FORT WORTH, Texas, Oct. 10, 2013 – The F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) today informed Lockheed Martin [NYSE:LMT] that it decided to halt development of the alternate F-35 helmet and focus exclusively on maturing the Rockwell Collins Elbit Systems of America Vision Systems Generation 2 (Gen 2) helmet currently used in training and testing. The program will recoup approximately $45 million in funds it had originally allocated for the development of the alternate helmet.
In 2011, program and industry officials acknowledged that there were technical issues facing the principal helmet system. To ensure viable combat capability was available when needed, the program began a dual-path development plan as a risk-management strategy in the event maturity issues facing the Gen 2 helmet could not be resolved. BAE Systems began developing the alternate helmet in September 2011.
“The government’s decision to proceed exclusively with the principal helmet is indicative of their confidence in the helmet’s performance and the successful resolution of previously identified technical challenges,” said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and general manager of the F-35 Lightning II Program. “To date, more than 100 F-35 pilots have flown more than 6.000 flights and 10.000 hours with the helmet, and their feedback has been very positive. Lockheed Martin and its suppliers will continue to focus on developing and delivering the helmet’s unprecedented capabilities to the warfighter in support of the services’ declaration of Initial Operating Capability.”
The F-35’s Helmet Mounted Display Systems provide pilots with unprecedented situational awareness; all the information pilots need to complete their missions – through all weather, day or night – is projected on the helmet’s visor. Additionally, the F-35’s Distributed Aperture System streams real-time imagery from six infrared cameras mounted around the aircraft to the helmet, allowing pilots to “look through” the airframe.
Beginning with aircraft in Low Rate Initial Production lot 7, the program will introduce a Gen 3 helmet that features an improved night vision camera, new liquid crystal displays, automated alignment and software enhancements.
PRESS Bulletin Lockheed Martin 10-Oct-2013
FORT WORTH, Texas, 9-Oct-2013 – The Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] F-35 Lightning II program continues its operational maturation, surpassing 10,000 flight hours in September. More than half of the total hours were accumulated in just the past 11 months. Through September, F-35s flew 6,492 times for a total of 10,077 flight hours. The new milestone effectively doubles the safe flight operations of the F-35 in a year, compared to reaching 5,000 flight hours in six years.
This milestone was achieved by operational production aircraft operating at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., where F-35 pilots and aircraft maintainers conduct training and the combined F-35 System Development and Demonstration (SDD) and Operational Test (OT) aircraft operating at Edwards AFB, Calif., Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., and Nellis AFB, Nev. All three variants: the F-35A Conventional Takeoff and Landing (CTOL), the F-35B Short Takeoff/Vertical Landing (STOVL), and the F-35C Carrier Variant (CV) participated in the program milestone.
PRESS Bulletin; Lockheed Martin; 9-Oct-2013
FORT WORTH, Texas, 8-Oct-2013 – Lockheed Martin and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) celebrated the beginnings of the first F-35 Lightning II for Australia yesterday. The aircraft, designated as AU-1, officially began the mate process, where major components of the aircraft are joined together to form the aircraft’s structure. AU-1 will then make its way down the assembly line and roll out of the factory for delivery to the RAAF in the summer of 2014.
Jeff Babione, Lockheed Martin Vice President and Deputy Program Manager for F-35, highlighted the ongoing partnership between Lockheed Martin and Australia and said: “Today marks a new beginning for tactical aviation for Australia. Lockheed Martin is proud of our long and storied relationship with Australian aviation, and now, the F-35 will ensure that the relationship with the RAAF and Australian Industry remains strong for decades to come.”
The global supply chain for the F-35 currently has 14 Australian companies under contract and building parts for the F-35. Australian industry is expected to gain up to $6.3 billion USD in industry opportunities over the life of the F-35 program. Every F-35 built will have some Australian parts and components.
The occasion also marked a longstanding history between Lockheed Martin and Australia’s Defence Forces, beginning with the Lockheed Vega, F-111 and continuing with the F-35. Australia’s first two F-35s, now in production, will be delivered to the RAAF next year.
PRESS Bulletin; Lockheed Martin; 8-Oct-2013
FORT WORTH, Texas, 2-Oct-2013 – Tuesday, the U.S. Navy and the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin AFB, Fla., officially reconstituted the highly decorated VFA-101 Grim Reapers Squadron during ceremonies held on the Emerald Coast.
VFA-101 will fly the Navy’s newest aircraft, the Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] F-35C Lightning II carrier variant, to perform the mission of training pilots and sailors to fly and service the aircraft fleet. The speakers challenged the Grim Reapers to prepare sailors to fly and maintain the F-35C safely at sea, where its stealth, sensors and communication systems will make the entire carrier strike group more effective. The U.S. Navy’s F-35C Initial Operating Capability is scheduled for 2019.
“The F-35C brings a broad range of force packages to the Navy fleet – capitalizing on the integration of advanced mission systems, stealth technology and supersonic capabilities,” said Lorraine Martin, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the F-35 Program “The F-35C will enhance the flexibility, power projection, and rapid response of carrier air wings and joint task forces for decades to come.”
Source: PRESS Bulletin; Lockheed Martin 2-Oct-2013