needed. M-MSTIC complements MSTIC’s, which Lockheed Martin developed and fielded to replace aging hardware receivers that were becoming difficult and expensive to maintain.

«Our warfighters depend on GPS signals every day for many critical missions, so anything we can do to make these signals more resistant to jamming and spoofing is extremely important – and available today», said Johnathon Caldwell, Lockheed Martin Vice President of Navigation Systems. «The more powerful GPS III/IIIF satellites coupled with Lockheed Martin’s upgrades to the GPS ground system are making that possible».

 

Second GPS III satellite joins GPS Constellation

On March 27, the Space Force declared Operational Acceptance of Lockheed Martin’s second GPS III satellite. Another M-Code enabled satellite, GPS III Space Vehicle 02, «nicknamed Magellan», is modernizing today’s GPS satellite constellation with new 3× greater accuracy and up to 8× improved anti-jamming capabilities. GPS III also provides a new L1C civil signal, compatible with other international global navigation satellite systems, like Europe’s Galileo.

Lockheed Martin is currently contracted to build up to 32 GPS III/GPS III Follow On (GPS IIIF) satellites to help modernize the GPS constellation with new technology and advanced capabilities. The delivery tempo for these modernized GPS satellites will allow for several launches per year. The third M-code enabled GPS III satellite, named “Columbus,” is expected to launch in April, 2020.

 

Cyber security significantly hardened with Red Dragon Cyber Security Suite

Cyber defenses across the upgraded GPS system were recently evaluated by a government assessment team and passed the Operational Utility Evaluation. Lockheed Martin delivered the Red Dragon Cybersecurity Suite (RDCSS) Phase III upgrade during the fourth quarter of 2019, dramatically improving Defensive Cyber Operations (DCO) visibility into GPS network traffic. Other add-ons include user behavior analytics to analyze patterns of traffic and network taps to improve data collections.

«GPS is an attractive target for our adversaries, so it was critical we bring our best cybersecurity defenses to the table», said Stacy Kubicek, Vice President of Mission Solutions Defense and Security. «Since we began sustaining the Ground OCS in 2013, we have systematically upgraded and replaced software and hardware – it’s now a very secure system».

Lockheed Martin has sustained the GPS Ground OCS since 2013. In November of 2018, the team completed the AEP 7.5 architectural change – replacing the hardware and software to improve resiliency and cybersecurity. In December of 2018, the Air Force awarded Lockheed martin the GPS Control Segment Sustainment II (GCS II) contract to further modernize and sustain the AEP OCS through 2025.

The GPS III team is led by the Production Corps, Medium Earth Orbit Division, at the Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, at Los Angeles Air Force Base. The GPS OCS sustainment is managed by the Enterprise Corps, GPS Sustainment Division at Peterson Air Force Base. 2 SOPS, at Schriever Air Force Base, manages and operates the GPS constellation for both civil and military users.

Anywhere, Anytime

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the sixth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) communications satellite for the U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center lifted off from Space Launch Complex-41 on March 26 at 4:18 p.m. EDT. This marks the 83rd successful launch of an Atlas V rocket, 138th launch for ULA and first mission for the U.S. Space Force.

Lockheed Martin’s sixth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-6) protected communications satellite is encapsulated in its protective fairings (Photo credit: United Launch Alliance)

The AEHF-6 satellite will bring additional capabilities and resilience to the constellation which already ensures «always-on» communications and the ability to transmit data anywhere, anytime. Once on orbit, AEHF-6 will complete the constellation, as well as mark the first launch under U.S. Space Force control. AEHF-6 will launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) rocket in an Atlas V 551 configuration.

«While this is the final AEHF satellite launch, it really brings the constellation to full strength, capability and truly marks the beginning of the AEHF system’s full lifecycle», said Mike Cacheiro, vice president for Protected Communications at Lockheed Martin. «Still, it is a bittersweet moment for everyone involved, knowing this is our last launch for the AEHF program. Myself, as well as all of the employees who have supported the program at Lockheed Martin are incredibly grateful for our continued partnership with the U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missiles Systems Center».

AEHF-6 is part of the AEHF system – a resilient satellite constellation providing global coverage and a sophisticated ground control system. Together the constellation provides survivable, protected communications capabilities for national leaders and tactical warfighters operating across ground, sea and air platforms. The anti-jam system also serves international allies to include Canada, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and now Australia.

Lockheed Martin developed and manufactured AEHF-6 at its satellite production facility located in Sunnyvale, California. In January, the satellite shipped to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station courtesy of a Super Galaxy C-5 aircraft from the 60th Air Mobility Wing at Travis Air Force Base.

Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor for the AEHF system, and the AEHF team is led by the Production Corps, Medium Earth Orbit Division, at the Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, at Los Angeles Air Force Base.

HELIOS system

Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Navy moved one step closer to integrating a laser weapon system onto an Arleigh Burke destroyer after successfully conducting a Critical Design Review (CDR) for the High Energy Laser with Integrated Optical-dazzler and Surveillance (HELIOS) system.

Artist’s rendering of Lockheed Martin’s HELIOS system (Image courtesy Lockheed Martin)

«Our adversaries are rapidly developing sophisticated weapons and the threats to the U.S. Navy’s fleet are getting more challenging», said Hamid Salim, vice president, Advanced Product Solutions at Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems. «Our warfighters need this capability and capacity now to effectively counter threats such as unmanned aerial systems and fast attack vessels».

This year, HELIOS will undergo system integration in Moorestown, New Jersey – the home of Aegis Combat System development for 50 years. The HELIOS system will then be tested at the Wallops Island Navy land-based test site which will significantly reduce program risk before being delivered to a shipyard for integration into an Arleigh Burke destroyer next year. In addition to being built into the ship’s structure, HELIOS will become an integrated component of the ship’s Aegis combat system.

«HELIOS will provide an additional layer of protection for the fleet – deep magazine, low cost per kill, speed of light delivery, and precision response. Additional HELIOS systems will accelerate the warfighter learning curve, provide risk reduction for future laser weapon system increments and provide a stronger demand signal to the supply base», said Brendan Scanlon, HELIOS program director, Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems.

Lockheed Martin has more than 40 years of experience developing laser weapon systems. HELIOS leverages technology building blocks from internal research and development projects that continue to advance the U.S. Navy’s goal to field laser weapon systems aboard surface ships.

Precision Strike Missile

Lockheed Martin successfully tested its next-generation long-range missile designed for the Army’s Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) program at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. All objectives were achieved in a flawless second performance following the missile’s inaugural flight last December.

Lockheed Martin successfully tested its next-generation long-range missile designed for the Army’s Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) program March 10, 2020, demonstrating a flawless second performance following the missile’s inaugural flight in December 2019, shown here

«Today’s flight test further demonstrated the reliability, precision and critical capabilities Lockheed Martin is building into the PrSM», said Gaylia Campbell, vice president of Precision Fires and Combat Maneuver Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «The missile performed exactly as expected and successfully engaged the target with pinpoint accuracy».

PrSM was fired from Lockheed Martin’s High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launcher and flew a nominal trajectory approximately 180 kilometers/112 miles to the target area, culminating in a highly accurate and lethal warhead event.

Test objectives included confirming the missile’s flight trajectory, range and accuracy from launch to warhead event, as well as warhead lethality, HIMARS launcher integration and overall missile performance.

«This second consecutive successful flight test of Lockheed Martin’s PrSM validates our missile technology and confidence that Lockheed Martin is uniquely positioned to deliver this important, cost-effective capability to meet our U.S. Army customer’s priorities», Campbell said.

The next-generation precision-strike, surface-to-surface weapon system will deliver enhanced capabilities for attacking, neutralizing, suppressing and destroying targets at depth on the battlefield and give field artillery units a new long-range capability while supporting brigade, division, corps, Army, theater, Joint and Coalition forces.

Long Range Radar

The Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) program has completed delivery of the first ten antenna panels to Clear, Alaska, that will make up the first of the system’s two radar antenna arrays. Lockheed Martin continues to successfully achieve all program milestones as it works towards delivering the radar to MDA in 2020. The system will serve as a critical sensor within MDA’s layered defense strategy to protect the U.S. homeland from ballistic missile attacks.

Trucks transporting radar panels to Clear Air Force Station prepare to leave Lockheed Martin’s Moorestown, New Jersey, facility (Photo Courtesy Lockheed Martin)

The two radar antenna arrays will be comprised of a total of 20 panels, each about 27 feet/8.23 meters tall, measuring approximately four stories high and wide. Temporary structures have been assembled in front of the radar facility to ensure the panels are installed on schedule, regardless of weather conditions. The installation and integration of the radar system began last year and will be followed by the transition to the testing period.

Over 66% of program technical requirements have already been verified at Lockheed Martin’s Solid State Radar Integration Site (SSRIS). «We are confident in our product because of the extensive testing that we have been able to perform in the SSRIS over the past few years with production hardware and tactical software. We have successfully reduced a large amount of risk to ensure fielding of this critical capability on schedule in 2020», says Chandra Marshall, director of Lockheed Martin’s Missile Defense and Space Surveillance Radar programs.

In 2018, LRDR achieved Technical Readiness Level 7 using a scalable and modular gallium nitride based «subarray» radar building block, providing advanced performance and increased efficiency and reliability to pace ever-evolving threats. Scaled versions of the LRDR technology will be utilized for future radar programs including Aegis Ashore Japan, recently designated AN/SPY-7(V)1, Canadian Surface Combatant, and Spain’s F-110 Frigate program.

LRDR combines proven Solid State Radar (SSR) technologies with proven ballistic missile defense algorithms, all based upon an open architecture platform capable of meeting future growth. The system will provide around-the-clock threat acquisition, tracking and discrimination data to enable defense systems to lock on and engage ballistic missile threats.

Construction of the structure that will house the Long Range Discrimination Radar is almost complete at Clear Air Force Station in Clear, Alaska (Photo Courtesy Lockheed Martin)

500th F-35 Aircraft

Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office delivered the 500th F-35. In February, the F-35 Lightning II enterprise surpassed 250,000 flight hours.

The 500th F-35 Lightning II delivered by Lockheed Martin takes flight from the company’s Fort Worth, Texas, factory. The multi-role fighter will be delivered to the Air National Guard in Burlington, Vermont

The 500th production aircraft is a U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II, to be delivered to the Burlington Air National Guard Base in Vermont. The 500 hundred F-35s include 354 F-35A Lightning II Conventional TakeOff and Landing (CTOL) variants, 108 F-35B Lightning II Short TakeOff/Vertical Landing (STOVL) variants and 38 F-35C Lightning II Carrier (CV) variants for the U.S. and international customers. The 250,000 flight hours include all F-35s in the fleet comprised of developmental test jets, training, operational, U.S. and international aircraft.

«These milestones are a testament to the talent and dedication of the joint government, military and industry teams», said Greg Ulmer, Lockheed Martin, vice president and general manager of the F-35 Lightning II program. «The F-35 is delivering an unprecedented 5th Generation combat capability to the warfighter at the cost of a 4th Generation legacy aircraft».

The F-35 Lightning II operates from 23 bases worldwide. More than 985 pilots and over 8,890 maintainers are trained. Nine nations use the F-35 Lightning II from their home soil, eight services have declared Initial Operating Capability and four services have employed F-35s Lightning II in combat operations.

Jolly Green II

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, will build 12 additional HH-60W Jolly Green II Combat Rescue Helicopters (CRH) following a second Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) contract award by the U.S. Air Force, known as Lot 2, and valued at over $500 million. The award follows a string of significant program milestones in 2019, including first flight, a Milestone C decision by the Air Force, and award of the first Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) contract for 10 aircraft. The HH-60W Jolly Green II is an all-new helicopter based on the proven UH-60M Black Hawk and customized for the U.S. Air Force’s rescue mission.

Barbara M. Barrett, Secretary of the Air Force, assigned Jolly Green II as the name of the new HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter during the annual Air Force Association (AFA) Air Warfare Symposium (Photo courtesy Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company)

«This second contract award demonstrates the confidence the U.S. Air Force has in Sikorsky’s proven ability to deliver and support the next generation combat search and rescue helicopter», said Greg Hames, Sikorsky’s CRH Program Director. «Our team works daily – and in close collaboration with our customer – to ensure we build and deliver this highly capable and much-needed helicopter to the warfighter».

Since achieving the Milestone C decision from the Air Force in September 2019, which moved the CRH program into low rate initial production, the program continues to progress, reaching key milestones and executing an aggressive flight test schedule. Currently seven CRH aircraft are in flight, two of which are with the Air Force at Duke Field, Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, with all aircraft engaging in expanded flight tests to support the path forward to Required Assets Available (RAA). Low rate initial production of CRH Lot 1 aircraft major assembly is underway, with Lot 2 assembly to follow. The program remains on track to meet contract delivery of RAA in 2020.

The HH-60W Jolly Green II arrived on February 27, 2020 at the Rosen Shingle Creek resort in Orlando, the site of the annual Air Force Association (AFA) Air Warfare Symposium, offering a first-hand look of the much-anticipated aircraft to service members who perform critical search and rescue operations. The Air Force also assigned the new helicopter its proper name – Jolly Green II – in a name reveal event hosted by Barbara M. Barrett, Secretary of the Air Force.

«We respect the long tradition of assigning a moniker that communicates the Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) mission. Jolly Green II is a fitting tribute to its history and to airmen and women worldwide», said Dana Fiatarone, Sikorsky’s Vice President, Army and Air Force Systems. «The name is greatly respected by our workforce – past and present – and it’s an honor to build this critical aircraft for the Air Force and bring it to the symposium today to provide our customer with the opportunity to view the Jolly Green II in person. We look forward to continued production and executing on the recent Lot 2 contract award».

The HH-60W Jolly Green II Combat Rescue Helicopter is significantly more capable and reliable than its predecessor, the HH-60G Pave Hawk. The aircraft hosts a new fuel system that nearly doubles the capacity of the main fuel tank on a UH-60M Black Hawk, giving the Air Force crew extended range and more capability to rescue those injured in the battle space. The HH-60W Jolly Green II specification drives more capable defensive systems, vulnerability reduction, weapons, cyber-security, environmental, expanded adverse weather sensor capabilities, and more comprehensive net-centric requirements than currently held by the HH-60G.

The U.S. Air Force program of record calls for 113 helicopters to replace the Pave Hawks, which perform critical combat search and rescue and personnel recovery operations for all U.S. military services. A total of nine aircraft will be built at Sikorsky’s Stratford, Connecticut, facility during the Engineering & Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase of the program – four EMD aircraft and five System Demonstration Test Articles (SDTA).

Christening
of Cooperstown

The U.S. Navy christened its newest Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Cooperstown (LCS-23), during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony Saturday, February 29, in Marinette, Wisconsin.

Navy christened Littoral Combat Ship USS Cooperstown (LCS-23)

Mrs. Alba Tull served as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, Mrs. Tull christened the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow. Ms. Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of the Board of Directors of The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, delivered the christening ceremony’s principal address.

«The christening of the future USS Cooperstown marks an important step toward this great ship’s entry into the fleet», said Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly. «The dedication and skilled work of everyone involved in the building of this ship has ensured that it will represent the great city of Cooperstown and serve our Navy and Marine Corps team for decades to come».

LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, designed to meet validated fleet requirements for SUrface Warfare (SUW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Mine CounterMeasures (MCM) missions in the littoral region. 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 the U.S. joint force access to critical areas in multiple theaters.

The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom-variant team is led by Lockheed Martin in Marinette, Wisconsin, (for the odd-numbered hulls). The Independence-variant team is led by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama, (for LCS-6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).

USS Cooperstown (LCS-23) is the 12th Freedom-variant LCS, the 23rd in the class. She is the first ship named in honor of Cooperstown, New York. Cooperstown received its name on July 25, 2015, during a ceremony at the National Baseball Hall of Fame, which is located in Cooperstown. Her name honors the veterans who are members of the Baseball Hall of Fame located in the namesake city. These 64 men served in conflicts ranging from the Civil War through the Korean War.

 

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 11-17-2018 Mayport, Florida
USS Wichita (LCS-13) 02-09-2015 09-17-2016 01-12-2019 Mayport, Florida
USS Billings (LCS-15) 11-02-2015 07-01-2017 08-03-2019 Mayport, Florida
USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) 07-18-2016 04-18-2018 10-26-2019 Mayport, Florida
USS St. Louis (LCS-19) 05-17-2017 12-15-2018
USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21) 02-22-2018 06-15-2019
USS Cooperstown (LCS-23) 08-14-2018 01-19-2020
USS Marinette (LCS-25) 03-27-2019
USS Nantucket (LCS-27) 10-09-2019
USS Beloit (LCS-29)
USS Cleveland (LCS-31)

 

Presidential Helicopter

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, will build six production VH-92A Presidential Helicopters under a contract from the U.S Navy. These helicopters are part of the 23 aircraft program of record for the U.S. Marine Corps.

Sikorsky receives second contract to build Presidential Helicopters

Under the terms of the contract, known as Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lot II, Sikorsky will begin deliveries of six VH-92A helicopters in 2022. The remaining production aircraft will be delivered in 2022 and 2023.

«The program continues to progress on budget and within our planned acquisition timeline», said Colonel Eric Ropella, PMA-274 presidential helicopter program manager. «The award of LRIP Lot II reinforces the importance of this Marine Corps no-fail mission especially as we move into the next phase of government testing this year».

 

Helicopter on Track to Meet Milestones

The VH-92A test aircraft at Patuxent River, Maryland, have proven their production readiness by undergoing rigorous U.S. government testing and operational assessments, including more than 1,000 flight test hours establishing the aircraft’s technical maturity and readiness of its mission systems.

Sikorsky has transferred five VH-92A helicopters into government test with the sixth completing modification and entering into government test this spring. The VH-92A program is on track to enter Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) later this year.

«Now that we are ramping up production, the VH-92A program is gaining momentum», said Dave Banquer, Sikorsky VH-92A program director. «This second contract award demonstrates the confidence the U.S. Marine Corps has in Sikorsky’s proven ability to deliver and support the next generation Presidential helicopter».

 

Production of VH-92A Helicopters Underway

All six of the production aircraft from the first Low Rate Initial Production contract are undergoing modifications at Sikorsky’s Stratford, Connecticut plant and are on schedule to begin deliveries in 2021.

Sikorsky and the U.S. Navy integrate mature mission and communication systems into the aircraft. This aircraft provides communication capability to perform the duties of Commander in Chief, Head of State and Chief Executive.

The VH-92A aircraft will provide safe, reliable and capable transportation for the President and Vice President.

This program ensures long term affordability and maintainability by utilizing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified S-92 aircraft which has industry leading reliability and availability. The S-92 fleet surpassed 1.5 million flight hours in 2019 and averages 14,400 hours of safe flight per month.

«The men and women of Sikorsky treasure our legacy of building and providing helicopter transportation for every President and Commander in Chief since Dwight D. Eisenhower», said Banquer. «We are proud to continue that legacy with the VH-92A helicopter».

Renewal Contract

Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support (NAVSUP WSS) renewed a $2.3 billion H-60 Seahawk Performance Based Logistics (PBL) contract with Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission System (LMRMS) located in Owego, New York, February 1.

Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuels) 1st Class Mikhail Levin, left, and Aviation Electrician’s Mate Airman Tamara Shinhearl, both assigned to the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH-20), attach cargo to and MH-60S Seahawk assigned to the «Dragon Whales» of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 28 during a vertical replenishment while underway in the Caribbean Sea, October 23, 2019. Comfort is working with health and government partners in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean to provide care on the ship and at land-based medical sites, helping to relieve pressure on national medical systems, including those strained by an increase in cross-border migrants (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Morgan K. Nall/Released)

The H-60 Seahawk PBL renewal is NAVSUP WSS’ fourth PBL contract with LMRMS since 2004, and runs from February 2020 to January 2027 (a five-year period of performance and an option to extend for two years). This contract will continue to provide value to the fleet and demonstrate the benefits of long-term contractual arrangements, allowing the government to roll out best practices into follow-on contracts.

This PBL contract, based on Federal Acquisition Regulation Part 15 (Contracting by Negotiation), provides supply support for the MH-60R/S helicopter platform. It will cover almost a thousand individual items comprised of Weapon Replaceable Assemblies (WRAs) and Shop Replaceable Assemblies (SRAs) and includes the main rotor blade, main gearbox and the Airborne Low Frequency Sonar (ALFS).

ALFS is a new system add that was not previously supported under the original Seahawk PBL. The ALFS allows for rapid search rate, longer detection range over a wider area and is high performing in both deep and shallow water.

The Seahawk PBL is organically sourced with three Fleet Readiness Centers: Southeast, East and Southwest, along with Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Keyport and Tobyhanna Army Depot.

The renewal will continue to include demand bands, which are a pricing adjustment mechanism utilized to mitigate the risk associated with demand fluctuation in a long term, firm-fixed price contract.

According to Stephen Van Note, NAVSUP WSS contracting officer, «The demand band structure is utilized to incentivize the contractor to implement product and process improvements to increase time-on-wing and reliability, reduce failures, and improve supply chain processes».

The objective of the PBL contract is to increase reliability and availability of H-60 components, as well as the potential to improve Mean Time Between Depot Demand (MTBDD). By decreasing the MTBDD, parts will be available sooner and reduce the number of backorders to the fleet.

Contracting officer Tara Hartung explains that this contract is integral to the NAVSUP WSS mission of keeping the H-60 platform performing at optimal levels as well as improving material availability for fleet readiness.

«This innovative $2.3 billion contract will ensure the H-60 platform is always mission ready», said Hartung.

Keeping in line with Secretary Geurts’ initiatives to be more agile and innovative in our contracting approach and the Naval Aviation Enterprise’s push to improve fleet readiness, the Seahawk PBL continues to set the standard for exceptional support to the H-60 fleet, which includes US Navy, nine Foreign Military Sales partners and the US Coast Guard.

In addition, the NAVSUP WSS H-60 Integrated Weapon Systems Team was awarded the 2019 Secretary of Defense PBL award for innovative sustainment solutions that yield improved lethality. This award will be presented at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland in April 2020.

NAVSUP WSS is one of eleven commands under Commander, NAVSUP. Headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and employing a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel, NAVSUP’s mission is to provide supplies, services, and quality-of-life support to the US Navy and joint warfighter.