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 March 27, 2015

News General Dynamics withdraws as T-100 prime contractor General Dynamics Information Systems and Technology has withdrawn itself as the prime contractor on the T-100, the offering for the T-X trainer replacement program based on the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 design.   Business SpaceX’s fight with U.S. Air Force called a clash of perceptions Billionaire Elon Musk’s...
 
 

News Briefs March 27, 2015

Contractor extradited from Iraq pleads guilty in bribes case A man extradited from Iraq in a military contract bribery case has pleaded guilty to three charges in an agreement with federal prosecutors. U.S. District Judge Thomas Rose has scheduled sentencing for July 1 for Metin Atilan. His attorney, Nick Gounaris, says the two sides agreed...
 
 

Ninth Boeing GPS IIF reaches orbit, sends first signals

Boeing Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF satellites are steadily replenishing the orbiting constellation, continuing to improve reliability and accuracy for users around the world. The ninth GPS IIF reached orbit about three hours, 20 minutes after launching today aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and...
 

 

F-35 Lightning II costs drop, report shows

A recent account of F-35 Lightning II aircraft program costs shows decreases, the Air Force’s F-35 program executive officer told reporters in a media roundtable March 24, 2015. Lt. Gen. Christopher C. Bogdan, citing this year’s selected acquisition report on the aircraft, called the roundtable to clarify cost and performance facts. He also acknowledged the...
 
 
NG-growler2

Northrop Grumman delivers center/aft ‘shipset’ for first international EA-18G Growler

Northrop Grumman photograph Northrop Grumman mechanics perform final quality inspections on the center/aft fuselage shipset produced by the company for the first Australian EA-18G Growler. The subassembly will be delivered to B...
 
 
Navy photograph by Monica McCoy

Navy conducts production acceptance test of Tomahawk missile

Navy photograph by Monica McCoy Members of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division team at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head prepare a Tomahawk missile for a functional ground test at the Large Motor Test Fa...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>