A combination of defence headlines from February of 2011.
14th Feb 2011
Boeing has announced that on January 21 the company received a US$1.6 billion contract from the U.S. Navy for low-rate initial production (LRIP) of the P-8A Poseidon aircraft. The LRIP 1 contract is for six P-8A aircraft, spares, logistics and training devices.
The Navy plans to purchase 117 of the Boeing 737-based P-8A anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft to replace its P-3 fleet. Initial operational capability is planned for 2013.
“Providing these production aircraft to the Navy fleet on schedule is our No. 1 goal,” said Chuck Dabundo, Boeing vice president and P-8 program manager. “This is an exciting day for Boeing and the Navy and a testament to the P-8 team’s hard work and determination.
"This first production contract represents a significant commitment by the U.S. Navy to recapitalize its force of long-range maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft," said Capt. Leon Bacon, P-8A deputy program manager for the Navy. “Ensuring that this capability arrives on schedule and within budget remains our primary objective.”
Boeing will begin final assembly of the first LRIP aircraft at its Renton, Washington, facility this summer. The Poseidon team is using a first-in-industry in-line production process that draws on Boeing’s Next-Generation 737 production system. All P-8A-unique aircraft modifications will be made in sequence during fabrication and assembly.
“The in-line approach we’ve incorporated on this military derivative aircraft is already paying the dividends we expected by helping us improve efficiency and reduce costs,” said John Pricco, Boeing Commercial Airplanes P-8 program manager.
As part of the U.S. Navy System Development and Demonstration contract awarded to Boeing in 2004, the team is building and testing six flight-test and two ground-test aircraft. The first three flight-test planes, T1, T2 and T3, are completing testing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. The program’s static test plane, S1, recently completed its test program, which began in May 2009; S2, the fatigue test plane, will begin testing later this year.
A derivative of the Next-Generation 737-800, the Poseidon is built by a Boeing-led industry team that includes CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems, BAE Systems and GE Aviation.
CAE announced on January 20 that it has been awarded a series of military contracts for the defence forces of more than 12 countries valued at more than C$140 million. Among the contracts are: the design and manufacture of a C-130J weapon systems trainer and other training devices for Lockheed Martin; a contract from Boeing Training Systems and Services to build two M-346 full-mission simulators; an agreement with IGTEC to design and manufacture a C-130H full-mission simulator; a contract from Airbus Military to develop A400M maintenance trainers; a contract from Boeing to provide CAE's magnetic anomaly detection (MAD) system for the Indian Navy's P-8I Poseidon aircraft; and a contract from the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence to continue providing training support services for Royal Navy helicopter training systems.
"We are continuing to see opportunities and solid order activity around the world for CAE's comprehensive suite of military simulation products and services," said Martin Gagne, CAE's Group President, Military Products, Training and Services. "We have made it a strategic priority to position the company on key military aircraft that have a long life ahead, such as the C-130, M-346, A400M and P-8."
CAE has been awarded a contract by Lockheed Martin to design and manufacture a suite of C-130J transport aircraft training devices . CAE will be providing a C-130J weapon systems trainer used for aircrew training, a C-130J fuselage trainer (FuT) for training loadmasters and a C-130J loadmaster part-task trainer used to train loadmasters on the computer-controlled cargo handling system.
CAE was recently awarded a contract by Boeing Training Systems and Services to design and manufacture two M-346 advanced lead-in fighter trainer full-mission simulators as part of the M-346 ground-based training system for an international customer. The two M-346 full-mission simulators developed by CAE will be delivered in 2012 and will feature a cockpit configuration to train the pilot and weapon systems officer (WSO), as well as the capability to network the simulators for joint training. Boeing's Constant Resolution Visual System (CRVS) will be powered by CAE Medallion-6000 image generators running databases based on the CAE-developed Common Database (CDB) standard.
CAE has signed an agreement with IGTEC, a Malaysia-based aerospace technology company, to design and manufacture a C-130H full-mission simulator. IGTEC will be establishing a regional simulation centre near the Subang International Airport in Malaysia to support training for regional operators of the C-130 Hercules aircraft. CAE will deliver the C-130H simulator to the new training centre at the end of 2012.
CAE was recently awarded a contract by Airbus Military to design and manufacture an A400M cockpit maintenance operation simulator (CMOS) to support maintenance technician training for the new A400M versatile airlifter. The A400M CMOS will be based on CAE Simfinity(TM) virtual maintenance trainer (VMT) technology and will be delivered to the Airbus Military training centre in Seville, Spain in 2012. The training device will feature virtual displays of the A400M aircraft, cockpit and maintenance accessible areas to provide familiarization, troubleshooting and procedural training for maintenance technicians. The base contract includes options for CAE to develop additional A400M CMOS devices as well as other A400M training systems for maintenance technicians.
CAE has been awarded a subcontract by The Boeing Company to provide CAE's AN/ASQ-508A Advanced Integrated Magnetic Anomaly Detection (MAD) System for eight P-8I Poseidon aircraft to be operated by the Indian Navy. The P-8I aircraft is a new long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance platform based on the Boeing Next-Generation 737 airplane. CAE's AN/ASQ-508A MAD system, which is one of the most advanced MAD system in the market, will be integrated with the P-8I's mission system and will be used operationally during anti-submarine warfare missions.
CAE's MAD system is being delivered and is widely used on maritime patrol aircraft for a range of global defence forces, including the Turkish Navy's CN235 and ATR72, Canada's CP-140 Aurora, South Korea's P-3 Orion, Brazil's P-3BR, Chile's C-295 and the Japanese Defence Agency's indigenously developed XP-1 maritime patrol aircraft. The MAD system provides the capability to detect, locate, and confirm subsurface targets by identifying magnetic variations or anomalies, such as those caused by a submarine, in the Earth's magnetic field.
The UK Ministry of Defence has awarded CAE UK plc a five-year contract to continue providing training support services for the Royal Navy's Lynx helicopter training systems at Royal Navy Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton as well as the Sea King Mk6 training systems at RNAS Culdrose. CAE will provide on-site contractor logistics support services such as simulator maintenance, preventative maintenance and other support services. In addition, as aircraft modifications are introduced, CAE will provide post design services to update the Lynx Mk8 training devices to replicate the 'as flown' configuration of the operational helicopters.
UK engineering company Babcock says it has restructured its operation, strengthened its team, and has declared its plans for significant expansion of its defence sector business in Australia and New Zealand, under the direction of chief executive officer (CEO) Craig Lockhart.
Babcock will initially focus its core business on the naval sector, where it already has strong roots, and will look to develop opportunities within Australia’s and New Zealand’s build and sustainment programmes at platform level, in addition to its current Systems & Equipment business for which it is already well-recognised. The company is also planning to expand into other market sectors over time. Significant investment is being made in people, facilities and processes to support Babcock’s substantial development plans and aspirations.
The Babcock Pty Ltd operation is spearheaded by CEO Craig Lockhart, who was appointed to the post earlier this year. Lockhart has extensive experience in naval programmes, shipbuilding and sustainment with Babcock in the UK, and was most recently managing director of Babcock’s operations at the Clyde Submarine Base at Faslane. He says:
“Babcock has considerable UK experience in long-term, performance based contracting linked to platform availability and this can be readily adapted to the Australian situation. We recognise that long-term contracts must deliver high levels of continuous improvement, and we prefer to work co-operatively to help customers manage high value assets to achieve their operational and financial objectives.
Lockhart is one of a number of key senior personnel from the UK who are now based in Australia to develop opportunities as part of the Babcock Pty Ltd management team. New appointments include Simon Foster, as Naval Platform Support Director with responsibility for the Major Fleet Unit group maintenance project, for which Babcock has been selected to bid in partnership with UGL Infrastructure. Foster joined Babcock following a career in the Royal Navy, holding several engineering management posts (including Platform Project Manager for Trafalgar Class submarines), while as nuclear operations director at the Clyde submarine base he was responsible for over 350 personnel engaged in safety justification and life extension of the UK’s strategic assets to sustain ongoing operations and maintenance for the RN submarine fleet.
On January 28 the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin completed a key tracking exercise for the Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) system aboard three Navy ships.
In the test, known as Atlantic Trident, the USS Monterey (CG 61), USS Ramage (DDG 61) and USS Gonzalez (DDG 66) successfully tracked a short-range ballistic missile target. The Monterey and Ramage also simulated target solutions that would have resulted in successful intercepts.
“This event verified that both the Aegis BMD systems and crews aboard the ships are able to execute the missions necessary to support the nation’s missile defense strategy,” said Lisa Callahan, vice president of maritime BMD systems. “Aegis BMD is effective, affordable and interoperable with other systems and produces a layered air and missile defense capability to protect the U.S. homeland, our deployed forces and our allies.”
This was the first Aegis test to take place on the East coast. Before this event, all tests occurred at test ranges in the Pacific Ocean. The exercise took place off of Wallops Island, Va., at the Wallops Flight Facility, a rocket launch site that supports science and exploration missions for NASA and other U.S. government agencies.
A total of 25 ships – 21 U.S. Navy Aegis-equipped ships and four Japanese Aegis-equipped destroyers – are currently outfitted with the Aegis BMD capability. An additional three ships are planned to become BMD-capable this year.
On 25 January BAE Systems announced that cross the world the six Air Forces who operate Typhoon have passed the significant milestone of 100,000 flying hours.
The 100,000th hour was achieved in collaboration with the Nations’ Air Forces in the UK, Italy, Germany, Spain, Austria and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with a combined fleet of over 260 in-service Typhoons – the largest number among the new generation fighters available in the world today.
In the UK, the Royal Air Force working with BAE Systems’ support, ensure Typhoon is available for full operational duty, protecting and defending the national air space 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The role of the aircraft includes air defence and air interception.
The UK’s contribution to the 100,000 flying hours was achieved through the combined efforts of the Royal Air Force at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, RAF Leuchars in Scotland, and Mount Pleasant in the Falkland Islands and also, in a range of operational deployments that tested the readiness, durability and reliability of Typhoon.
Chris Boardman, BAE Systems’ Managing Director responsible for Typhoon said: “This is a significant achievement for Typhoon and the partner Nations’ Air Forces. Such a milestone demonstrates the extensive operational capability of the aircraft both within the UK and in differing environments overseas. It also increasingly highlights the importance of Typhoon for NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) air defence responsibilities.”
Typhoon is Europe’s largest military collaborative programme which delivers unrivalled combat capability coupled with improved situation awareness, high survivability and the most advanced array of integrated sensors makes Typhoon a total solution for the modern Air Force.
On January 20, the Maritime Helicopter Support Company, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation has received a $1.4 billion firm fixed price contract from the U.S. Navy to continue providing performance-based logistics support for more than 490 in-service H-60 SEAHAWK® helicopters.
The contract requires the Maritime Helicopter Support Company (MHSCo) to manage the supply chain and provide as-needed repair of more than 1,250 aircraft components and subsystems for the Navy’s H-60 Tip-to-Tail performance-based logistics (PBL) program. Supported aircraft include Navy SH-60B, SH-60F, HH-60H, MH-60R and MH-60S helicopters, Coast Guard HH-60J helicopters and other H-60 aircraft operated by customers of the Navy’s Foreign Military Sales program.
Sikorsky’s aftermarket support company Sikorsky Aerospace Services and Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Sensors, will fulfill the contract through January 31, 2015. The H-60 Tip-to-Tail PBL program will enable the Navy/MHSCo team to continue the accomplishments achieved under the initial five-year contract awarded in January 2004. Today, the program is among the largest of its kind for a fully functional aircraft fleet.
“H-60 Tip-to-Tail is recognized as one of the U.S. Navy’s most successful PBL programs,” said RADM Raymond Berube, commander, Naval Inventory Control Point in Philadelphia, which procures, manages, and supplies spare parts for naval aircraft, submarines and ships worldwide. “By meeting the Navy’s rigorous on-time parts delivery requirements, MHSCo has set a high standard of support that has had a very positive effect on H-60 flight operations.”
Performance-based logistics programs incentivize the contractor to meet measurable performance goals as the criteria for payment. In 2004, by applying commercial best practices across the supply chain, MHSCo quickly boosted delivery of replacement parts and assemblies to the fleet by 25 percent.
“Over the past seven years, MHSCo has consistently exceeded contract requirements, and enhanced the customer’s fleet readiness, by improving the availability and reliability of H-60 materiel and providing effective inventory control and materiel obsolescence management,” said David Adler, president of Sikorsky Aerospace Services. “This follow-on contract will enable MHSCo to continue to provide the maximum value and the highest service levels to the U.S. Government, the taxpayer and the warfighter.”