Tag Archives: Lockheed Martin

The Future Beloit

Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine marked the beginning of construction on Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 29, the future USS Beloit (LCS-29), with a ceremony in Marinette. As part of a ship-building tradition dating back centuries, a shipyard worker welded into the ship’s keel plate the initials of Major General Marcia M. Anderson (U.S. Army, Retired), USS Beloit (LCS-29) ship sponsor and a Beloit, Wisconsin, native. This plate will be affixed to the ship and travel with Beloit throughout its commissioned life.

During the ceremony, the ship’s sponsor’s initials were welded onto a keel plate that will travel with the ship throughout its life

USS Beloit (LCS-29) will be the 15th Freedom-variant LCS and will join a class of more than 30 ships. To date, four Freedom-variant LCS have deployed to support U.S. Navy presence and peacekeeping missions. In May, LCS-7 (USS Detroit) partnered with a U.S. Navy destroyer and Coast Guard teams to serve interdiction missions in the U.S. Southern Command Area of Responsibility.

«With two deployments so far this year, Freedom-variant LCS have proven that they are capable and can serve a unique role in the U.S. Navy’s fleet», said Joe DePietro, vice president and general manager of Small Combatants and Ship Systems. «LCS’ speed, maneuverability and flexibility allows the ship to serve a multitude of missions by quickly integrating equipment and deploying manned and unmanned aerial, surface or sub-surface vehicles».

In total, there are more than 500,000 nautical miles/575,390 miles/926,000 km under the keel of Freedom-variant LCS. The ship delivers advanced capability in anti-submarine, surface, and mine countermeasure missions, and was designed to evolve with the changing security environment. As near-peer competition from large nation states increases, Lockheed Martin is partnering with the Navy to evolve LCS to meet these threats. Targeted upgrades are already underway with naval strike missiles being installed in support of upcoming deployments. Future installs of improved electronic warfare and decoy launching systems are under development.

USS Beloit (LCS-29) is the first U.S. Navy ship to be named after Beloit, Wisconsin, and the ship’s sponsor has personal ties to Beloit. During a long career with the U.S. military, Major General Anderson became the first African American woman to obtain the rank of major general in the U. S. Army and U. S. Army Reserve. As a citizen-soldier, Anderson was employed for 28 years by the United States Courts, where she served as the Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Wisconsin, located in Madison, Wisconsin, until her retirement in late 2019.

«The construction of the U.S. Navy’s newest Littoral Combat Ship and naming it after the city of Beloit, with its rich and storied history of supporting our nation’s national security, is more than fitting», said Major General Anderson. «When completed, the USS Beloit’s voyages will be part of the tradition of small cities and towns in America sharing our story around the world».

Beloit is one of six LCS in various stages of construction and test at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard.

«We are proud to celebrate the future USS Beloit today», said Jan Allman, CEO of Fincantieri Marinette Marine. «The Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard is honored to build this capable warship, named for another city from the wonderful state of Wisconsin. I think this is a true testament to the hard work and patriotism of Midwesterners, and we look forward to working with the City of Beloit as we continue building LCS-29 for our U.S. Navy partner».

 

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) 07-22-2020
USS Cleveland (LCS-31)

 

Radiation-Hardened
Radios

BAE Systems has delivered its first shipment of next-generation radiation-hardened software defined radios (SDR) enabled by its RAD5545 computer to Lockheed Martin Space. The radios provide spacecraft with the performance, availability, reliability and on-board signals processing capacity needed to support future space missions – from planetary exploration to communications, national security, surveillance, and weather missions.

RAD5545 software defined radios are on their way to Lockheed Martin to support future space missions

«Our RAD5545 software defined radios are ideal for any mission requiring reconfigurable radio processing», said Ricardo Gonzalez, director of Space Systems at BAE Systems. «The radios can be easily modified to address various reconfigurable processing solutions».

BAE Systems’ software defined radio is anchored by the RAD5545 Single Board Computer (SBC), providing the most advanced radiation-hardened quad core general purpose processing solution available today to address future threats on a variety of missions. The system leverages modular and standard building blocks including a SpaceVPX chassis and backplane electrical connectors, Serial RapidIO and Spacewire interfaces, and a fully supported expansion port for a custom interface card.

Adhering to industry standards, this flexible and adaptable architecture supports reconfiguration for other missions by simply swapping out SpaceVPX modules, a highly desirable feature in today’s space hardware.

BAE Systems’ next-generation software defined radios, centered around the RAD5545 computer, represent a significant advance in high reliability reconfigurable electronics systems. Increased processing power, and a radiation-hardened design combine for a product line that can enable increased mission flexibility.

The RAD5545 SBC delivers exponential improvements in size, speed, and power efficiency over its predecessor single board computers. BAE Systems also offers a suite of radiation-hardened Serial RapidIO network products that complement the RAD5545 SBC and allow the user to efficiently manage and route data through a system. Products include the RADNET 1848-PS, an 18-Port RapidIO Packet Switch, the RADNET 1616-XP Crosspoint, a protocol agnostic SerDes signal circuit switch and replicator, and the RADNET SRIO-EP, a Serial RapidIO endpoint.

The RAD5545 SDR was developed at BAE Systems’ sites in Merrimack, NH, and Manassas, VA, and is produced in Manassas.

On Its Own Power

After a successful launch this afternoon, June 30, 2020, the third Lockheed Martin-built GPS III satellite is now headed to orbit under its own propulsion. The satellite has separated from its rocket and is using onboard power to climb to its operational orbit, approximately 12,550 miles above the Earth.

Lockheed Martin’s GPS III Space Vehicle 03, launched on June 30, 2020, as it appeared in the company’s cleanroom GPS III Processing Facility

GPS III Space Vehicle 03 (GPS III SV03) is responding to commands from U.S. Space Force and Lockheed Martin engineers in the Launch & Checkout Center at the company’s Denver facility. There, they declared rocket booster separation and satellite control about 90 minutes after the satellite’s 4:10 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

«In the coming days, GPS III SV03’s onboard liquid apogee engines will continue to propel the satellite towards its operational orbit», said Tonya Ladwig, Lockheed Martin’s Acting Vice President for Navigation Systems. «Once it arrives, we’ll send the satellite commands to deploy its solar arrays and antennas, and prepare the satellite for handover to Space Operations Command».

After on-orbit testing, GPS III SV03 is expected to join the GPS constellation – including GPS III SV01 and SV02, which were declared operational in January and April – in providing positioning, navigation and timing signals for more than four billion military, civil and commercial users.

Lockheed Martin designed GPS III to help the Space Force modernize the GPS constellation with new technology and capabilities. The new GPS IIIs provide three times better accuracy and up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities over any previous GPS satellite. They also offer a new L1C civil signal, which is compatible with other international global navigation satellite systems, like Europe’s Galileo, to improve civilian user connectivity.

GPS III also continues the Space Force’s plan to field M-Code, a more-secure, harder-to-jam and spoof GPS signal for our military forces. GPS III SV03 brings the number of M-Code enabled satellites to 22 in the 31-satellite GPS constellation.

«As a nation, we use GPS signals every day – they time-stamp all our financial transactions, they make aviation safe, they make precision farming possible, and so much more. GPS has become a critical part of our national infrastructure. In fact, the U.S. economic benefit of GPS is estimated to be over $300 billion per year and $1.4 trillion since its inception», added Ladwig. «Continued investment in modernizing GPS – updating technology, improving its capabilities – is well worth it».

Lockheed Martin is proud to be a part of the GPS III team led by the Space Production Corps Medium Earth Orbit Division, at the Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base. The GPS Operational Control Segment sustainment is managed by the Enterprise Corps, GPS Sustainment Division at Peterson Air Force Base. The 2nd Space Operations Squadron, at Schriever Air Force Base, manages and operates the GPS constellation for both civil and military users.

Thermal Vacuum Testing

The world’s most advanced missile defense satellite recently and successfully came out of almost two months of harsh simulated space environmental testing.

Lockheed Martin’s SBIRS GEO-5 satellite, the first military space satellite built on a modernized LM 2100 bus, recently completed Thermal Vacuum (TVAC) environmental testing

On June 9, the U.S. Space Force’s fifth Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit satellite (SBIRS GEO-5) successfully completed Thermal Vacuum (TVAC) testing at Lockheed Martin’s Sunnyvale, California satellite manufacturing facility.

Completing TVAC was a significant milestone for the first military space satellite to be built on one of Lockheed Martin’s modernized LM 2100 satellite buses. During TVAC testing, the satellite – with its sophisticated electronics performing full operations – faced waves of heat and cold in a depressurized atmosphere similar to the drastic environmental changes experienced in space.

«The completion of TVAC can be attributed to a tremendous effort from the Air Force, Lockheed Martin, Aerospace Corporation, and supporting contractor teams», said Tucker White, SBIRS GEO-5 Assembly, Test, and Launch Operations Lead from the Government Program Office. «The teams worked around the clock and finished on schedule to their original projection. This test phase is vital to any space vehicle test regime and takes GEO-5 one step closer to providing enhanced missile detection to our warfighters».

SBIRS GEO-5 will join the Space Force’s constellation of missile warning satellites equipped, with powerful scanning and staring infrared surveillance sensors, which protect our nation 24-7. These sensors collect data that allow the U.S. military to detect missile launches, support ballistic missile defense, expand technical intelligence gathering and bolster situational awareness on the battlefield.

«In SBIRS GEO-5, and our next satellite GEO-6, we’re introducing game-changing enhancements to address the needs of our nation’s space warfighting force going forward», said Tom McCormick, Vice President for Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) Missions at Lockheed Martin Space. «The threat posed by ballistic missile technology continues to spread exponentially around the world. In 2019, SBIRS detected nearly a thousand missile launches globally, which is about a two-fold increase in two years».

 

No «Ordinary» Missile Defense Satellite

SBIRS GEO-5 is the first of two new SBIRS missile defense satellites and the fourth satellite built on Lockheed Martin’s new, modernized LM 2100 satellite bus. A major investment by Lockheed Martin, the LM 2100 purposefully focuses on increasing production speed, reducing costs, adding resiliency and building in more mission flexibility. The LM 2100:

  • Drives efficiency and cost savings into satellite design and production by leveraging common components, processes and production practices across the entire satellite production line.
  • Features 26 improvements that add more power and flexibility to the company’s proven A2100 satellite platform.
  • Increases satellite resiliency, eliminates older components and utilizes modern electronics to add new capability and increase reliability.
  • Offers a configurable payload module that provides more flexibility for military missions, accommodating mass, power, propellant and volume.
  • Allows easy implementation of additional modernized sensor suites and mission payloads thru its modular design.

«As we build more military LM 2100 satellites, we gain schedule efficiencies both from suppliers and the ability to enable concurrent bus and payload testing, which shortens the single line manufacturing flow», McCormick explained.

LM 2100 is currently slated to be the baseline bus of SBIRS GEO-5, and SBIRS GEO-6, expected to be launched in 2021 and 2022 respectively; three next Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared System (Next Gen OPIR) Block 0 GEO satellites expecting to launch starting in 2025; and the future GPS III Follow On (GPS IIIF) satellites, which are expected to launch starting in 2026.

 

Upgraded SBIRS Ground

The sophisticated SBIRS ground control system has had significant upgrades. SBIRS receives and processes large amounts of data from the global coverage of the satellites’ powerful sensors and converts this data into actionable reports for defense, intelligence and civil applications.

In August 2019, the U.S. Air Force operationally accepted Lockheed Martin’s Block 20 upgrade to the SBIRS ground control system, which improves its overall performance allowing better mission planning and processing for the full constellation, as well as enhanced cyber security defenses.

The upgrade also formally completed SBIRS’ Engineering & Manufacturing Development (EMD) Phase. This let the Air Force transition their focus to SBIRS’ operations and sustainment, as well as further enhanced capabilities that will be offered by the Next Gen OPIR system, and the Future Operational Resilient Ground Evolution (FORGE) ground system.

The SBIRS development team is led by the Production Corps, Geosynchronous Earth Orbit Division, at the U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. Lockheed Martin Space, Sunnyvale, California, is the SBIRS prime contractor, with Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, Azusa, California, as the payload integrator.

Super Hercules Tanker

Lockheed Martin recently delivered the first KC-130J Super Hercules tanker assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 452 (VMGR-452), the Marine Forces Reserve squadron at Stewart Air National Guard Base, New York. A U.S. Marine Corps crew ferried the aircraft from Lockheed Martin’s facility here on May 28 to the aircraft’s new home.

On May 28, 2020, Lockheed Martin delivered the first KC-130J Super Hercules tanker assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 452 (VMGR-452), the Marine Forces Reserve squadron at Stewart Air National Guard Base, New York (Photo by David Key)

VMGR-452 is the second Marine Reserve squadron to operate KC-130Js and this delivery signifies the recapitalization of the squadron’s existing KC-130T fleet. VMGR-452 – known as the Yankees – has operated Hercules tankers for more than 30 years, flying KC-130s in support of Operations Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

«The KC-130 Hercules tanker has been a pivotal part of Marine Corps aviation operations since 1960, a relationship that began with the KC-130F and R-models, transitioned to the KC-130T and continues now with the KC-130J Super Hercules», said Rod McLean, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin’s Air Mobility & Maritime Missions line of business. «Our C-130 team knows this delivery is significant and represents increased capability for VMGR-452. We are proud to support our Marine aviation partners as they continue to be ‘first to fight’».

KC-130s are operated in support of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) commander by providing tactical in-flight refueling for fixed-wing, rotary-wing, and tilt-rotor aircraft; aviation delivered ground refueling of aircraft or tactical vehicles; assault air transport or air-landed or aerial-delivered (parachute) personnel and equipment; pathfinder support, battlefield illumination; tactical aeromedical evacuation; and tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel support.

The proven and battle-tested KC-130J builds on the Hercules’ proven tanker refueling system while taking full advantage of the tremendous technological and performance enhancements found only in a Super Hercules. Compared to legacy models, the KC-130J Super Hercules delivers increased speed and fuel efficiency, improved payload/range capabilities, an integrated defensive suite, automated maintenance fault reporting, high-altitude ramp and door hydraulics, and unmatched situational awareness with its digital avionics and dual Head Up Displays.

The KC-130J is one of nine production variants of the C-130J Super Hercules, the current production model of the legendary C-130 Hercules aircraft. With 460+ aircraft delivered, the C‑130J is the airlifter of choice for 20 nations. The global Super Hercules fleet has more than 2 million flight hours of experience supporting almost any mission requirement — anytime, anywhere.

The U.S. Marine Corps has the distinction of operating the largest KC-130J Super Hercules fleet in the world. This delivery continues the U.S. government’s transition to the C-130J as the common platform across Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard.

Javelin F-Model

Orlando, Florida, (May 6, 2020) – The Javelin Joint Venture team, a partnership of Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a business of Raytheon Technologies, and Lockheed Martin completed the first production Javelin F-Model (FGM-148F) missile.

The Javelin Joint Venture completed the first production F-Model missile, which adds an advanced, multipurpose warhead

Javelin is a versatile, man-portable, fire-and-forget weapon system. The F-Model has an advanced, multipurpose warhead that can defeat current and future armor, including explosive reactive armor. The F-Model also adds a fragmenting steel case to take out soft targets and light armored vehicles.

«The F-Model combines multiple features such as blast fragmentation and high-explosive anti-tank into a single warhead», said David Pantano, Javelin Joint Venture vice president and Lockheed Martin Javelin program director. «We’re helping prepare our warfighters for any mission by reducing the need for different rounds for different targets».

Javelin has been used extensively in combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. U.S. and coalition forces have used the Javelin in more than 5,000 engagements since its deployment in 1996.

With orders for more than 45,000 Javelin missiles, the system is expected to be in the U.S. military’s operational inventory through 2050. As such, Javelin is subject to continual upgrades to retain overmatch against emerging threats and to support evolving operational needs.

Sentinel A4 Radar

Just four months after the initial contract award, the U.S. Army’s Sentinel A4 radar program already achieved several key milestones. In January, the U.S Army approved the program’s Systems Requirement Review (SRR), Systems Functional Review (SFR), and the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) for one of the subsystems.

Sentinel A4 Array Subsystem (Photo Courtesy: Lockheed Martin)

«Traditionally, the SRR and PDR take place several months apart, but thanks to Lockheed Martin’s preparation, investment and our technically mature radar solution, we are able to support the Army’s need to field the system more rapidly», said Mark Mekker, director, Lockheed Martin Army radar programs. «We have achieved every milestone while working on a very aggressive timeline in order to deliver the radar on schedule».

Lockheed Martin’s open scalable radar architecture is the cornerstone of the radar system’s design and will allow for future upgrades that not only extend the life of the radar, but address threats to our warfighters that will evolve over the next 40 years.

The U.S. Army awarded Lockheed Martin a $281-million contract to develop the Sentinel A4 system in September 2019. The new air and missile defense radar will provide improved capability against cruise missiles, Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), rotary wing and fixed wing, and rocket, artillery, and mortar threats.

The radar will also provide enhanced surveillance, detection, and classification capabilities against current and emerging aerial threats in order to protect U.S. Army maneuver formations and high-value static assets to include: command and control nodes, tactical assembly areas and geo-political centers.

 

Proven Radar Experience

With broad and deep experience developing and delivering ground-based radar solutions to our customers, our high-performing, high-reliability, Solid State Radar (SSR) systems specialize in counter target acquisition, early warning, situational awareness, and integrated air and missile defense. Our radars are designed with the highest degree of commonality and fully integrated SSR systems. They can operate in all environments, are available in highly mobile configurations, and are deployed worldwide. It’s why Lockheed Martin’s ground-based radars are the choice of more than 45 nations on six continents.

First Q-53 with GaN

Not only is the AN/TPQ-53 system the most modern radar deployed by the U.S. Army, it is now poised to be the first and only Army radar system operating with Gallium Nitride (GaN).

First Q-53 Radar equipped with Gallium Nitride delivered to U.S. Army

«Lockheed Martin recently delivered the first Q-53 system to the U.S. Army equipped with GaN», said Mark Mekker, director, Lockheed Martin Army radar programs. «This critical upgrade will enable the Army to continuously grow and enhance the system’s capabilities to meet changing mission needs».

GaN transmit-receive modules will provide the radar with additional power, reliability and the possibility for enhanced capabilities, including extended range, counterfire target acquisition (CTA) and multi-mission, which delivers simultaneous CTA and air surveillance. The systems upgraded with GaN are part of the Lot 3 contract awarded in 2018.

«We realize how critical it is to develop and build these radars so they will be responsive to the evolving operational demands and threats our deployed troops face every day», said Mekker. «Lockheed Martin’s open, scalable radar architecture is the cornerstone of the systems’ designs and will allow for future upgrades that will not only extend the lives of the radars – but evolve their capabilities over the next 40 years».

 

About the Q-53

The primary mission of the Q-53 is to protect troops in combat by detecting, classifying, tracking and identifying the location of enemy indirect fire in either 90 or 360-degree modes. The Q-53 has protected warfighters around the world since 2010.

 

Proven Radar Experience

With broad and deep experience developing and delivering ground-based radar solutions to our customers, our high-performing, high-reliability, Solid State Radar (SSR) systems specialize in counter target acquisition, early warning, situational awareness, and integrated air and missile defense. Our radars are designed with the highest degree of commonality and fully integrated SSR systems. They can operate in all environments, are available in highly mobile configurations, and are deployed worldwide. It’s why Lockheed Martin’s ground-based radars are the choice of more than 45 nations on six continents.

Combat King

Lockheed Martin delivered the U.S. Air Force Reserve’s first HC-130J Combat King II on April 2, 2020 to a crew from the 920th Rescue Wing (RQW) from Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. This HC-130J will be operated by the 39th Rescue Squadron (RQS), which is part of the 920th RQW.

The U.S. Air Force Reserve’s first HC-130J Combat King II takes flight from Lockheed Martin’s Marietta, Georgia, production facility (Lockheed Martin photo by Amanda Harwell)

These Reservists are long-time operators of legacy HC-130 P/N Combat King combat search-and-rescue aircraft, flying and maintaining HC-130s since the 1960s – using HC-130s to save more than 3,000 lives. The HC-130J is the sole dedicated fixed-wing personnel recovery platform operated by the Air Force, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard.

The 920th RQW and 39th RQS also have the distinction of being the Air Force Reserve’s only HC-130J operators and will eventually have an HC-130J fleet to support mission requirements.

Like others in the U.S. Air Force Rescue community, the 920th RQW and the 39th RQS live by the motto, «That Others May Live», which reflects the mission of supporting combat search and rescue anywhere in the world. These crews rely on HC-130s to also extend the range its HH-60 Pave Hawk combat search and rescue helicopters, which were manufactured by Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky business in Stratford, Connecticut.

Often tasked for airdrop, airland, and helicopter air-to-air refueling and forward-area ground refueling missions, the HC-130’s mission capabilities also include humanitarian aid operations, disaster response, security cooperation/aviation advisory, emergency aeromedical evacuation and noncombatant evacuation operations.

«From supporting humanitarian relief efforts on the Florida coast to making combat rescues in Southeast Asia, the 920th’s HC-130s have exemplified the reputation of being tried and true workhorses for 60 years», said Rod McLean, vice president and general manager, Air Mobility & Maritime Missions at Lockheed Martin. «As we salute one fleet for a lifetime’s worth of work, we are also excited to commemorate a new era with the arrival of the U.S. Air Force Reserve’s first HC-130J Combat King II. This HC-130J provides the Citizen Airmen with increased power, capability and performance to continue to support critical missions close to home and around the world».

Compared to legacy platforms, the HC-130J Combat King II offers significant performance and capabilities advancements, to include fuel efficiencies, improvement in payload/range capabilities, an integrated defensive suite, automated maintenance fault reporting, high-altitude ramp and door hydraulics, and unmatched situational awareness with its digital avionics and dual Head Up Displays.

The HC-130J is one of nine production variants of the C-130J Super Hercules, the current production model of the legendary C-130 Hercules aircraft. With more than 450 aircraft delivered, the C-130J is the airlifter of choice for 20 nations. The global Super Hercules fleet has more than 2 million flight hours of experience supporting almost any mission requirement – any time, any place.

The U.S. government operates the largest C-130J Super Hercules fleet in the world. This delivery continues the U.S. government’s transition to the C-130J as the common platform across Air Mobility Command, Air Force Special Operations Command, Air Combat Command, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Marine Corps. The Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command currently operate a mixed fleet of C-130J and older Hercules aircraft.

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.