Tag Archives: Lockheed Martin

LCS-5 makes waves

The future USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) successfully concluded its acceptance trial September 18, after completing a series of in-port and underway demonstrations for the U.S. Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV). The acceptance trial is the last significant milestone before delivery of the ship to the U.S. Navy, which is planned for October. During the five-day trial, the Navy conducted comprehensive tests of the installed systems.

USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) makes waves during its acceptance trial. The acceptance trial is the last significant milestone before delivery of the ship to the U.S. Navy, which is planned for October (Photo by U.S. Navy)
USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) makes waves during its acceptance trial. The acceptance trial is the last significant milestone before delivery of the ship to the U.S. Navy, which is planned for October (Photo by U.S. Navy)

«What a ride», said LCS program manager Captain Tom Anderson. «The weather on Lake Michigan during the conduct of this trial was not pleasant. Despite the high sea state, Milwaukee crisply executed the schedule of events and received some of the highest demonstration scores to date for the LCS class. Milwaukee lives up to her namesake city in both her tenacity and strength».

While underway, the ship performed launch and recovery operations of the 11-meter rigid-hull inflatable boat, a four-hour full power run, surface and air self-defense detect-to-engage exercises, and demonstrated the ship’s maneuverability performing tight turns and full-power quick reversal.

Following her commissioning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in November, the ship will prepare for full ship shock trials to be held in the Atlantic Ocean in 2016. She will then sail to California to be homeported in San Diego with sister ships USS Freedom (LCS-1), USS Independence (LCS-2), USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) and USS Coronado (LCS-4).

LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, with three types of mission packages including surface warfare, mine countermeasures, and anti-submarine warfare. The Program Executive Office Littoral Combat Ships (PEO LCS) is responsible for delivering and sustaining littoral mission capabilities to the fleet. Delivering high-quality warfighting assets while balancing affordability and capability is key to supporting the nation’s maritime strategy.

As the U.S. Navy faces retirement of three important ship classes soon, the Freedom-class littoral combat ship is helping to fill that gap affordably with one flexible, technologically advanced ship suited for multiple missions. Photo: US Navy
As the U.S. Navy faces retirement of three important ship classes soon, the Freedom-class littoral combat ship is helping to fill that gap affordably with one flexible, technologically advanced ship suited for multiple missions. Photo: US Navy

 

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
SUW Configured Freedom
SUW Configured Freedom

 

Ship list

USS Freedom (LCS-1)

USS Fort Worth (LCS-3)

USS Milwaukee (LCS-5)

USS Detroit (LCS-7)

USS Little Rock (LCS-9)

USS Sioux City (LCS-11)

USS Wichita (LCS-13)

USS Billings (LCS-15)

USS Indianapolis (LCS-17)

USS St. Louis (LCS-19)

USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21)

USS Cooperstown (LCS-23)

The Lockheed Martin Multi-mission Combat Ship is one potential next generation variant the company has developed. The MCS design, using the flexible LCS hullform, can be built to different sizes, configured and integrated with sensors and weapons based on individual navies’ requirements. Image: Lockheed Martin
The Lockheed Martin Multi-mission Combat Ship is one potential next generation variant the company has developed. The MCS design, using the flexible LCS hullform, can be built to different sizes, configured and integrated with sensors and weapons based on individual navies’ requirements. Image: Lockheed Martin

Amphibious Vehicle

Lockheed Martin officially introduced its new Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) 1.1 offering at the Modern Day Marine trade show in Quantico, Virginia, on September 23. The armored, eight-wheel-drive vehicle is designed to transport up to 13 Marines, transition seamlessly between land and water, and provide high levels of blast protection. The U.S. Marine Corps established the ACV program to replace its aging fleet of Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAV), which have been in service since the 1970s.

The modular design allows a wide range of weapons, sensor and communications options to address evolving mission and affordability requirements
The modular design allows a wide range of weapons, sensor and communications options to address evolving mission and affordability requirements

The Lockheed Martin ACV candidate is a modular, easily upgradable 8×8 design that allows superior growth for a wide range of variants, weapons, sensors and communications options. Lockheed Martin is the original equipment manufacturer, systems integrator, and final-assembly, integration and test agent for its ACV. The company has selected an experienced team of suppliers for their specific capabilities to enable the production and delivery of a high-quality, affordable solution.

«We have been committed to the Marine Corps for more than eight years in the growth and evolution of the ACV and its predecessor programs», said Scott Greene, vice president of Ground Vehicles for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «In concert with the Marine Corps’ desire for domestic production, Lockheed Martin has assembled a supplier team that will enable the manufacturing and delivery of a vehicle that meets or exceeds their requirements at the right price».

The Lockheed Martin ACV candidate will meet or exceed the Marine Corps’ ACV requirements in four key areas: Water Operations; Land Operations; Payload Capacity and Protection. The team’s ACV offering is comprised primarily of off-the-shelf components and products currently in service on vehicles around the world. They have been brought together in the Lockheed Martin 8×8 to provide the Marine Corps a vehicle that meets their needs today and supports their missions far into the future.

The Marine Corps will conduct its own series of automotive, amphibious and protection tests
The Marine Corps will conduct its own series of automotive, amphibious and protection tests

Targeting System

On September 10, Lockheed Martin introduced Advanced EOTS, an evolutionary electro-optical targeting system, which is available for the F-35’s Block 4 development. Designed to replace EOTS, the F-35’s current electro-optical targeting system, Advanced EOTS incorporates a wide range of enhancements and upgrades, including short-wave infrared, high-definition television, an infrared marker and improved image detector resolution. These enhancements increase F-35 pilots’ recognition and detection ranges, enabling greater overall targeting performance.

The F-35 Lightning II Electro-Optical Targeting System provides precision air-to-air and air-to-surface targeting capability (Photo by Lockheed Martin)
The F-35 Lightning II Electro-Optical Targeting System provides precision air-to-air and air-to-surface targeting capability (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

«In today’s environment, threats to our warfighters continue to evolve», said Paul Lemmo, vice president of Fire Control/SOF CLSS at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «With significant capability and performance enhancements, Advanced EOTS ensures that F-35 pilots can stay ahead of these threats, detecting targets faster and at greater distances while remaining unseen».

Due to its similarity in shape and size to EOTS, Advanced EOTS can be installed with minimal changes to the F-35’s interface. It will be housed behind the same low-drag window, maintaining the F-35’s stealthy profile. Advanced EOTS production will be completed on the current EOTS line.

Advanced EOTS and EOTS are the first sensors to combine Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR) and Infrared Search and Track (IRST) functionality to provide precise air-to-air and air-to-ground targeting capability. Advanced EOTS was developed jointly through significant Lockheed Martin and supplier investment, with team members drawing on proven experience in electro-optical sensor design and manufacturing.

Lockheed Martin announced delivery of the 100th Electro-Optical Targeting System for the F-35 Lightning II in July 2013 (Photo by Lockheed Martin)
Lockheed Martin announced delivery of the 100th Electro-Optical Targeting System for the F-35 Lightning II in July 2013 (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

 

F-35 Lightning II EOTS

Through EOTS, pilots have access to high-resolution imagery, automatic tracking, IRST, laser designation and range finding, and laser spot tracking at greatly increased standoff ranges. Integrated into the F-35 Lightning II’s fuselage with a durable sapphire window, the low-drag, stealthy EOTS is linked to the aircraft’s central computer through a high-speed fiber-optic interface.

EOTS combines advanced sensor technology, a low-profile sapphire window design and advanced algorithms to provide long-range target recognition, identification and tracking. In the IRST mode, EOTS locates and tracks multiple airborne threats at extended ranges, ensuring high lethality and survivability.

EOTS incorporates proven technology and advances in optics, stabilization and processing. Its modular design and ease of repair make it simple to support and ensure two-level maintenance.

An F-35 Lightning II employed a Guided Bomb Unit-12 (GBU-12) Paveway II laser-guided weapon against a fixed ground tank test target October 29. The F-35's Electro-Optical Targeting System enabled the pilot to identify, track, designate and deliver the GBU-12 on target (Photo by Lockheed Martin)
An F-35 Lightning II employed a Guided Bomb Unit-12 (GBU-12) Paveway II laser-guided weapon against a fixed ground tank test target October 29. The F-35’s Electro-Optical Targeting System enabled the pilot to identify, track, designate and deliver the GBU-12 on target (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

 

Features

  • Rugged, low-profile, faceted window for supersonic, low-observable performance
  • Compact single aperture design
  • Lightweight (<200 lbs/90.7 kg), including window assembly
  • Advanced sensor technology
  • Air-to-surface/air-to-air FLIR tracker and air-to-air IRST modes
  • Modular design for two-level maintenance to reduce life cycle cost
  • Automatic boresight and aircraft alignment
  • Tactical and eye-safe diode-pumped laser
  • Laser spot tracker
  • Passive and active ranging
  • Highly accurate geo-coordinate generation to meet precision strike requirements
The F-35 Lightning II Electro-Optical Targeting System supports all F-35 variants, including the F-35B pictured above (Photo by Lockheed Martin)
The F-35 Lightning II Electro-Optical Targeting System supports all F-35 variants, including the F-35B pictured above (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

First Two F-35A

The Air Force ushered in a new era of combat air power on September 2, as Hill Air Force Base received the service’s first two operational F-35As. Hill’s active duty 388th Fighter Wing and Reserve 419th Fighter Wing will be the first combat-coded units to fly and maintain the Air Force’s newest fifth-generation fighter aircraft.

The first two operational F-35A Lightning II aircraft arrive at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, September 2, 2015. The jets were piloted by Colonel David Lyons, 388th Fighter Wing commander, and Lieutenant Colonel Yosef Morris, 34th Fighter Squadron director of operations. Hill will receive up to 70 additional combat-coded F-35s on a staggered basis through 2019. The jets will be flown and maintained by Hill Airmen assigned to the active-duty 388th Fighter Wing and its Reserve component 419th Fighter Wing (U.S. Air Force photo/Alex R. Lloyd)
The first two operational F-35A Lightning II aircraft arrive at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, September 2, 2015. The jets were piloted by Colonel David Lyons, 388th Fighter Wing commander, and Lieutenant Colonel Yosef Morris, 34th Fighter Squadron director of operations. Hill will receive up to 70 additional combat-coded F-35s on a staggered basis through 2019. The jets will be flown and maintained by Hill Airmen assigned to the active-duty 388th Fighter Wing and its Reserve component 419th Fighter Wing (U.S. Air Force photo/Alex R. Lloyd)

«Make no mistake, we’re built for this. We will deliver the combat capability that our nation so desperately needs to meet tomorrow’s threats», 388th Fighter Wing commander, Colonel David B. Lyons, told the crowd of Airmen and community members.

Lyons, who flew one of the F-35s to Hill from Lockheed Martin’s production facility in Fort Worth, Texas, highlighted the jets stealth ability, advanced technology, avionics and sensor fusion, which allow pilots the flexibility to operate in «contested environments» and strike «tough to reach» targets.

Hill has been called the «ideal home» for the F-35 because of its proximity to the Utah Test and Training Range and Hill’s Ogden Air Logistics Complex, which performs F-35 Lightning II depot maintenance and modifications. The integration of the active duty and reserve fighter wings provides increased flexibility and combat surge capability.

«This is a great day in the history of Hill Air Force Base. We have to have these aircraft to achieve air dominance in the future for the United States», said Colonel Bryan Radliff, 419th Fighter Wing commander. «We are extremely proud to be a part of this association».

Since the basing announcement in 2013, Hill has spent more than $120 million and completed numerous renovation and construction projects to prepare for F-35 operations.

«The reason we’re here today is because of our Airmen, civilians, contractors and outstanding community who stood behind us 100 percent», said Colonel Ron Jolly, 75th Air Base Wing commander. «We know the capabilities of this aircraft. We are on the cutting edge and we’re very proud to be a part of that cutting edge».

The 388th and 419th Fighter wings were also the first units in the Air Force to fly combat-coded F-16s when they entered the fleet. The wings will receive one to two F-35s per month until 72 aircraft have been delivered.

Airmen at Hill are eager to get their hands on the new jet said Lieutenant Colonel Darrin Dronoff, chief of the F-35 program integration office for the 388th FW. Both the 388th and 419th have trained F-35 pilots ready to begin flying the new jets, and there are more pilots and maintainers currently in training. The wings will take a week to familiarize themselves with the aircraft, receive parts and begin tracking the aircraft in a maintenance database.

«The plan is to start flying after Labor Day. We’ll start by flying twice a week, but that will slowly progress as we receive more aircraft and training progresses», said Dronoff. «While flying won’t start for a week, training for maintainers starts immediately – including the Airmen who will be towing the first aircraft from the ramp to the hangar», Dronoff said.

«Everyone touching the aircraft is a formally trained F-35 Airman – hand-selected crews from pilots to maintainers to back-shop people», said Dronoff. «But, we’re also training Airmen brand new to the F-35. We’re taking advantage of every training opportunity because this is the first time many of them have had their hands on an F-35».

An F-35A Lightning II aircraft passes under a water arch at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, September 2, 2015. The 388th and 419th Fighter Wings at Hill were selected as the first Air Force units to fly combat-coded F-35s (U.S. Air Force photo/R. Nial Bradshaw)
An F-35A Lightning II aircraft passes under a water arch at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, September 2, 2015. The 388th and 419th Fighter Wings at Hill were selected as the first Air Force units to fly combat-coded F-35s (U.S. Air Force photo/R. Nial Bradshaw)

 

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
Colonel David Lyons, 388th Fighter Wing commander, speaks to Airmen, civic leaders and media after delivering an operational F-35A Lightning II aircraft to Hill Air Force Base, Utah, September 2, 2015. Lyons, along with Lieutenant Colonel Yosef Morris, 34th Fighter Squadron director of operations, delivered the first two jets, known as AF-77 and AF-78, at approximately 1 p.m. MDT after a 90-minute flight from the F-35 production facility in Fort Worth, Texas (U.S. Air Force photo/Ron Bradshaw)
Colonel David Lyons, 388th Fighter Wing commander, speaks to Airmen, civic leaders and media after delivering an operational F-35A Lightning II aircraft to Hill Air Force Base, Utah, September 2, 2015. Lyons, along with Lieutenant Colonel Yosef Morris, 34th Fighter Squadron director of operations, delivered the first two jets, known as AF-77 and AF-78, at approximately 1 p.m. MDT after a 90-minute flight from the F-35 production facility in Fort Worth, Texas (U.S. Air Force photo/Ron Bradshaw)

Global coverage

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the fourth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite for the U.S. Navy launched from Space Launch Complex-41 at 6:18 a.m. EDT on September 2, 2015. The MUOS-4 spacecraft will bring advanced, new, global communications capabilities to mobile military forces, as well as ensure continued mission capability of the existing Ultra High Frequency (UHF) satellite communications system. This is ULA’s eighth launch in 2015, the second MUOS satellite launched in 2015 and ULA’s 99th successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006.

An Atlas V rocket with the Navy’s fourth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS-4)
An Atlas V rocket with the Navy’s fourth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS-4)

«The ULA team is proud to support the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Air Force by delivering this critical communications asset to orbit today», said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Atlas and Delta Programs. «Today’s successful launch will enable the MUOS constellation to reach global coverage. The Lockheed Martin-built MUOS-4 satellite will deliver voice, data, and video communications capability, similar to a cellular network, to our troops all over the globe».

This mission was launched aboard an Atlas V Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) 551 configuration vehicle, which includes a 5-meter diameter payload fairing along with five Aerojet Rocketdyne solid rocket motors attached to the Atlas booster. The Atlas booster for this mission was powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 engine and the Centaur upper stage was powered by the Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10C-1 engine.

The U.S. Navy’s MUOS is a next-generation narrowband tactical satellite communications system designed using a combination of orbiting satellites and relay ground stations to significantly improve communications for U.S. forces on the move. MUOS will provide new beyond-line-of-sight communications capabilities, with smartphone-like simultaneous voice, video and data – to connect military users almost anywhere around the globe.

ULA’s next launch is the Atlas V Morelos-3, communications satellite for Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services and Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transportes, a government agency of Mexico, scheduled for October 2 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

The EELV program was established by the U.S. Air Force to provide assured access to space for Department of Defense and other government payloads. The commercially developed EELV program supports the full range of government mission requirements, while delivering on schedule and providing significant cost savings over the heritage launch systems.

With more than a century of combined heritage, United Launch Alliance is the nation’s most experienced and reliable launch service provider. ULA has successfully delivered more than 95 satellites to orbit that provide critical capabilities for troops in the field, aid meteorologists in tracking severe weather, enable personal device-based GPS navigation and unlock the mysteries of our solar system.

An Atlas V rocket carrying the MUOS-4 mission lifts off from Space Launch Complex 41
An Atlas V rocket carrying the MUOS-4 mission lifts off from Space Launch Complex 41

LRASM Integration

The U.S. Navy began initial integration testing of its Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) onto the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet on August 12 at Patuxent River’s Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 facility. The program’s flight test team conducted missile load and fit checks using a mass simulator vehicle, designed to emulate LRASM, in preparation for the first phase of airworthiness testing with the F/A-18 E/F scheduled to begin later this month.

Initial fit checks are conducted on the LRASM on August 12 at NAS Patuxent River's Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 facility in preparation for the first phase of airworthiness testing with the F/A-18 E/F (U.S. Navy photo)
Initial fit checks are conducted on the LRASM on August 12 at NAS Patuxent River’s Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 facility in preparation for the first phase of airworthiness testing with the F/A-18 E/F (U.S. Navy photo)

«These initial fit checks will familiarize the test team with the proper loading, unloading and handling of the LRASM on the F/A-18E/F», said Greg Oliver, LRASM Deployment Office (LDO) assistant program manager for test and evaluation. «This testing will check clearances between the missile and the aircraft to ensure there are no negative impacts when carrying LRASM». Integration efforts and flight-testing will continue over the next few years at both Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River and Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake to clear LRASM for flight operations on the aircraft.

«This is an exciting time for the Navy», said Captain Jaime Engdahl, the U.S. Navy’s Precision Strike Weapons program manager. «This missile will help us pace the growing maritime threat and provide the warfighter with an urgently needed capability to engage surface combatants at extended ranges». When operational, LRASM will provide flexible, long-range, advanced, anti-surface capability against high threat maritime targets.

LRASM is set to be fielded on the B-1B Bomber in 2018 and the F/A-18 E/F in 2019.

The program's flight test team is conducting initial testing to ensure proper loading, unloading and handling of the LRASM on the F/A-18 E/F (U.S. Navy photo)
The program’s flight test team is conducting initial testing to ensure proper loading, unloading and handling of the LRASM on the F/A-18 E/F (U.S. Navy photo)

Full Capacity

An F-35A fired 181 rounds from its four-barrel, 25-mm Gatling gun during a ground test at Edwards Air Force Base, California, earlier this month. The gun is embedded in the F-35A’s left wing and will provide pilots with the ability to strafe air-to-ground or air-to-air targets.

F-35A Fires 25mm Gun at Full Capacity
F-35A Fires 25mm Gun at Full Capacity

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Integrated Test Force aims to complete ground testing this month and start airborne gun testing in the fall. At the end of the program’s system development and demonstration phase in 2017, the F-35A will have an operational gun.

The first phase of F-35A gun testing started June 9, when initial shots were fired from the ground at the base’s gun harmonizing range. Over the next few months, the amount of munitions fired gradually increased until the 181 rounds were fired August 14. To conduct the testing, an F-35A flight sciences aircraft, AF-2, underwent instrumentation modifications and used a production version of the GAU-22/A gun. The ground tests were designed using software to replicate being in flight and the aircraft used a target practice round, PGU-23/U, which does not explode on impact.

In integrating a weapon into the stealthy F-35A aircraft, the gun must be kept hidden behind closed doors, reducing its radar cross section, until the trigger is engaged. The tests certify the gun’s ability to spin up and down correctly. The GAU-22/A system will be further tested with a line production F-35A next year for integration with the jet’s full avionics and mission systems capabilities. Test pilots will then observe qualitative effects, such as muzzle flash, human factors, and flying qualities. The F-35A test team will also monitor the GAU-22/A’s performance and ensure all systems work as designed, validating that the aircraft can withstand the loads of a firing the gun, mitigating potential effects including vibrations, acoustics and airflow.

 

The video clip shows the 181-round gun burst of the gun embedded in the F-35A’s left wing root. The gun will provide operational F-35A pilots an ability to engage air-to-ground or air-to-air weapon targets using its strafing capability in addition to its beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles and precision-guided air-to-ground weapons

 

MUOS-4 Encapsulated

The fourth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite built by Lockheed Martin for the U.S. Navy was encapsulated in its protective launch vehicle fairing August 10. It is scheduled to launch August 31 aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket.

MUOS-4, the next satellite scheduled to join the U.S. Navy’s Mobile User Objective System secure communications network, has been encapsulated in its protective launch vehicle fairing for its August 31 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (photos courtesy of United Launch Alliance)
MUOS-4, the next satellite scheduled to join the U.S. Navy’s Mobile User Objective System secure communications network, has been encapsulated in its protective launch vehicle fairing for its August 31 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (photos courtesy of United Launch Alliance)

MUOS-4 is the latest addition to a network of orbiting satellites and relay ground stations that is revolutionizing secure communications for mobile military forces. Users with operational MUOS terminals can seamlessly connect beyond line-of-sight around the globe and into the Global Information Grid. MUOS’ new smart phone-like capabilities include simultaneous, crystal-clear voice, video and mission data, over a high-speed Internet Protocol-based system.

«Delivery of this fourth satellite for the U.S. Navy completes the initial MUOS constellation and provides near-global coverage for the network», said Iris Bombelyn, vice president of Narrowband Communications at Lockheed Martin. «For our mobile forces, that means for the first time they will be able to have secure, high-fidelity voice conversations, networked team calls and data exchange, including video, with anyone around the world connected with a MUOS terminal».

MUOS, which also supports the legacy ultra-high frequency communications satellite system, will provide comparatively 16 times the capacity of the legacy system and eventually replace it. The MUOS-1, MUOS-2 and MUOS-3 satellites launched respectively in 2012, 2013 and January 2015. All four required MUOS ground stations are complete. MUOS-5, an on-orbit Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) spare with additional legacy system capability, is expected to launch in 2016.

More than 55,000 currently fielded radio terminals can be upgraded to be MUOS-compatible, with many of them requiring just a software upgrade.

Lockheed Martin manufactured MUOS-4 at the prime contractor’s Sunnyvale, California facility. Earlier this summer, the satellite shipped to the Cape, where it was pre-launch processed and finally encapsulated at Astrotech Space Operations, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin. The Navy’s Program Executive Office for Space Systems and its Communications Satellite Program Office, San Diego, California, are responsible for the MUOS program.

MUOS-4 will complete near-global coverage for U.S. Navy’s new military smart phone-like network (photos courtesy of United Launch Alliance)
MUOS-4 will complete near-global coverage for U.S. Navy’s new military smart phone-like network (photos courtesy of United Launch Alliance)

Gen III Helmet

Senator Joni Ernst, Lockheed Martin and Rockwell Collins executives commemorated the delivery of the first Gen III F-35 Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS) on August 11. In addition to the HMDS, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II demonstrator was on site at the Cedar Rapids headquarters of Rockwell Collins for Senator Ernst to get a first-hand experience of «flying» the military’s most advanced fighter jet following the delivery ceremony.

The F-35 Gen III HMDS offers a fully integrated day and night solution through advanced, next-generation features
The F-35 Gen III HMDS offers a fully integrated day and night solution through advanced, next-generation features

Rockwell Collins, through its joint venture, Rockwell Collins ESA Vision Systems LLC, is providing the most advanced technology for warfighters with the F-35 HMDS, which provides pilots with unprecedented levels of situational awareness and allows them to «look through» the airframe.

«Today’s visit was an opportunity to place focus on Rockwell Collins, as manufacturing makes up such an important part of our economy here in Iowa», said Senator Ernst. «Having served in the military for over 20 years, I appreciate the company’s efforts in support of our national defense, our armed forces and our veterans».

«We’re pleased to be able to demonstrate the advanced capabilities of the F-35 Lightning II at Rockwell Collins today to Senator Ernst and members of the Cedar Rapids community», said Steve Callaghan, director, F-35 Lightning II Program, Lockheed Martin Washington Operations. «The employees at Rockwell Collins are contributing to the F-35s flying today, and we’re pleased to have the opportunity to showcase the superior performance capabilities of this aircraft with them».

The Gen III helmet, which includes an improved night vision camera, improved liquid-crystal displays, automated alignment and software improvements is to be introduced to the fleet in Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lot 7 in 2016. Rockwell Collins ESA Vision Systems LLC also developed the Gen 2 helmet that F-35 pilots currently use, which met the needs for the U.S. Marine Corps and will allow the service to declare Initial Operational Capability (IOC).

All the information that pilots need to complete their missions – through all weather, day or night – is projected on the helmet’s visor. Additionally, the F-35’s Distributed Aperture System (DAS), made by Northrop Grumman, streams real-time imagery from six infrared cameras mounted around the aircraft to the helmet, allowing pilots to «look through» the airframe.

Overall, Rockwell Collins has built and fit more than 200 helmets for F-35 pilots who are being trained for the program.

For night missions, the HMDS projects the night vision scene directly onto the visor, eliminating the need for separate night-vision goggles
For night missions, the HMDS projects the night vision scene directly onto the visor, eliminating the need for separate night-vision goggles

 

Helmet Mounted Display System

Pilots flying missions in the F-35 Lightning II and other multi-role tactical aircraft now can have unmatched visual capability. The F-35 Gen III Helmet Mounted Display System provides a next-generation user interface that integrates the F-35 pilot more tightly than ever into the aircraft’s avionics, with more than 10,000 flight hours of operational use.

The system gives F-35 pilots unsurpassed situational awareness by displaying critical flight information and sensor video throughout the entire mission. The HMDS serves as the virtual head-up display, enabling the F-35 to become the first tactical fighter in 50 years without a traditional head-up display.

By fully integrating three advanced technologies – head-up display, helmet-mounted display and visor-projected night vision – the F-35 Gen III HMDS provides revolutionary capability to the fighter cockpit.

F-35 Gen III Helmet Mounted Display System
F-35 Gen III Helmet Mounted Display System

 

Key benefits

  • Provides enhanced situational awareness
  • Integrated, virtual head-up display on the helmet visor for critical flight and mission information with a smooth transition to HMD symbology
  • Night vision capability built into the helmet
  • Lightweight helmet with optimal center of gravity for maximum comfort and reduced pilot fatigue
  • Provides weapons targeting by looking at and designating targets, and target verification when receiving steering cues from onboard sensors or via datalink
The F-35 Gen III HMDS is provided by Rockwell Collins ESA Vision Systems, LLC, a joint venture between Elbit Systems Ltd. of Israel, through its U.S. subsidiary Elbit Systems of America, of Fort Worth, Texas, and Rockwell Collins
The F-35 Gen III HMDS is provided by Rockwell Collins ESA Vision Systems, LLC, a joint venture between Elbit Systems Ltd. of Israel, through its U.S. subsidiary Elbit Systems of America, of Fort Worth, Texas, and Rockwell Collins

 

Key features

  • Binocular, 30-by-40-degree wide-field-of-view with 100 percent overlap
  • Virtual head-up display
  • Look-through-aircraft capability via Distributed Aperture System imagery
  • High accuracy tracking with auto-boresighting
  • Active Noise Reduction (ANR)
  • Digital night vision sensor
  • Ejection capability to 550 KEAS
  • Lightweight and well-balanced helmet
  • Custom helmet liner for precise fit and comfort
  • Multiple Interpupillary Distance (IPD) settings
  • Video recording
  • Picture in picture
  • Compatible with eyeglasses and Laser Eye Protection (LEP) devices
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)

Sniper Pod

Lockheed Martin received a direct commercial sale contract through Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to integrate the Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP) onto the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s (JASDF) F-2 aircraft.

Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod (Photo by Lockheed Martin)
Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

This initial contract, awarded in 2014, includes a Sniper pod, spares and support equipment for integration. The F-2 is the eighth aircraft platform to be equipped with Sniper ATP, joining variants of the F-15, F-16, F-18, A-10, B-1, B-52 and Harrier.

«Sniper ATP’s proven performance and low life cycle cost will provide necessary support to the JASDF mission», said Marc Nazon, Sniper international program manager at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «Integrating Sniper ATP on the F-2 aircraft also enables increased collaboration in U.S. Air Force and JASDF joint combat operations».

Lockheed Martin will work with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the prime aircraft manufacturer, to complete Sniper ATP integration on the F-2. Follow-on contracts are expected to include additional pods, spares, logistics and support equipment for the F-2 fleet.

Sniper ATP offers pilots high-resolution imagery for precision targeting and non-traditional Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions. Sniper ATP detects, identifies, automatically tracks and laser designates small tactical targets at long ranges and supports employment of all laser- and GPS-guided weapons against multiple fixed and moving targets.

Sniper, pictured here on a CF-18, has been selected by 16 international air forces (Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Air Force)
Sniper, pictured here on a CF-18, has been selected by 16 international air forces (Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Air Force)

 

Features

  • 1K high-definition, mid-wave targeting forward-looking infrared
  • 1K high-definition television
  • Solid-state digital data recorder enabling cockpit playback and nontraditional Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance
  • Precision long-range geo-coordinate generation
  • Laser lead guidance supporting precise delivery of traditional laser-guided weapons on moving targets
  • Passive detection, tracking and ranging for air-to-air and air-to-ground targets
  • Two-way datalink with full-motion video and meta data
  • Combat-proven moving target tracker algorithms enabling automatic reacquisition up to 10 seconds of obscuration
  • Diode-pumped laser with cockpit selectable tactical and eye-safe wavelengths
  • Laser spot tracker for acquiring laser designations for air and ground sources
  • Laser marker illumination for night vision goggles and target coordination
  • User-selectable collateral damage circle display to estimate weapon damage area
  • Two-level maintenance with automatic optical boresight alignment
  • Optimized line replaceable unit partition enabling two-level maintenance, streamlined sustainment and minimal life cycle costs
  • Global Scope advanced sensor software suite for video and metadata playback, advanced scene visualization and point of interest planning
Sniper’s superior range and rock-steady stabilization enables pilots to complete missions safely with unequaled accuracy (Photo by Lockheed Martin)
Sniper’s superior range and rock-steady stabilization enables pilots to complete missions safely with unequaled accuracy (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

 

Specifications

Field of Regard
Pitch +5 deg; -155 deg
Roll Continuous
Diameter 11.9 inch/30.5 cm
Length 98.2 inch/2.52 m
Pod Only Weight 446 lbs/202 kg
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) >600 hrs
Sniper’s system capability is increasing and rapidly expanding to other U.S. Air Force and international aircraft (Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Air Force by Senior Airman Julius Delos Reyes)
Sniper’s system capability is increasing and rapidly expanding to other U.S. Air Force and international aircraft (Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Air Force by Senior Airman Julius Delos Reyes)

 

The Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod is the targeting system of record for the U.S. Air Force