Air Force to Consolidate F-22 Depot Maintenance at Hill AFB

By on Monday, June 3rd, 2013


Air Force officials announced May 29 they are consolidating depot maintenance for the F-22 Raptor at the Ogden Air Logistics Complex at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

The depot maintenance work is currently split between the Ogden ALC and the Lockheed facility in Palmdale, Calif.

“Palmdale has made a storied contribution to aviation and while this move makes sense, we are certain this important workforce will continue strongly supporting the Air Force at Palmdale for many years to come,” said Lt. Gen. C.D. Moore II, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center commander.

In today’s fiscal environment it is important that every available resource is efficiently managed in order to achieve maximum return on investments.

The Air Force conducted a comprehensive business case analysis and determined a consolidation of all F-22 work at Ogden ALC would reduce costs while realizing greater efficiencies, a minimum cost savings of more than $16 million per year.

“The facts show this will be a great efficiency for the F-22 program and the warfighter,” Moore said. “It will allow us to more quickly maintain the F-22 keeping this vital front-line fighter ready to meet any challenge, while at the same time allow us to strengthen the robust and capable Palmdale workforce on other critical programs within the local area.”

The Air Force has developed a 31-month incremental transition plan to complete the F-22 depot maintenance consolidation activities.


F-35A operating costs to exceed F-16, official says

Operating costs for the conventional take-off and landing version of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter are expected to be roughly 10% greater than those of the Lockheed F-16.

According to the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO), Lt Gen Christopher Bogdan, who leads the tri-service effort, provided some preliminary numbers to the Dutch parliament comparing costs per flying hour between the two aircraft on 18 April.

“In his statement, Bogdan indicated that the cost per flying hour of an F-35A is estimated to be $24,000 per hour; roughly 10% higher than F-16 cost per flying hour,” the JPO says. “This data was derived in co-operation with the US Air Force and the Department of Defense Cost Assessment & Program Evaluation Office. Comparable baseline assumptions were used to evaluate relative operational costs between F-35 and legacy aircraft.”



 Lockheed Martin

The final cost figures are due to be released in the Pentagon’s 2012 selected acquisitions report for the F-35, which is set to be published during May.

Earlier this year, USAF chief of staff Gen Mark Welsh told reporters that the JPO was attempting to reconcile two different sets of cost estimates: one from the USAF and another from Lockheed. The cost numbers diverged because of differing underlying assumptions from which each side based its estimates.

Lockheed unveils unmanned surveillance and strike aircraft

By:   Dave Majumdar Washington DC

03:08 9 Apr 2013



Lockheed Martin is taking the wraps off its submission for the US Navy’s prospective unmanned carrier launched airborne surveillance and strike (UCLASS) aircraft at the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Exposition in Washington DC.

According to Lockheed, the bat-wing stealth aircraft, formerly referred to as the Sea Ghost, integrates proven technologies from previous manned and unmanned developments. The company is stressing an open architecture design and the “maximum reuse of hardware and software”.

As such, Lockheed’s UCLASS proposal bears a strong family resemblance to the company’s RQ-170 Sentinel unmanned aircraft, which is being flown by the US Air Force. Technologies from the F-35 programme have also been integrated into the aircraft.

Lockheed says that its UCLASS submission would be adaptable across the whole spectrum of military operations, from counter-terrorism to carrier-based strikes. “Enabling operations in any scenario – and in any environment,” the company says.

To operate in those disparate environments, the aircraft will have “multi-spectral stealth, as well as emissions and bandwidth management to defeat detection and enable mission success”, Lockheed says.

The company also claims that its UCLASS design will reduce manpower requirements because a single operator would be able to operate multiple aircraft. In recent weeks, the USN has announced its intention to fund four companies to design new unmanned air vehicles for the UCLASS programme. Boeing, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman “have credible, existing, comprehensive UCLASS design solutions, and associated production capabilities and facilities” to design UAVs through the preliminary design review phase, the USN says.

The pre-solicitation, announced on 26 March, is the first step towards securing funding for the carrier-based strike and surveillance aircraft. A full solicitation is likely to go out “in the summer timeframe”, says the USN.

The first UCLASS aircraft are planned for production beginning in fiscal year 2016, following a likely down-select to a single manufacturer.

Lockheed extends range of unmanned K-Max

By:   Dave Majumdar Washington DC
10:21 5 Apr 2013


Lockheed Martin is extending the range of its optionally unmanned cargo-hauling version of the Kaman K-1200 K-Max helicopter by adding an auxiliary fuel tank.

“We have recently deployed auxiliary fuel tanks and put them into the aircraft,” says Jon McMillen, Lockheed’s K-Max business development manager. The auxiliary fuel tanks are mounted internally, he adds.

The extended range K-Max is flying in support of US special operations forces assigned to the US Central Command’s area of responsibility in the Middle East, McMillen says. “The deployed team is very happy with it,” he adds.

McMillen could not say by how much the helicopter’s range had been extended, but even an additional 10nm (19km) to 20nm (37km) could be significant for the K-Max’s mission set.