Daily Archives: August 6, 2013

Lockheed Martin to Offer Universal Mission Equipment Package for U.S. Army Helicopters

Lockheed Martin Press Release – Will offer a universal, highly adaptable  and affordable mission equipment package (MEP) to meet requirements for the Joint Multi-Role/Future Vertical Lift (JMR/FVL) rotary wing program, with potential applications for other customers and platforms.

 The Lockheed Martin MEP will integrate proven solutions from three of the Corporation’s business areas and more than 30 years of experience integrating mission equipment components and subsystems into a wide variety of U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and international rotary- and fixed-wing programs. The product will be an affordable, dependable solution for multiple customers due to its open architecture and future airborne capability environment (FACE™) software design.

“Working with the JMR customer, we look forward to providing a highly adaptable package that can be applied across multiple platforms,” said Ed Whalen, Lockheed Martin Rotary Wing capture lead. “The U.S. Department of Defense and Lockheed Martin have invested billions of dollars to create advanced technology mission equipment packages, such as that in the F-35 Lightning II. The JMR program offers the opportunity for the U.S. Army to leverage this investment and many others in its vertical lift program through open architectures and Lockheed Martin’s advanced avionics, sensors and weapons.”

To improve the affordability and growth potential of the mission equipment package throughout its life cycle, Lockheed Martin is incorporating the DoD’s FACE-software standards into the cockpit and mission systems. The use of the FACE standard for the software design will provide the U.S. Army unprecedented flexibility for reuse across multiple aviation platforms.

Lockheed Martin’s new product leverages the corporation’s proven success in developing, manufacturing, integrating, fielding and sustaining the M-TADS/PNVS, HELLFIRE, F-35 Electro-optical Targeting System, Target Sight System, SH/MH-60, Merlin and A-10. The JMR/FVL solution will apply technologies, processes and lessons learned from the fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II fighter.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 116,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products, and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2012 were $47.2 billion.

DoD asks firms to maintain funding for IRAD

DoD News – The Pentagon’s acquisition chief is calling for defense companies to maintain self-funded research-and-development initiatives, particularly as US Defense Department investment in these technology programs declines.

But with defense spending contracting and fewer major procurement programs on the horizon, firms are becoming more hesitant to fund these independent research-and-development (IRAD) research projects.

“As companies try to manage their bottom lines in a time of downturn, there’s temptation to cut that [IRAD funding],” Frank Kendall told Defense News. “I have not interacted probably enough with the CEOs on this [to] try to encourage them to protect it.”

Kendall — who at one time was vice president of engineering at Raytheon — said that during prior downturns, there was “a lot of pressure on those [IRAD] accounts.”

“It’s a difficult environment out there for industry, and they do have freedom to make some choices about that,” he said. “That’s the whole idea of IRAD.”

Mica Endsley, the US Air Force chief scientist, said the service is compiling a prioritized list of “emerging risks” that could inform companies on where to invest.

By Marcus Weisgerber and Zachary Fryer-Biggs