Tag Archives: Lockheed Martin

F-35 on USS America

Five Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II aircraft landed on the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA-6) on Friday, October 28. America will embark seven F-35Bs – two are scheduled to begin the third shipboard phase of Developmental Test (DT-III) and five are scheduled to conduct operational testing. America, the first ship of its class, is an aviation-centric platform that incorporates key design elements to accommodate the fifth-generation fighter.

An F-35B Lightning II aircraft launches for the first time off the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA-6) (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Benjamin Wooddy/Released)
An F-35B Lightning II aircraft launches for the first time off the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA-6) (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Benjamin Wooddy/Released)

The ship’s design features several aviation capabilities enhanced beyond previous amphibious assault ships which include an enlarged hangar deck, realignment and expansion of the aviation maintenance facilities, a significant increase in available stowage of parts and equipment, as well as increased aviation fuel capacity. America is capable of accommodating F-35Bs, MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, and a complement of Navy and Marine Corps helicopters.

The third test phase will evaluate F-35B Short Take-off Vertical Landing (STOVL) operations in a high-sea state, shipboard landings, and night operations. The cadre of flight test pilots, engineers, maintainers, and support personnel from the F-35 Patuxent River Integrated Test Force (ITF) are assigned to Air Test & Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.

«It’s exciting to start the execution phase of our detachment with VMX-1 (Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 1) on USS America», said Lieutenant Colonel Tom «Sally» Fields, F-35 Patuxent River ITF Government Flight Test director assigned to VX-23. «During the next three weeks, we will be completing critical flight test for both Developmental Test (DT) and Operational Test (OT). The F-35 Pax River ITF and VX-23 will be conducting DT work that will establish the boundaries of safe operation for the F-35B in the 3F configuration. VMX-1 will be conducting OT operations focused on preparing maintenance crews and pilots for the first deployment of the F-35B aboard USS Wasp (LHD-1), scheduled to start in just over a year».

The operational testing will also include simulating extensive maintenance aboard a ship, said Colonel George Rowell, commanding officer of VMX-1, based at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona. Rowell stated one of the VMX jets on board will be placed in the hangar bay, taken apart, and put together again, just to make sure everything goes well.

The maintenance work will include the replacement of a lift fan, the specialized equipment made by Rolls Royce and Pratt and Whitney that gives the F-35B variant its short take-off, “jump jet” capability, Rowell said. The Marine Corps variant of the F-35 Lightning II reached the fleet first, with the service declaring initial operational capability July 2015.

«The F-35 Lightning II is the most versatile, agile, and technologically-advanced aircraft in the skies today, enabling our Corps to be the nation’s force in readiness – regardless of the threat, and regardless of the location of the battle», said Lieutenant General Jon Davis, deputy commandant for aviation, Marine Corps. «As we modernize our fixed-wing aviation assets for the future, the continued development and fielding of the short take-off and vertical landing, the F-35B remains the centerpiece of this effort».

«The America class of amphibious assault ship design enables it to carry a larger and more diverse complement of aircraft, including the tiltrotor MV-22 Osprey, the new F-35 Lightning II, and a mix of cargo and assault helicopters», added Davis. «America is able to support a wide spectrum of military operations and missions, including putting Marines ashore for combat operations, launching air strikes, keeping sea lanes free and open for the movement of global commerce, and delivering humanitarian aid following a natural disaster».

This graphic illustration depicts the U.S. Navy's first live fire demonstration to successfully test the integration of the F-35 with existing Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA) architecture. During the test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, September 12, an unmodified U.S. Marine Corps F-35B acted as an elevated sensor to detect an over-the-horizon threat. The aircraft then sent data through its Multi-Function Advanced Data Link to a ground station connected to USS Desert Ship (LLS-1), a land-based launch facility designed to simulate a ship at sea. Using the latest Aegis Weapon System Baseline 9.C1 and a Standard Missile 6, the system successfully detected and engaged the target (U.S. Navy graphic illustration courtesy of Lockheed Martin/Released)
This graphic illustration depicts the U.S. Navy’s first live fire demonstration to successfully test the integration of the F-35 with existing Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA) architecture. During the test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, September 12, an unmodified U.S. Marine Corps F-35B acted as an elevated sensor to detect an over-the-horizon threat. The aircraft then sent data through its Multi-Function Advanced Data Link to a ground station connected to USS Desert Ship (LLS-1), a land-based launch facility designed to simulate a ship at sea. Using the latest Aegis Weapon System Baseline 9.C1 and a Standard Missile 6, the system successfully detected and engaged the target (U.S. Navy graphic illustration courtesy of Lockheed Martin/Released)

Initial
Operational Testing

Lockheed Martin announced on October 21 the CH-53K King Stallion successfully completed initial operational testing by the U.S. Marine Corps to verify the key capabilities of the heavy lift helicopter. The week-long operational assessment by Marine Corps pilots, aircrew and maintainers marked an important step in support of a Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Milestone C decision early next year.

U.S. Marine Corps pilots maneuver the King Stallion as it delivers a 12,000 lbs/5422 kg external load after a 110 NM/126.6 miles/204 km mission
U.S. Marine Corps pilots maneuver the King Stallion as it delivers a 12,000 lbs/5422 kg external load after a 110 NM/126.6 miles/204 km mission

«This successful operational assessment by the Marine Corps is a clear sign of the maturity and the robust capability of the King Stallion», said Dr. Michael Torok, Sikorsky Vice President CH-53K Programs. «This was a key requirement in support of the upcoming Milestone C decision, and its success is another important step in our transition from development into production».

The U.S. Marine Corps’ initial operational testing included external lift scenarios of 27,000 lbs/12,200 kg in hover and a 12,000 lbs/5,422 kg 110 nautical mile/126.6 miles/204 km radius mission. Ground events included embarkation/debarkation of combat equipped troops, internal and external cargo rigging, Tactical Bulk Fuel Delivery System (TBFDS) operation and medevac litter configuration.

Overall, post evaluation interviews of aircrew, ground crew and flight surgeons revealed a high regard for the operational capability demonstrated by the CH-53K King Stallion. This customer assessment is a pre-requisite to Milestone C and is intended to minimize risk to successfully pass the U.S. Marine Corps operational evaluation (OPEVAL) phase for a future full rate production decision.

«OT-B1 (Operational Test) is a critical milestone for the program because this is the first time an operational test has been done utilizing an ’All Marine’ crew», said Colonel Hank Vanderborght, U.S. Marine Corps program manager for Naval Air Systems Command’s Heavy Lift Helicopters Program. «All test objectives were met, and the aircraft performed very well. This further increases our confidence in the design, and is another key step to successfully fielding the CH-53K».

The operational testing was based out of the Sikorsky Development Flight Center (DFC) in West Palm Beach, Florida, where CH-53K development flight test is continuing to make excellent progress now with all four Engineering Development Model (EDM) aircraft in flight status.

The CH-53K King Stallion will carry three times the external payload of the predecessor CH-53E Super Stallion equating to a 27,000-pound external load over 110 nautical miles/126.6 miles/204 km under «high hot» ambient conditions. The CH-53K King Stallion helicopter provides unmatched heavy lift capability with reduced logistics footprint and reduced support costs over its entire life cycle. CH-53K King Stallion pilots can execute heavy lift missions more effectively and safely in day/night and all weather with the King Stallion’s modern glass cockpit. Fly-by-wire flight controls facilitate reduced pilot workload for all heavy lift missions including external loads, maritime operations, and operation in degraded visual environments. With more than triple the payload capability of the predecessor CH-53E Super Stallion, the King Stallion’s increased capability can take the form of a variety of relevant payloads ranging from an internally loaded High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) to up to three independent external loads at once which provides outstanding mission flexibility and system efficiency. A locking, U.S. Air Force pallet compatible cargo rail system reduces both effort and time to load and unload palletized cargo.

The U.S. Department of Defense’s Program of Record remains at 200 CH-53K King Stallion aircraft. The first four of the 200 «Program of Record» aircraft are scheduled for delivery next year to the U.S. Marine Corps, with another two aircraft to follow. Two additional aircraft are under long lead procurement for parts and materials, with deliveries scheduled to start in 2020 The Marine Corps intends to stand up eight active duty squadrons, one training squadron, and one reserve squadron to support operational requirements.

This press release contains forward looking statements concerning opportunities for development, production and sale of helicopters. Actual results may differ materially from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to changes in government procurement priorities and practices, budget plans, availability of funding and in the type and number of aircraft required; challenges in the design, development, production and support of advanced technologies; as well as other risks and uncertainties including but not limited to those detailed from time to time in Lockheed Martin Corporation’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

U.S. Marine Corps aircrew load the King Stallion’s High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle cargo with ease
U.S. Marine Corps aircrew load the King Stallion’s High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle cargo with ease

 

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

 

Detroit Commissioning

The U.S. Navy commissioned the nation’s seventh Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) – USS Detroit (LCS-7) – on the Detroit River, officially placing the ship designed and constructed by a Lockheed Martin-led industry team into active service.

Sailors assigned to the Freedom-variant littoral combat ship USS Detroit (LCS-7) man their ship and bring her life during the commissioning ceremony on the Detroit River on October 22 (Photo credit: Lockheed Martin)
Sailors assigned to the Freedom-variant littoral combat ship USS Detroit (LCS-7) man their ship and bring her life during the commissioning ceremony on the Detroit River on October 22 (Photo credit: Lockheed Martin)

USS Detroit (LCS-7), the fourth Freedom-variant in the LCS class, completed acceptance trials in July and was delivered to the U.S. Navy on August 12. It joins three other Freedom-variant ships in the fleet: USS Freedom (LCS-1), USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) and USS Milwaukee (LCS-5). Collectively, Freedom-variant ships have sailed over 225,000 nautical miles/258,925 miles/416,700 km and successfully completed two overseas deployments.

«The entire Lockheed Martin-led LCS team is honored to have delivered USS Detroit and witness the ship being commissioned and brought to life in her namesake city». said Joe North, vice president of Littoral Ships and Systems. «For decades to come, USS Detroit will serve in the defense of our great nation, enabling the U.S. Navy to carry out its missions around the world and representing our nation where and when needed».

The Lockheed Martin-led industry team is currently in full-rate production of the Freedom-variant, with six ships under construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) and three more in long-lead material procurement. The ship’s modular design and affordable price enables the U.S. Navy to provide presence where and when needed at a fraction of the cost of other platforms.

USS Detroit (LCS-7) is the sixth U.S. Navy ship named USS Detroit. Previous ships to bear the name included a Sacramento-class fast combat support ship, an Omaha-class light cruiser, a Montgomery-class cruiser and two 19th century sloops of war.

The Lockheed Martin-led LCS team is comprised of shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine, naval architect Gibbs & Cox, and more than 500 suppliers in 37 states. The Freedom-variant’s steel monohull is based on a proven, survivable design recognized for its stability and reliability. With 40 percent reconfigurable shipboard space, the hull is ideally suited to accommodate additional lethality and survivability upgrades associated with the Freedom-variant Frigate.

The future Freedom-variant littoral combat ship USS Detroit (LCS-7) is pierside on Detroit's waterfront in preparation for its commissioning on October 22, 2016. LCS-7 is the sixth U.S. ship named in honor of city of Detroit (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin/Released)
The future Freedom-variant littoral combat ship USS Detroit (LCS-7) is pierside on Detroit’s waterfront in preparation for its commissioning on October 22, 2016. LCS-7 is the sixth U.S. ship named in honor of city of Detroit (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin/Released)

 

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
The future USS Detroit (LCS-7) conducts acceptance trials. Acceptance trials were the last significant milestone before delivery of the ship to the Navy (U.S. Navy Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin-Michael Rote/Released)
The future USS Detroit (LCS-7) conducts acceptance trials. Acceptance trials were the last significant milestone before delivery of the ship to the Navy (U.S. Navy Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin-Michael Rote/Released)

 

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
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
USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) 07-18-2016
USS St. Louis (LCS-19)
USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21)
USS Cooperstown (LCS-23)
USS Marinette LCS-25

USS Detroit Crew Brings LCS-7 to Life

Electronic Warfare

Lockheed Martin continues to make technological advances in its electronic warfare portfolio that will keep the warfighter a step ahead. The U.S. Navy awarded the company an initial $148.9 million contract for full rate production of Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) Block 2 systems with four additional option years to upgrade the fleet’s electronic warfare capabilities so warfighters can respond to evolving threats.

A SEWIP Block 2 system is shown here after being installed on the USS Bainbridge (DDG-96) guided-missile destroyer in 2014
A SEWIP Block 2 system is shown here after being installed on the USS Bainbridge (DDG-96) guided-missile destroyer in 2014

Under this full-rate production contract, Lockheed Martin will provide additional systems to upgrade the AN/SLQ-32 systems on U.S. aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers and other warships with key capabilities to determine if the electronic sensors of potential foes are tracking the ship.

«The SEWIP Block 2 System is critically important to the U.S. Navy’s operation, and we are proud to continue to provide this capability to the warfighter», said Joe Ottaviano, electronic warfare program director. «Threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Our electronic warfare systems give the warfighter information to enable a response before the adversary even knows we’re there».

The system is the first sensor to be fully compliant with the Navy’s Product Line Architecture strategy, which facilitates the rapid introduction of new technology into the fleet.

SEWIP Block 2 is the latest deployed improvement in an evolutionary succession of «blocks» the Navy is pursuing for its shipboard electronic warfare system, which will incrementally add new defensive technologies and functional capabilities. Block 2 provides an upgraded antenna, receiver and improved interface with existing ship combat systems.

Lockheed Martin was awarded the design and development contract for this program in September 2009. Since then Lockheed Martin has been awarded Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) contract for an additional 38 units and 22 of these units have been delivered to the U.S. Navy on schedule.

Work will be performed at the company’s Syracuse, New York facility.

There are currently three established block upgrades and a fourth is planned. Block 1 and 2 are in production with Lockheed Martin providing the AN/SLQ-32(V)6 of the full Block 2 system.

The SEWIP Block 2 System has already been deployed on several Guided Missile Destroyers DDG class ships, including the USS Carney (DDG-64) (U.S. Navy photo)
The SEWIP Block 2 System has already been deployed on several Guided Missile Destroyers DDG class ships, including the USS Carney (DDG-64) (U.S. Navy photo)

Cross-domain

In a testament to the versatility and adaptability that its unmanned systems bring to complex missions, Lockheed Martin successfully launched Vector Hawk, a small, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), on command from the Marlin MK2 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) during a cross-domain command and control event hosted by the U.S. Navy. In addition to Marlin and Vector Hawk, the Submaran, an Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) developed by Ocean Aero, provided surface reconnaissance and surveillance.

Lockheed Martin successfully launched Vector Hawk (left), a small UAV on command from the Marlin MK2 AUV (at right) during a cross-domain command and control event hosted by the U.S. Navy (Image courtesy Lockheed Martin)
Lockheed Martin successfully launched Vector Hawk (left), a small UAV on command from the Marlin MK2 AUV (at right) during a cross-domain command and control event hosted by the U.S. Navy (Image courtesy Lockheed Martin)

«This effort marks a milestone in showing that an unmanned aircraft, surface vessel and undersea vehicle can communicate and complete a mission cooperatively and completely autonomously», said Kevin Schlosser, chief architect, unmanned systems technology, Lockheed Martin.

During the Annual Navy Technology Exercise (ANTX) activities in August, the Submaran relayed instructions to Marlin from a ground control station via underwater acoustic communications. Following these instructions, the Marlin launched the Vector Hawk using a specially-designed canister from the surface of the Narragansett Bay. Following launch, Vector Hawk successfully assumed a mission flight track. All three autonomous vehicles – Marlin, Submaran and Vector Hawk – communicated operational status to the ground control station to maintain situational awareness and provide a means to command and control all assets.

«Lockheed Martin has heard loud and clear the U.S. Navy’s call to get faster, be more agile, and to be continually creative», said Frank Drennan, director, mission and unmanned systems business development. «We have clearly illustrated that we have the necessary agility and quickness combined with innovative technology to increase the range, reach, and effectiveness of undersea forces».

Lockheed Martin’s Vector Hawk is designed for canister or hand-launch in all-weather, maritime environments to provide customers with an organic, tailored Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) capability at the moment they need it.

«This signifies the versatility of Lockheed Martin’s unmanned systems to communicate seamlessly across domains to conduct a diverse set of missions in all environments. The capability is quickly reconfigured in the field», said Schlosser. «In a short time, we enabled these systems to work together by rapidly changing sensor packages».

In addition to its configuration versatility, Vector Hawk is capable of fully autonomous flight and landing, which enables operators’ to shift their focus from flying the aircraft to managing the mission.

The four-pound Vector Hawk can fly for 70-plus minutes, at line-of-sight ranges up to 8 NM/9.3 miles/15 kilometers. Operators can recover and re-launch the Vector Hawk in a matter of minutes (including changing the system’s battery). Vector Hawk is built on an open architecture to enable rapid technology insertion and payload integration.

Marlin MK2 is a battery powered, fully autonomous underwater vehicle that is 10 feet/3 meters long with a 250 pound/113.4 kg payload capacity, 18-24 hour endurance, depth rating of 1000 feet/305 meters and weighs approximately 2,000 pounds/907 kg. Its open architecture design and modularity allow new mission packages to be quickly integrated into Marlin to meet emerging customer needs.

Also during the three-day event, Marlin surveyed a sunken barge with its 3D imaging sonar. Teams on the ground used that data to create a 3D printed model of the barge. Marlin can quickly generate accurate, hi-resolution, 3D, geo-referenced models, giving users a clear view of subsea structures.

Lockheed Martin has five decades of experience in unmanned and robotic systems for air, land and sea. From the depths of the ocean to the rarified air of the stratosphere, Lockheed Martin’s unmanned systems help our military, civil and commercial customers accomplish their most difficult challenges.

Japan F-35A

Senior Japanese and U.S. government officials joined Lockheed Martin to celebrate the roll out of the first Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) F-35A Lightning II, marking a major milestone in Japan’s enhanced national defense and strengthening the future of the U.S-Japan security alliance.

Lockheed Martin and Japan Celebrate Roll Out of Japan Air Self Defense Force’s First F-35A Lightning II
Lockheed Martin and Japan Celebrate Roll Out of Japan Air Self Defense Force’s First F-35A Lightning II

The ceremony was attended by more than 400 guests from both governments, militaries and defense industries.

Kenji Wakamiya, Japan’s State Minister of Defense spoke at the event, saying, «With its low observability and network capability, the F-35 is the most advanced air system with cutting-edge capability as a multi-role fighter. As the security environment surrounding Japan has become increasingly severe, because of its excellence, it is very significant for the defense of Japan to commit to acquiring the F-35 year by year. Given that the United States Government has designated Japan as a regional depot in the Asia-Pacific area, introduction of F-35A to Japan is a perfect example, enhancing the Japan-US alliance».

General Yoshiyuki Sugiyama, JASDF Chief of Air Staff, said, «The F-35A has remarkably advanced system. This highly sophisticated 5th generation fighter will bring a great development to air operations as a game changer. In integration with current JASDF assets, it surely promises to enormously contribute to not only the benefit of our national defense and but also regional stability».

Other distinguished guests attending included: Dr. Hideaki Watanabe, commissioner of Japan’s Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency, Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, commander of U.S. Pacific Air Forces, and Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin chairman, president and CEO.

«The men and women of Lockheed Martin are honored to bring the exceptional capability of the F-35A to our partners and friends in Japan», said Hewson. «The security alliance between Japan and the United States has been a cornerstone of peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region for generations, and we are proud to continue that legacy of cooperation with the rollout of the first F-35A to the Japan Ministry of Defense and the Japan Air Self Defense Force today».

Japan’s F-35 program includes 42 F-35A Conventional Take Off and Landing aircraft, acquired through the U.S. government’s Foreign Military Sales program. The first four aircraft are built in Fort Worth and the remaining 38 aircraft will be built at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Final Assembly & Check-Out facility in Nagoya, Japan, where aircraft assembly is underway. Maintenance training for the first JASDF F-35A technicians is underway at Eglin AFB, Florida, and the first JASDF F-35A pilots are scheduled to begin training at Luke AFB, Arizona, in November.

Three distinct variants of the F-35 will replace the F-16 Fighting Falcon and A/OA-10 Thunderbolt II for the U.S. Air Force, the F/A-18 Hornet for the U.S. Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the U.S. Marine Corps, and a wide variety of fighters for at least 11 other countries. Following the U.S. Marine Corps’ July 2015 F-35B Initial Operational Capability (IOC) ‘combat-ready’ declaration, the U.S. Air Force declared F-35A IOC on Aug. 2 and the U.S. Navy intends to attain F-35C IOC in 2018. More than 200 fleet-wide F-35s have flown almost 70,000 flight hours, to date.  Japan’s first F-35A aircraft completed its maiden flight from Fort Worth on Aug. 24, piloted by Lockheed Martin’s F-35 test pilot Paul Hattendorf.

Mr. Kenji Wakamiya, Japan’s State Minister of Defense, address the ceremony audience as Japan’s first F-35A aircraft is revealed at the Lockheed Martin’s production facility in Fort Worth, Texas, September 23. Lockheed Martin photo by Beth Steel
Mr. Kenji Wakamiya, Japan’s State Minister of Defense, address the ceremony audience as Japan’s first F-35A aircraft is revealed at the Lockheed Martin’s production facility in Fort Worth, Texas, September 23. Lockheed Martin photo by Beth Steel

 

Specifications

Length 51.4 feet/15.7 m
Height 14.4 feet/4.38 m
Wingspan 35 feet/10.7 m
Wing area 460 feet2/42.7 m2
Horizontal tail span 22.5 feet/6.86 m
Weight empty 29,300 lbs/13,290 kg
Internal fuel capacity 18,250 lbs/8,278 kg
Weapons payload 18,000 lbs/8,160 kg
Maximum weight 70,000 lbs class/31,751 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-100
Maximum Power (with afterburner) 43,000 lbs/191,3 kN/19,507 kgf
Military Power (without afterburner) 28,000 lbs/128,1 kN/13,063 kgf
Engine Length 220 in/5.59 m
Engine Inlet Diameter 46 in/1.17 m
Engine Maximum Diameter 51 in/1.30 m
Bypass Ratio 0.57
Overall Pressure Ratio 28
Speed (full internal weapons load) Mach 1.6 (~1,043 knots/1,200 mph/1,931 km/h)
Combat radius (internal fuel) >590 NM/679 miles/1,093 km
Range (internal fuel) >1,200 NM/1,367 miles/2,200 km
Maximum g-rating 9.0

 

Lockheed launched
Wichita

The Lockheed Martin-led industry team launched the 13th Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) into the Menominee River at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard on September 17. Ship sponsor, Kate Lehrer, christened LCS-13, the future USS Wichita, in U.S. Navy tradition by breaking a champagne bottle across the ship’s bow just prior to the launch.

The 13th Littoral Combat Ship, the future USS Wichita, launches sideways into the Menominee River in Marinette, Wisconsin on September 17. Once commissioned, LCS-13 will be the third ship to carry the name of Wichita, Kansas
The 13th Littoral Combat Ship, the future USS Wichita, launches sideways into the Menominee River in Marinette, Wisconsin on September 17. Once commissioned, LCS-13 will be the third ship to carry the name of Wichita, Kansas

«It is an honor and privilege to serve as the sponsor of the future USS Wichita and to be a part of this major milestone in the ship’s journey towards joining the great U.S. Navy fleet», Lehrer said. «I look forward and to an ongoing relationship with Wichita’s future crews and their families throughout the ship’s service».

USS Wichita (LCS-13) will undergo additional outfitting and testing at Fincantieri Marinette Marine before the ship’s anticipated delivery next year.

«The christening and launch of LCS-13 marks an important step in her journey towards joining the fleet», said Joe North, vice president of Littoral Ships and Systems. «The Freedom-variant LCS plays a critical role in the U.S. Navy’s maritime security strategy, and we are committed to getting LCS-13 and her highly capable sister ships into combatant commanders’ hands as quickly as possible».

The Lockheed Martin-led industry team is currently in full-rate production of the Freedom-variant, with six ships under construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine and three more in long-lead material procurement. The ship’s design and open architecture allows the U.S. Navy to rapidly acquire and deploy a fleet of highly flexible and capable ships at a fraction of the cost of other platforms.

«Fincantieri Marinette Marine is proud to christen and launch another Freedom-variant warship that will enable our Navy to carry out its missions where and when needed», said Jan Allman, Fincantieri Marinette Marine president and CEO. «We continue to optimize our production processes and leverage the craftsmanship and skills of our employees to produce these high quality vessels for our sailors».

USS Wichita (LCS-13) will be the third U.S. Navy ship named USS Wichita. Previous ships to bear the name included a World War II heavy cruiser (CA-45) and a Wichita-class Replenishment Oiler (AOR-1).

The Lockheed Martin-led LCS team is comprised of shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine, naval architect Gibbs & Cox, and more than 500 suppliers in 37 states. The Freedom-variant’s steel monohull is based on a proven, survivable design recognized for its stability and reliability. With 40 percent reconfigurable shipboard space, the hull is ideally suited to accommodate additional lethality and survivability upgrades associated with the Freedom-variant Frigate.

Ship sponsor Kate Lehrer breaks a bottle of champagne across the bow during the christening ceremony for the nation’s 13th Littoral Combat Ship, the future USS Wichita, at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard on September 17
Ship sponsor Kate Lehrer breaks a bottle of champagne across the bow during the christening ceremony for the nation’s 13th Littoral Combat Ship, the future USS Wichita, at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard on September 17

 

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 San Diego, California
USS Little Rock (LCS-9) 06-27-2013 07-18-2015
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
USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) 07-18-2016
USS St. Louis (LCS-19)
USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21)
USS Cooperstown (LCS-23)
LCS-25

 

Future USS Wichita (LCS-13) Launches Sideways Into River

Alternative Warhead

The first Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) Alternative Warhead rocket has rolled off the production line at Lockheed Martin’s Camden, Arkansas, manufacturing facility.

A Lockheed Martin GMLRS Alternative Warhead detonates at the target during a test flight at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico
A Lockheed Martin GMLRS Alternative Warhead detonates at the target during a test flight at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico

The GMLRS Alternative Warhead was designed to engage the same target set and achieve the same area-effects requirement as the old MLRS submunition warheads, but without the lingering danger of unexploded ordnance.

«GMLRS Alternative Warhead rockets are all-weather, time-critical, rapidly deployable guided munitions that return precision area-effects capability to the battlefield commander», said Ken Musculus, vice president of Tactical Missiles at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «This first GMLRS Alternative Warhead round coming off our Camden Operations production line represents another example of Lockheed Martin’s commitment to constantly evolve the MLRS family of munitions to meet the ever-changing requirements of our customers».

Fully compliant with international treaties banning submunition weapons, the GMLRS Alternative Warhead rocket will allow all users of the MLRS to have an area-effects weapon in their inventories without the need to procure additional launcher systems. MLRS rockets with submunition warheads ended production approximately six years ago.

Lockheed Martin received the initial production contract from the U.S. Army for GMLRS Alternative Warheads in June 2015. Each GMLRS Alternative Warhead rocket will be packaged in an MLRS launch pod and will be fired from the Lockheed Martin High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) or M270 family of launchers.

Lockheed Martin has produced more than 25,000 GMLRS rockets at its facility in Camden, which has received more than 60 awards over the last decade, including the 2012 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the Shingo Silver Medallion Award for Operation Excellence.

F-35 surges forward

The F-35 Integrated Test Force (ITF) here recently completed 25 missions comprised of 12 Weapons Delivery Accuracy (WDA) and 13 weapon separation tests as part of a monthlong weapons firing test surge.

Major Douglas Rosenstock fires an AIM-120 AMRAAM from an F-35 Lightning II during a recent weapons test surge at Edwards Air Force Base, California. By the end of the surge the F-35 Integrated Test Team released 30 weapons in 31 days, a first in flight testing (Lockheed Martin photo/Darrin Russel)
Major Douglas Rosenstock fires an AIM-120 AMRAAM from an F-35 Lightning II during a recent weapons test surge at Edwards Air Force Base, California. By the end of the surge the F-35 Integrated Test Team released 30 weapons in 31 days, a first in flight testing (Lockheed Martin photo/Darrin Russel)

Historically, WDAs take place once a month given the myriad of coordination required. The highest number previously accomplished in a month was three in November 2014 during block 2B software testing.

Major Charles Trickey, interim director of operations for the 461st Flight Test Squadron (FTS), flew the final mission of the surge August 17. The mission was completed at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, where F-35 Lightning IIs shot two advanced medium-range, air-to-air missiles at a QF-4 drone.

«Some of these WDAs were particularly challenging events», Trickey said. He said the final mission was actually the fourth attempt to complete this test. «It was really cool to see the satisfaction of the team, and to get that feeling of accomplishment after doing something that challenging».

All told, the F-35 ITF deployed 30 weapons in 31 days, which included 12 WDAs and 13 separations, according to Trickey.

«Thirty separations in 31 days; that’s never been done before in flight test», said Captain Brett Tillman, a flight test engineer with the 461st FTS. «The fact that we could get everything together to do that number of separations in that few days is pretty amazing».

These successful test events – performed using the F-35’s newest block 3F software – demonstrated the accuracy of the aircraft. Five of the test events featured dropping multiple weapons.

The effort for this surge wasn’t limited to the F-35 test team. There were a number of units outside the F-35 ITF that put in extra effort and time to make the surge successful, including Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) airfield and tanker operations, the 416th FTS and the F-35 Joint Program Office.

The F-35 weapons test team was given exclusive use of the Sea Test Range, an instrumented Pacific Ocean test area off the central coast near Point Mugu, California. Tests were also conducted at the U.S. Navy’s China Lake weapons range in California and White Sands missile range.

«The amount of coordination and teamwork from the ITF and the outside organizations to enable this is unprecedented», Tillman said. «The work these team members put in is amazing. It couldn’t have been done without them».

During this surge period, a total of 30 weapons were dropped or fired, including the joint direct attack munition, AIM-120 advanced medium-range, air-to-air missile, GPS-guided 250-pound/113.4-kg small diameter bomb, AIM-9X Sidewinder supersonic, heat-seeking, air-to-air missile and GPS laser-guided munition.

«The WDAs rely on the full capability of the F-35 – multiple sensors, navigation, weapons envelope, mission planning, data links and inter-agency range scheduling – all working in sequence to put steel on target», said Lieutenant General Chris Bogdan, an F-35 program executive officer. «This was a tremendous effort by the F-35 test team. They surged and worked seven days a week for more than a month to expend 30 ordnance and advanced weapons testing. This testing has moved us that much closer to delivering the full F-35 capability to warfighters within the next two years».

The F-35 is a multi-role, next-generation fighter that combines advanced stealth with speed, agility and a 360-degree view of the battlespace. The F-35 will form the backbone of air combat superiority for decades to come and replace legacy tactical fighter fleets with dominant air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities to deter and defeat potential adversaries.

The Marine Corps declared the F-35B combat ready, or Initial Operating Capability (IOC), in July 2015; the Air Force declared F-35A IOC on August 2; and the Navy intends to attain F-35C IOC in 2018. More than 200 F-35s have flown in excess of 66,000 fleet-wide hours, with over 300 F-35 pilots and 3,000 maintainers trained to operate and support this next-generation aircraft.

Combat System
for the U.S. Frigates

The U.S. Navy selected Lockheed Martin’s COMBATSS-21 as the combat management system for the Navy’s frigate ship program. COMBATSS-21 is the combat management system in operation on the Freedom variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The five-year contract, which is worth up to $79.5 million, covers fiscal years 2016-2021.

COMBATSS-21 provides commonality across the surface combatant fleet, delivering an affordable path to rapid capability insertion and life-cycle costs. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin
COMBATSS-21 provides commonality across the surface combatant fleet, delivering an affordable path to rapid capability insertion and life-cycle costs. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin

COMBATSS-21 (COMponent-BAsed Total-Ship System-21st Century) is built from the Aegis Common Source Library (CSL), and shares a pedigree with the Aegis Baseline 9 software developed for the Aegis cruiser and destroyer fleet, as well as international ships, the Aegis Ashore system, LCS and the Coast Guard National Security Cutters (NSC).

«We look forward to providing this combat management system to the frigates and potentially other platforms across the U.S. Navy, as it will bring commonality across the fleet of surface combatants and is a step toward realizing the vision of distributed lethality», said Rich Calabrese, director of Mission Systems at Lockheed Martin. «Using the CSL enhances life-cycle affordability by reducing costs for integration, test and certification – and delivers an open combat system architecture in line with the Navy’s objective architecture, driving affordability and increasing interoperability across the entire fleet».

The CSL allows surface combatants to rapidly and affordably integrate new capabilities across the fleet. This means that ships using a CSL-derived combat system can incorporate new sensors, weapons and capability upgrades to keep pace with evolving threats. The benefit of the surface combatant CSL is that these updates become available for rollout across other ship classes.

«We can build capability, get it into the CSL and then deploy it in a ship class when the Navy determines the need», Calabrese said. In this way, capability developed on a forward fit program may be applied to ships already in service.

As the Aegis Combat System Engineering Agent, Lockheed Martin provides modern combat management systems and conducts the entire combat system integration life-cycle that enables navies around the world to achieve their most critical mission objectives. Lockheed Martin has successfully delivered and integrated Aegis and Aegis-based products on 126 platforms in eight nations, with an additional 23 under construction or planned. Aegis and Aegis-derived systems are in service in U.S. Navy cruisers, destroyers, Littoral Combat Ships, Coast Guard National Security Cutters and Aegis Ashore sites. The navies of Japan, Spain, Norway, the Republic of Korea, and Australia have also chosen Aegis to protect their nations.