Business

May 22, 2012

Northrop Grumman’s Joint STARS completes flight testing of JT-8D engines

Northrop Grumman’s E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) testbed aircraft, equipped with a new JT-8D propulsion system, has successfully completed flight testing and moved one step closer to receiving its Military Airworthiness Certification.

The completion of the flight testing program signifies a major milestone in the Joint STARS Re-engining program and is a key component of the Military Airworthiness Certification process.

The new propulsion system includes Pratt and Whitney JT-8D engines previously certified by the FAA for Boeing 707-300 aircraft, as well as mounting pylons and other provisions supplied by SevenQSeven and a specialized pneumatic system to support the large ground surveillance radar and other mission equipment carried onboard the aircraft.

The Military Airworthiness Certification process is comprised of flight tests, data analysis and approval for the propulsion system to be used on operational aircraft such as those that support worldwide operations out of Robins Air Force Base, Ga. JT-8D Propulsion System Military Airworthiness Certification opens the door for the operational aircraft fleet to be outfitted with new engines.

A key enabling factor for the certification process was the execution of a risk mitigation program during the development and installation of the Propulsion Pod System. A total of 808 tests were completed, many of which were concurrent with other Joint STARS programs. The testing regimen improved the efficiency of the flight test program. Originally, the test program had planned for 39 total flights, but was accomplished in just 32 flights, a 20 percent reduction.

“The men and women of Northrop Grumman and our Air Force teammates did an amazing job assuring the successful completion of JT-8D flight test program,” said Bryan Lima, director, Joint STARS development and modernization programs for Northrop Grumman. “The efficiencies and risk management of the test flight program directly impacted the reduction in certification flights needed and saved the government time and money.”

Outfitting the fleet with new engines will give the U.S. Air Force-owned platform increased takeoff performance, longer time-on-station and higher maximum altitudes for increased mission capable rates. In addition, the new engines will lower maintenance costs and save money through greater fuel efficiency.

In 2011, Northrop Grumman was awarded a new $540 million Total System Support Responsibility contract. Under the TSSR program, Northrop Grumman is partnered with the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Georgia to provide integrated logistics support to the 116th and 461st Air Control Wings, for all facets of base and depot level maintenance. For over a decade, Northrop Grumman has been providing comprehensive and integrated performance-based logistics support, in the United States and at its forward operating locations.

Last October, the Joint STARS Total System Support Responsibility team, comprised of the Air Force C2ISR Aerospace Sustainment Directorate, WRALC and Northrop Grumman, was honored by the U.S. Secretary of Defense with the 2011 Performance-Based Logistics System Level Beck Award for outstanding achievements in providing war fighters with exceptional operational capability through PBL agreements and are examples of “better buying power” in action.

The first E-8C Joint STARS was delivered to the Air Force in 1996, and the last fully configured aircraft was delivered in 2005. The Joint STARS fleet is the only all-weather, long-range, real-time, wide area surveillance and battle management and command and control weapons system in the U.S. arsenal. It combines accurate wide-area moving target detection with synthetic aperture radar imagery to locate, classify and track ground targets in all weather conditions from standoff distances. Joint STARS offers battlefield commanders real-time situational information, while simultaneously transmitting target locations to aircraft and ground strike forces.

The E-8C has accumulated nearly 80,000 combat hours supporting operations, including recent support to Operation New Dawn over Iraq and Operation Odyssey Dawn over Libya, and ongoing support to Operation Enduring Freedom over Afghanistan. It has also been called to support theater operations in Southeast Asia. The fleet is flown by the 116th and 461st Air Control Wings based in Warner Robins.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines July 31, 2015

News: Carter: Military leaders could arm more troops at home – Following the recent fatal shooting of four Marines and a sailor in Tennessee, Defense Secretary Ash Carter is ordering the military services to consider new policies that would enhance security for troops at home, including potentially arming more personnel.   Business: DOD weighs supplier base,...
 
 

News Briefs July 31, 2015

U.S. delivering eight newer F-16 warplanes to Egypt The United States Embassy in Cairo says the U.S. is delivering eight newer F-16 warplanes to Egypt as part of an ongoing military support package. It says in a July 30 statement that the aircraft, of the current Block 52 production variant, will be flown in from...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Lockheed Martin successfully tests design changes for Orion spacecraft’s fairing separation system

Lockheed Martin photograph A protective panel for Orion’s service module is jettisoned during testing at Lockheed Martin’s Sunnyvale, California facility. This test series evaluated design changes to the spacecraft’s fair...
 

 

Australian company to provide parts for initial production of Triton UAS

Northrop Grumman has awarded the first Australian supplier contract for the U.S. Navy’s MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system initial production lot to Ferra Engineering. Brisbane-based Ferra Engineering will manufacture mechanical sub-assemblies for the first four Triton air vehicles including structural components. “At Northrop Grumman it’s very important to not only develop...
 
 
Boeing photograph

CH-46 ‘Phrog’ makes its last hop

Boeing photograph The CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter commonly known as the “Phrog,” is set to retire and to be flown one last time by Reserve Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 774 on Aug. 1. The CH-46 Sea Knight is a med...
 
 

Insitu awarded LRIP Lot IV RQ-21A Blackjack Systems contract

Under the terms of its latest contract, Insitu will build six RQ-21A Blackjack systems for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The $78-million Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems Lot IV Low Rate Initial Production contract is the latest event in the program’s progression toward the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation phase.   “This award will...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>