Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR June 2015 Contents SEA 1000
Passes Key Design
Review foR B-2 weaPons
Northrop Grumman Corporation announced on
may 27 that it has successfully demonstrated
to the u.S. air Force that its plans to upgrade
key weapons management software for the B-2
stealth bomber are on track and ready to proceed
to the next level of development.
the company successfully completed the critical
design review (CDR) of the service's flexible strike
Phase 1 program on feb 3. air force approval of
the CDR authorizes northrop grumman to begin
development and integration of the new software
and hardware required for the upgrade.
northrop grumman is the air force's prime
contractor for the B-2, one of the most powerful and
survivable long range strike systems in the world.
"the flexible strike software upgrade lays
the foundation for future system enhancements,
including the ability to carry multiple weapon
types," said Col. Robert strasser, U.s. air force,
B-2 system program manager and chief of
the B-2 division of the air force's fighters and
Bombers Directorate. "this 'mixed loads' capability
will ensure maximum strategic nuclear and
conventional strike capability."
CDR is a key review point in a three-year, $102
million contract awarded to northrop grumman in
aug. 2014. the contract covers the engineering and
manufacturing development (eMD) portion of the
flexible strike Phase 1 program.
"the flexible strike software upgrade program
will give the B-2 a simpler, more powerful way to
manage communications with its weapon systems,"
said Dave Mazur, vice president and B-2 program
manager, northrop grumman aerospace systems.
"it will also reduce B-2 maintenance costs, increase
mission flexibility and increase aircraft reliability."
the B-2 currently uses software called an
operational flight program (ofP) to manage the
communication between the jet and the hardware
that holds and dispenses its weapons. Under its
eMD contract, northrop grumman is replacing
several mission-specific ofPs with a single ofP
that can manage all of the B-2's weapons carriage
B-2 bomber. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Paul Villanueva I I)
10 Asia Pacific Defence Reporter JUNE 2015
systeM seleCteD foR
Royal navy’s new MeRlin
Following an industry competition, lockheed
martin, who act as the u.K. ministry of Defence’s
prime contractor for the merlin helicopter
have selected a new generation of the thales
Searchwater radar and Cerberus mission system
to be fitted to specially adapted merlins to
provide the Navy with an airborne surveillance
and control capability (aSaC).
the fleet of Merlin helicopters will replace the Royal
navy’s outgoing sea King Mark 7 asaC force which
is fitted with an earlier version of the searchwater
and Cerberus systems. the new capability will enter
operational service in 2018 when the last of the sea
King asaC helicopters are retired.
“the thales searchwater-Cerberus combination
has proved to be a critical asset not only for
maritime force protection and air surveillance but
also for coalition forces on land operations in
iraq and afghanistan. the CRowsnest capability
builds on a trusted system to meet threats that the
Royal navy will face over the forthcoming years.
through new innovative radar modes and improved
performance against low radar cross section targets,
the Royal navy will have a world class rotary-based
platform to protect the new aircraft carriers, the fleet
and Joint forces.”
victor Chavez, Ceo, thales UK
thales’ winning solution will maximise the re-use
of the Ministry of Defence’s existing investment in
equipment, training and expertise by upgrading,
updating and adapting a battle proven capability,
ahead of operational timescales.
improvements to the Royal navy’s new system
include enhanced performance and data processing,
as well as the addition of new modes to the
operationally proven, high-powered multi-mission
radar. an improved human machine interface,
reduced weight and built-in training features
have all been designed to future proof the highly
successful system. it will also be capable of being
fitted to both rotary and fixed-wing platforms.
originally designed for maritime airborne
force protection, the advanced multi-mode radar
and sensor systems have proved an invaluable
surveillance asset, capable of detecting and tracking
multiple targets over land, air and sea.
28/05/2015 3:42 pm
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