Lockheed Martin has developed an Airborne Multi-INT Laboratory (AML), based on a Gulfstream III business jet. The AML provides a platform for trials, experimentation and evaluation of intelligence-gathering and -dissemination systems, and of operational techniques. The U.S. defense group has also established ground vehicle-based and fixed-site Multi-INT laboratories.
Never forgetting who it is working for, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics has stepped up a gear in its mission to reduce the costs of operating aging aircraft and weapons systems, as countries strive to cope with deflating economies. Its solution is what it calls global sustainment.
Intense speculation surrounds the Obama Administration’s Fiscal Year 2010 U.S. defense budget submission, which is now being deliberated in secret within the Pentagon. According to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, difficult choices must be made. The spotlight has fallen on two aerospace programs: whether to buy any more F-22 Raptor stealth fighters, and whether to abandon the VH-71 Presidential helicopter program.
J.R. “Rick” Hundley has been named president and CEO of San Antonio-based M7 Aerospace, succeeding Ron Frederick, who is retiring in December. Hundley previously was a senior executive at consulting firm Business Strategies International, aerospace manufacturing and service organization Safran USA, Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics.
The program to provide new VIP helicopters for the U.S. president has taken a step forward with first flight of an “operational pilot-production example” of the Lockheed Martin VH-71. The three-engine helicopter, which is based on the AgustaWestland AW101 (born as the European Helicopter Industries EH 101), had its maiden flight at the AgustaWestland factory in Yeovil, England, on September 23.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) denied a protest by Lockheed Martin over the U.S. Navy’s selection of the Northrop Grumman RQ-4N Global Hawk UAV for the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) contract. The ruling allows Northrop to proceed with the $2.3 billion system design and development phase of BAMS.
Lockheed Martin has opened its missiles and fire control support center in Gilbert, Arizona, combining support functions and resources that were formerly located in two facilities in Mesa, Arizona. The 39,000-sq-ft facility supports special electro-optical repair, modification and test activity for the modernized target acquisition designation sight/pilot night vision sensor known as Arrowhead.
Lockheed Martin has selected GE Aviation to supply the open systems avionics solution for the Block 7.0 communications/navigation/identification for the C-130J flight deck avionics system. The contract has an estimated value of more than $30 million over the life of the program, excluding production. It involves more than 230 aircraft operated by the U.S. Air Force and other international air forces.
According to Unison Industries, its new dual direct spark ignition system (DDSI) successfully lit the Pratt & Whitney RL 10A-4-2 engine on the Lockheed Martin Atlas V Expendable Launch Vehicle’s Centaur upper stage. Launching from Cape Canaveral on August 21, the Centaur’s first RL 10A-4-2 main engine started after the separation of the first stage after just four-and-a-half minutes.
Production of the Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules has been assured for many years to come, thanks to the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command (SOC). The unit has ordered a new version, designated HC/MC-130J, to replace its existing fleet of HC-130s and MC-130s used for combat search and rescue and special forces operations. Last week, Lockheed Martin received a contract for the first six aircraft, with another eight to follow soon.