Air Force, Blog Articles aircraft model, airplane model, Block 20, Block 30, Block 30 Global Hawk, Block 30s, desktop model, Global Hawk, mahogany model, model aircraft, model airplane, model plane, Northrop Grumman Global Hawk, plane model, scale model, U-2, warplanes, wood plane model, wooden airplane model
In 2001, the U.S. Air Force officially took over the Northrop Grumman Global Hawk unmanned air system (UAS) project, now estimated to cost $12.4 billion for 55 aircraft, and embarked on its development. Within months, the momentum behind the high-flying spy aircraft grew. The young UAS was rushed into operation in the Middle East after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and service officials began crafting plans for a larger, more capable design, dubbed the Block 20/30, that was intended to take over the role long held by the U-2.
Thus, the Global Hawk became the first UAS that the Air Force developed to take over an entire mission—high-altitude intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance—handled by an existing piloted aircraft. UAS have become more prevalent in the Pentagon’s arsenal since then, especially because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But, at that time, this notion was highly controversial within the Air Force, and for years the Global Hawk and U-2 communities fought for resources and favor among Pentagon leadership.
Now, 10 years later, the ambitious plan to retire the U-2, which is limited by the 10-12 hr. a pilot can spend in the cockpit, in favor of a Global Hawk capable of more than 24 hr. of flight in a single sortie, has been dashed. The Air Force blames high operating cost and low sensor performance. And it would be easy to blame that on reduced defense spending. But the history of this program is far too complex for such a simple answer.
The Global Hawk had a troubled upbringing—with two massive Nunn-McCurdy cost overruns, multiple aircraft crashes and inconsistent support from its sponsor service and Capitol Hill. But, in parallel with these challenges, the UAS accrued a record of service alongside the venerable U-2 it was slated to replace. This included a decade of missions at Al Dhafra AB in the United Arab Emirates, flights over Haiti after the earthquake in 2010 and Japan after the tsunami compromised a nuclear power plant last March, aiding NATO strikes in Libya last year and supporting surveillance requirements in South America.
“If we had to do it all over again, we would do it differently,” says Gen. (ret.) John Jumper, Air Force chief of staff when Global Hawk demonstration aircraft, crafted under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Tier II+ program, were quickly deployed by USAF to the Middle East.
Despite being the epitome of so-called spiral acquisition—designed to field new technologies rapidly through incremental capability improvements—the program became a victim of the Air Force’s overly ambitious appetite, Jumper says. “We did not do a good job of controlling the requirements of making the Global Hawk a plug-and-play platform,” he acknowledges, and eventually, “Global Hawk priced itself out of the market.”
Jumper concedes that the Air Force’s decision not to retire the U-2 in favor of the Block 30 Global Hawk is a setback for a service that prides itself on leading technology at the Pentagon. The UAS carries the Raytheon Enhanced Integrated Sensor Suite (EISS) and Northrop’s Airborne Signals Intelligence Payload (ASIP), the multiple “ints” required for it to take over the U-2’s mission. “Eventually that mission will be an unmanned mission,” he says. “It is just going to take 20 years longer to do it.”
Gen. Norton Schwartz, Air Force chief of staff, says the decision to end production of the Block 30s and mothball those already produced was twofold. First, the UAS did not eclipse the high-flying U-2 as expected by achieving a lower operating cost. Second, it fell short of expectations compared to the performance of the U-2’s Goodrich Senior Year Electro-Optical Reconnaissance System (Syers). “The reality is that the Global Hawk system has proven not to be less expensive to operate than the U-2, and in many respects the Global Hawk Block 30 system is not as capable—from a sensor perspective—as is the U-2.”
Though lawmakers seem at least willing to accept a production termination, the idea of storing 18 aircraft, the product of $3.4 billion in spending, is being met with criticism. “They are going to take a shot to the head on that one,” says a congressional aide. “I hope it is worth it.” At issue is the savings of not operating the Global Hawks as well as the added cost of ensuring that the U-2 fleet has appropriate support to pick up most of the slack.
Lawmakers are skeptical of the rationale, as the Air Force said in a memo to Congress that, “while the U-2 is less expensive to operate on a per-hour basis, its limited endurance requires multiple aircraft in order to maintain 24-hour continuous coverage of a particular location. When analyzed in the context of the Global Hawk mission, the U-2 costs $220 million per year more than the Global Hawk.”
The reality, however, is that in the scramble to reduce spending, the Pentagon is choosing to jeopardize its ability to surveil a number of places around the globe at one time using high-altitude assets, says a Pentagon official.
The service has yet to say how much in annual savings can be garnered by not operating the Block 30s. The Air Force planned to buy 31 Block 30s; 18 are on contract.
The Pentagon declared the Global Hawk critical to national security just last year, when it certified the program in this memo after its second cost overrun. The Air Force also seemed to accept what shortcomings were inherent in the EISS. The service declared initial operational capability for the Block 30, despite reservations from the testing community. EISS Infrared detection performance at range was troublesome, though it was sufficient when the aircraft was directly over target. So-called slant ranges, however, are important for aircraft surveilling across borders.
Additionally, ASIP, designed to spy on communications and air defense systems, was “very limited,” according to the tester’s report. Though ASIP detected a large number of signals, it had trouble geolocating them, which is important to cue other aircraft or weapons onto a target. At the time, Northrop Grumman outlined a series of fixes to address these issues.
“I don’t necessarily agree with that assessment,” says George Guerra, Northrop’s Global Hawk vice president. The imagery products are “extremely high-quality. I honestly don’t think people are aware of the sensor performance.” But Northrop officials investigated complaints about EISS performance and, “we started to realize we were sort of exonerating the sensor,” he says.
Fixes are being made to improve ASIP, which is also flying on the U-2 along with the legacy RAS 1R signals-intelligence collection system.
However, Jumper suggests that the marriage of the Global Hawk and its sensor packages was flawed from the outset. “These were the contractual relationships that came along when the aircraft was handed over to the Air Force,” he says, noting that the service would have preferred to have managed its own sensor competitions.
Cost is a thorny issue. The Global Hawk experienced two major development overruns, but in 2005 and 2011, the Pentagon opted to keep the program going when it had a chance to kill it. The first overrun was largely based on misjudgments by the Air Force and Northrop about the complexities of expanding the size of the Global Hawk from the Block 10 RQ-4A version, carrying 1,000 lb., to the Block 20/30 RQ-4B, carrying 3,000 lb. The Block 20/30 was needed to enable the UAS to carry ASIP as well as the EISS, coming closer to the multi-intelligence collection capabilities of the U-2, which can haul 5,000 lb. of sensors.
The promise of the Global Hawk, though, was premised on balancing sensor performance—including possible degradation compared to U-2 sensors—against the benefits of longer endurance.
Northrop objects to the notion that the UAS costs more to operate. “Decisions [were] made that are sort of skewing the data,” Guerra says. “In my mind, you would want to go to an apples-to-apples comparison, [and] when you do that, you will see that [the Global Hawk] is more effective.”
An example, he says, is that costs shared between the two programs because they are collocated—such as security and infrastructure—are not equally split, tipping the cost in favor of the U-2. In fiscal 2011, the Air Force charged the U-2 program $400,000 for security, while the Global Hawk shouldered $7.5 million of the bill. Also that year, the U-2 program paid for $2 million worth of base infrastructure support, while the Global Hawk was charged six times that amount.
Air Force officials did not provide flying-hour data, but removing these unbalanced charges results in Global Hawk flying hours costing $1,500 less than the U-2’s, says Mike Isherwood, a Northrop analyst working on the program.
The reversal on the Global Hawk is clearly abrupt, given the Pentagon’s supportive moves last year and the agreement by the Air Force and Navy to collocate the aircraft and share parts and supplies where possible to reduce the cost for both their fleets. The Navy is buying 70 Block 40 variants optimized for maritime surveillance, with the last delivery slated for 2028.
Navy officials say savings are possible, despite the potential loss of the Block 30. The two services “still plan to jointly base [the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance] UAS and Global Hawk at overseas locations to eliminate redundant efforts,” says Capt. Jim Hoke, Navy BAMS program manager. Basing options in the U.S. will be reviewed soon; Air Force Global Hawks are now based at Beale AFB, Calif., and Grand Forks AFB, N.D. “Additional synergy initiatives continue to be reviewed . . . which will generate cost savings for both programs,” Hoke adds.
Northrop is “disappointed” at the decision, Guerra says. It is continuing to produce Fire Scout unmanned rotorcraft, though the baseline platform is outsourced, and work on the Air Force’s B-2 fleet and Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar Systems. But aircraft production opportunities are waning.
With the Block 40 aircraft, designed to carry the Multi-Platform Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) ground surveillance radar, having been delivered to the Air Force, there will be “a little bit of a gap shaping up” on the already low-rate production line, Guerra says. He hopes to fill that with orders from South Korea or Germany. Berlin’s first Euro Hawk is scheduled for delivery this year, with another four potential sales. Seoul is considering four aircraft.
Meanwhile, Northrop is mounting a campaign to save the Block 30.
“We tend to compare the [Global Hawk] to the U-2 based on what the U-2 can do,” says Ed Walby, a business development executive for Northrop. He suggests asking: “What is it that the U-2 can do that the Global Hawk does today?” noting that the endurance of the Global Hawk is a game-changer.
Air Force, News aircraft model, airplane model, Avenger, desktop model, mahogany model, model aircraft, model airplane, model plane, MQ-9, mq-9 reaper, MQ-X, plane model, Predator C, Predator C Avenger, Reaper, scale model, U-2, U.S. Air Force, USAF, warplanes, wood plane model, wooden airplane model
The U.S. Air Force’s plan to acquire a next-generation, stealthy, precision-attack MQ-X unmanned aerial system has a candidate with the first flight of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ extended second variant of its jet-powered Predator C Avenger.
The closely held flight took place Jan. 12 at the company’s Palmdale, Calif., facility. USAF, in its 2025 road map, has stated a preference for a stealth signature (but not very low observability) and long endurance (the latest Avenger can fly for 16 hr.). Predator C offers a serpentine inlet for its Pratt & Whitney engine and a ducted exhaust to shield the aircraft’s heat signature.
General Atomics is building four Avenger Cs. Starting with the second aircraft, the fuselage was extended 4 ft. for additional fuel capacity. A third aircraft is expected to fly this summer followed by the fourth by early next year.
“The Air force wants the MQ-X to operate and survive in a contested or degraded operational environment,” says Chris Pehrson, the company’s director of strategic development.
That means that competitors might substitute electronic attack and electronic warfare for some of the stealth capability. Any design would combine reduced signature, jamming self-protection and long-range surveillance.
“The kind of sensors you put on a platform can allow a greater standoff distance by looking deeper into enemy territory,” the official says. “Avenger is a jet-powered UAV, so it can fly faster and respond more quickly to time-sensitive targets and threats.”
General Atomics is pushing the flight envelope of Avenger beyond 400 kt., to almost twice the speed of the turboprop-powered, workhorse MQ-9 Reaper. It will not be highly maneuverable because it’s not a fighter, nor will it have the speed to keep up with a package of strike aircraft.
“But the speed does allow it to transit to a target area or react to pop-up threats faster,” Pehrson says. “You are looking at a trade space of endurance, altitude, speed and agility. The Avenger has wings like a powered glider so it can operate at about 50,000-55,000 feet. That’s not as high as a U-2, but it will be above most of the traffic.”
Sensors of interest for the Avenger include the Raytheon surveillance ball that is on the Reaper now and multi-spectral sensors like those on the U-2 that can broaden the amount of the electromagnetic spectrum that can be monitored for targeting and reconnaissance.
Various Air Force and Navy officials have indicated that Raytheon’s jamming variant of the Miniature Air Launched Decoy (MALD-J) is being considered as a standoff electronic attack capability for the Avenger and other aircraft involved in suppressing air defenses.
“We see both suppression and destruction of enemy air defense applications for this platform,” Pehrson says. “It could be equipped with electronic jammers and anti-radiation missiles as one option. Right now, we’re looking at about 3,000 pounds internal payload and about 3,000 pounds on external, wing-mounted hard points.”
Several hundred additional pounds of payload can be carried in the forward electronics bay. In total, it’s about a ton more than the Reaper can carry. To help cut down on the amount of data that has to be transmitted to ground stations, there are plans to do machine processing on board.
“We like to give the operator or analyst the fused, correlated, real-time situational awareness with all the sensors that we possibly can,” Pehrson says. “If you have a ground moving target indicator on the radar, you want to know with high confidence that it’s the same object you are looking at with your electro-optical or infrared sensor. If it’s also giving off a signals signature, that’s all going to be on a single display.”
The Avenger is expected to cost $15-18 million for the baseline aircraft, including sensors.
Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, News aircraft model, airplane model, c-130, C-27, C-5A Galaxy, desktop model, F-35, f-35 joint strike fighter, f-35 jsf, f35, f35 jsf, Humvee, Joint Strike Fighter, KC-46, KC46, mahogany model, model aircraft, model airplane, model plane, plane model, RQ-4N, scale model, U-2, U-2 spy plane, U2 spy plane, Virginia-class, Virginia-class boats, warplanes, wood plane model, wooden airplane model
To avoid creating a hollow force, the Defense Department is not going to protect force structure at the expense of needed training and gear, top Pentagon officials said Thursday.
“The military will be smaller and leaner, but it will be agile, flexible, ready and technologically advanced; it will be cutting edge,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters at the Pentagon as he unveiled more details ahead of the fiscal 2013 budget proposal.
Panetta addressed the media along with Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, Joint Chiefs chairman. Together, they unveiled some of the details from the Pentagon’s new five-year spending plan. The full 2013 budget release is planned for Feb. 13, when President Obama sends his budget request to Congress.
DoD’s plans revealed no sacrificial lambs: all three variants of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter are safe; the Navy will maintain 11 aircraft carriers; and the Army’s major vehicle programs are intact.
Instead, to reduce projected spending by $487 billion over the next 10 years, the Pentagon is eliminating what it describes as “poorly performing programs,” while slowing down the production of others. Panetta also said DoD has identified an additional $60 billion in efficiencies.
The first tranche of the spending cuts — $259 billion — will come over the next five years.
These targets conform to the initial spending caps outlined in the Budget Control Act Congress passed by Congress in August.
However, they do not take into account the possibility of sequestration, which would initiate an additional $500 billion cut beginning in January 2013 if Congress does not find an alternative way to reduce the country’s deficit.
Panetta said he hopes that when members of Congress sees what it takes to make this first round of cuts, they will be convinced they need to act in order to avoid sequestration.
Vice Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. James “Sandy” Winnefeld, who appeared with Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter after Panetta and Dempsey spoke, said DoD had arrived at its budget in a “very healthy way,” crafting strategy before making spending choices.
“Sequestration would reverse that,” he said.
DoD leaders also emphasized that the spending plan should be viewed as a complete package and that changes in one area could adversely affect others.
There is little room for modification to this plan while maintaining the quality of the force and providing troops with the capabilities they need, Panetta said.
In a message most likely for lawmakers, Carter said, “It is a carefully balanced package and therefore can’t be changed or modified piece by piece.”
The five-year plan reflects the new strategic guidance, released Jan. 5, by shifting focus toward the Asia-Pacific region, while maintaining influence in the Middle East.
In 2013, the Pentagon is requesting $525 billion for its base budget, with an additional $88.4 billion for overseas contingency operations. It projects the Defense Department will need $567 billion for its base budget in 2017.
The 2013 base budget represents the first budget to decline in nominal terms since 1998, down from 2012’s $531 billion.
The topline number is directly shaped by the Budget Control Act’s cap on security spending, which is set at $686 billion for 2013. That has to cover funding for the Defense Department as well as the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the Veterans Affairs Department.
Panetta reminded reporters that it was a bipartisan Congress that mandated these defense cuts.
The budget document describes the investment choices as “hard but manageable” and places the budget in a historical context, saying that after every major conflict, the U.S. has experienced “significant budget drawdowns.”
The description of reductions, however, had little impact on stock prices, as Wall Street met the news calmly. Boeing, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics all saw their stock prices decline by less than 1 percent, while Lockheed Martin and Raytheon saw increases of less than 1 percent. Market analysts had predicted that stock pricing had already assumed significant defense cuts.
FORCE SIZE REDUCTIONS
With the end of war in Iraq and the beginning of a troop withdrawal in Afghanistan, there will be further reductions to the ground forces.
Panetta announced the Army will be reduced from 547,000 active-duty soldiers to 490,000, while the Marine Corps will be cut to 182,000.
“I’m confident 490,000 is the right number for 2017,” Dempsey said, reminding reporters that this was the number for active duty soldiers and does not include the National Guard and Reserve.
However, “it might not be the right number for 2020,” he added.
The Army also plans to remove at least eight brigade combat teams from its existing force structure.
“Even with these reductions, the Army and Marine Corps will be larger than they were in 2001,” according to the document titled “Defense Budget Priorities and Choices,” which outlines the investment decisions discussed by Panetta and Dempsey.
These reductions in force size do require a corresponding reduction in the military’s facilities resources.
Therefore, the president will request that Congress authorize use of the Base Realignment and Closure process with a goal of identifying savings “that can be reinvested in higher priorities as soon as possible.”
“The best approach to reducing that infrastructure politically on Capitol Hill is to work it through the BRAC process,” Panetta said.
The Pentagon did not tie any savings to potential base closures, because those require congressional authorization.
“If we tied savings to it before Congress authorized it, and they didn’t authorize it, it would undermine our whole budget,” Panetta said.
As for overseas basing, the Pentagon says the Army and Marine Corps will sustain force structure in the Pacific, while “maintaining persistent presence” in the Middle East.
MILITARY SERVICE PLANS
The Pentagon has budgeted to forward station littoral combat ships in Singapore and patrol craft in Bahrain.
It has also provided funding for a new “afloat forward staging base that can be dedicated to support missions in areas where ground-based access is not available, such as counter-mine operations.”
The Army will reduce its current footprint in Europe by two heavy brigades, while establishing and maintaining a new rotational presence in Europe.
With the Defense Department shifting its focus to the Asia-Pacific region, the Air Force will maintain the current strategic bomber fleet and will also fund a new bomber program, according to the document.
By doing so, the Pentagon has decided to protect all three legs of the nuclear triad. However, the Navy will have to delay its Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine replacement by two years.
Carter described the submarine’s original schedule as “aggressive, bordering on optimistic.”
The Navy and Marines will also retain their air-power assets, with the sea services retaining all 11 aircraft carriers, 10 carrier air wings, and all of the amphibious assault ships.
All three F-35 Joint Strike Fighter variants are safe, but the Pentagon has decided to slow down procurement to allow for more testing.
Panetta said the Air Force would also continue with its plans to purchase next generation KC-46 tanker aircraft.
DoD will also invest in new air-to-air missiles, new radars for tactical aircraft and ships, more electronic warfare and communications capabilities.
The Navy will build a new “prompt strike option” from submarines and will add cruise missile capacity to its Virginia-class boats.
The Air Force will lose six tactical fighter squadrons and a training squadron, while the Navy loses seven Ticonderoga-class cruisers, one of which has missile defense capability, but which needs a lot of repairs, the budget document says.
One big-deck amphibious ship and a submarine will be delayed. Two smaller amphibious dock landing ships will be decommissioned and their replacements delayed.
The Navy also loses eight joint high speed vessels and two littoral combat ships.
The Air Force is losing the Block 30 version of the Global Hawk, but other variants, namely the Navy’s RQ-4N and Air Force’s Block 40, are safe.
Carter explained that the Block 30 version was supposed to replace Lockheed Martin’s U-2 spy plane but it priced itself out of the niche for taking pictures in the air, Carter said.
“That’s a disappointment for us, but that’s the fate of things that become too expensive in a resource-constrained environment,” he added.
Air mobility takes a hit with 27 C-5A Galaxy airlifters being retired along with 65 older C-130s. The entire C-27 fleet of 38 cargo aircraft is also being scrapped by the Air Force.
However, there will also be investment in advance unmanned aircraft, and the Air Force will gain the capability to operate 65 Predator/Reaper patrols and surge to 85 when needed. Today, the Air Force can fly 61 orbits continuously.
For the Army, the Pentagon has curtailed the Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System, a floating missile defense sensor.
The Joint-Air-to-Ground-Missile’s funding has been reduced, with money kept in the budget to find a lower cost alternative.
The Army will cancel its effort to recapitalize its Humvee fleet and will instead focus resources on the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.
Air Force RC-135, aircraft models, airplane models, Blue Angels and Thunderbirds, Chinese J-8, Chinese Su-27, Clear Canopy Model Planes, custom models, EC-130, EP-3 Aries, f-16, Featured Hand-Carved Models, Foreign Military Aircraft Models, Grumman S-2T Tracker, helicopter models, J-8, J-8 fighters, Jet Model Planes, Military Plaques & Seals, Model Accessories, model airplanes, model helicopters, model planes, Navy EP-3 Aries, Other Nautical/Aviation and Decor, P-3A Orion, p-3c orion, plane models, Propeller Airplanes, RC-135, S-2T, Signature Series, su-27, Su27, U-2, U-2 spy plane, warplanes, wooden airplane models
Two Chinese Su-27 fighters penetrated Taiwan’s airspace June 29 and were turned back by Taiwan Air Force fighters. The incident is believed to be the first serious Chinese fighter incursion into Taiwan airspace since 1999.
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense confirmed the incursion in a news release on Monday, but would not verify local Chinese-language media reports that the Su-27s were chasing a U.S. surveillance aircraft.
The U.S. Pacific Command did not respond to inquiries about the incident.
An MND source said it is not Taiwan’s duty to protect U.S. surveillance aircraft and the incident is not considered serious.
“There is a line between the two sides, and if any Chinese aircraft flies too close, we will respond,” he said. “If they cross the line, we treat it as a hostile act, but occasionally they fly close to the line, and to be honest, this happens all the time and is not a real problem.”
The June 29 incident was an “unintentional” and “inadvertent” incursion by Chinese fighter aircraft, he said. “The Chinese military has no intention of antagonizing Taiwan” because relations across the Strait are “calm” and there is “no reason for trouble.”
The news comes as Taipei pushes the U.S. to release 66 F-16C/D fighters. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced last week that Washington would make a final decision on the fighters by Oct. 1.
Local media reports said the Su-27s were trying to catch a U-2 spy plane conducting a surveillance mission out of Osan Air Base, South Korea. The reports said the U-2 diverted to Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, to avoid the Chinese fighters.
But surveillance aircraft specialist Chris Pocock was skeptical. There are only three U-2s based in East Asia, all at Osan, to watch North Korea, Pocock said.
“They may also fly southwards along the China coast as far as Taiwan, but not on a routine basis,” he said.
The aircraft might have been a Navy EP-3 Aries or Air Force RC-135, which operate at lower altitudes and have been harassed by Chinese fighters in the past.
In 2000, two Chinese J-8 fighters intercepted an Air Force RC-135 in international airspace above the East China Sea. A year later, a J-8 fighter collided with a Navy EP-3 Aries near Hainan Island in the South China Sea.
Despite Chinese complaints, the U.S. surveillance aircraft flies regular missions along China’s coastline. They stay in international airspace because straying into Chinese territory would make them easy targets for S-300PMU-1/2 and Hongqi-10 surface-to-air missiles.
During the Cold War, Taiwan’s Black Bat 34th Squadron flew similar missions with three P-3A Orion signals intelligence aircraft. As well, China shot down five U-2 spy planes operated by Taiwan’s Black Cat 35th Squadron over Chinese territory. Both programs were handled by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
Taiwan will soon take delivery of 12 P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft for anti-submarine patrols. The aircraft will replace aging Grumman S-2T Tracker anti-submarine aircraft. Taiwan technically has two squadrons of the S-2T, but sources say that only a handful are still operational.
Taiwan has attempted to procure signals intelligence aircraft in the past from the U.S., but procurement problems and budget delays have hampered the acquisition. Taiwan has one EC-130 for surveillance operations, but it is limited in mission scope.
Air Force, News AF-4, aircraft models, airplane models, C-130J Super Hercules, C-5M Super Galaxy, Edwards AFB, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-2, f-22 raptor, F-35, F-35A, helicopter models, Lockheed Martin, Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II, model airplanes, model helicopters, model planes, P-3, plane models, T-50, U-2, warplanes, wooden airplane models
Last Jan. 22, a Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II stealth fighter comes in for a landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California after a 3.2-hour ferry flight from Fort Worth, Texas. The jet, known as AF-4, is the fifth F-35A conventional takeoff and landing aircraft to ferry to Edwards for testing. To date, the F-35 program has achieved 578 total test flights.
Lockheed Martin Corporation engages in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products, and services in the United States and internationally.
The company operates in four segments: Electronic Systems, Information Systems & Global Services, Aeronautics, and Space Systems. The Electronic Systems segment offers air and missile defense; tactical missiles; weapon fire control systems; surface ship and submarine combat systems; anti-submarine and undersea warfare systems; land, sea-based, and airborne radars; surveillance and reconnaissance systems; simulation and training systems; and integrated logistics and sustainment services.
The Information Systems & Global Services segment provides federal services; information technology solutions; software and systems engineering support services; logistics, mission operations support, peacekeeping, and nation-building services for the various U.S. defense and civil government agencies.
The Aeronautics segment provides military aircraft, air vehicles, and related technologies. This segment’s products and programs include the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter-multi-role coalition fighter, the F-22 Raptor-air dominance attack and multi-mission stealth fighter, the F-16 Fighting Falcon-multi-role fighter, the C-130J Super Hercules tactical transport aircraft, and the C-5M Super Galaxy strategic airlift aircraft. It also supports P-3 maritime patrol aircraft and U-2 high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft; produces components for the F-2 fighter; and serves as a co-developer of the T-50 supersonic jet trainer.