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Air Force Proposes Initial Joint Strike Fighter Locations

The US Air Force's newest fighter, the F-35A Lightning II.
by Staff Writers
Arlington Va (SPX) Oct 06, 2006
Plans for initiating environmental analyses for proposed locations of the Air Force's newest fighter, the F-35A Lightning II, have been announced by the U.S. Air Force. The F-35A Lightning II basing plan will create a synergistic "Total Force" mix of Active, Guard and Reserve units operating our newest 5th generation fighter aircraft. The Total Force mix provides the best possible team to deliver sovereign options for the defense of the United States in the war on terrorism.

The initial Joint Strike Fighter locations include Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. for primary maintenance and flight training; Nellis AFB, Nev. and Edwards AFB, Calif. for flight-testing; and Hill AFB, Utah, Kadena Air Base, Japan, and Shaw AFB/McEntire ANGB, S.C. for operational squadrons. Both stateside operational bases will combine active duty and Reserve Component personnel to maximize flexibility and combat capability.

General T. Michael Moseley, Air Force Chief of Staff, said, "Our environmental analyses will facilitate our decision-making process as these locations are evaluated." With this announcement, the Air Force will begin the environmental analysis process, which could take up to two years. Future environmental analyses will study traditional Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve bases along with a selection of Active Duty bases.

"The capabilities we provide the joint warfighter are in high demand, yet we have the oldest aircraft inventory in our history," said General Moseley. "The Air Force will continue to invest in advanced capabilities needed to defeat the emerging technological advances of our adversaries."

The Air Force is expected to start taking delivery of F-35A aircraft in 2009 with planned deliveries continuing beyond 2025.

earlier related report
Northrop Grumman Delivers Technology To Ensure F-35 Mission Capability

Meanwhile in other F-35 news, Northrop Grumman has delivered its final baseline software development test station for the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft, providing a level of capability that has not been available on legacy programs. It represents a significant milestone for the program on its path to maturing and delivering the stealthy aircraft prior to its first flight this fall.

The test stations are being used to ensure that various mission systems components of the aircraft-from the radar system to the communications, navigation, and identification system to the aperture system to all of the mission integration software executing on the integrated core processor-operate as intended in a representative environment before they are delivered to the Mission Systems Integration Laboratory (MSIL) for full system integration. The stations also serve as major components of the MSIL test lines.

"It is the F-35's unique blend of revolutionary and evolutionary technology from across the globe that presents allied warfighters with the best combination of performance and price," said Janis Pamiljans, Northrop Grumman vice president and F-35 program manager. "These test stations combine software debugging tools, line-replaceable unit support and a real-time hardware-in-the-loop simulation-generally only found in the system integration test lines-to bring this capability closer to the developer, allowing them to detect and resolve defects earlier in the process. This provides a higher-quality product during system integration and results in lower total program costs."

The 47 test stations developed by Northrop Grumman represent a significant portion of the test environment used for the development and verification of the aircraft. Over the past 27 months, the company has delivered the test stations to the F-35 prime partners (Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Northrop Grumman, and BAE Systems) and four subcontractors in seven locations across the U.S. and U.K. in support of other program milestones.

The company has developed a family of mission systems test stations that enables users to test operational flight programs on the mission systems flight-configuration computer systems prior to system integration. These test stations also are used for all subsystem integration and verification activities and they form the central hub of the integration and test lines in Ft. Worth, Texas that are used for all system integration activities.

The F-35 is a stealth, supersonic multirole fighter designed to replace a wide range of aging fighter and strike aircraft. Three variants derived from a common design will ensure F-35 meets the performance needs of the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy and allied defense forces worldwide, while staying within strict affordability targets.

As a principal teammate to Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman is responsible for producing more than 25 percent of the F-35 weapon system. The company's contribution ranges from integrating a major section of the aircraft's structure to producing key subsystems such as communications, avionics and radar, and developing software for mission planning.

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General Dynamics Awarded Contract To Support Future Stryker Upgrades
Sterling Heights MI (SPX) Oct 06, 2006
General Dynamics Land Systems has been awarded a $3.3 million contract from the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Command TACOM for the initial phase of the design, engineering development, fabrication and test of a Power and Data Management Architecture (PDMA) to support future Stryker upgrades and improvements.







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