Business

August 31, 2013

F/A-18 Advanced Super Hornet prototype flies with Northrop Grumman-built conformal fuel tanks

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – The first flight of an F/A-18 Advanced Super Hornet prototype featuring conformal fuel tanks designed and built by Northrop Grumman, took place earlier this month.

The design and assembly of the tanks were completed in less than 10 months, ahead of schedule, due to rapid prototyping processes. The conformal fuel tanks and other new Advanced Super Hornet features allow flexibility for longer range and/or low-observable missions.

“We invested in conformal fuel tank research and development so we could offer our domestic and international customers the most capable and sophisticated F/A-18 possible,” said John Murnane, F/A-18 program manager, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. “Given the challenge of developing the CFT in a short period of time, the success of the first prototype flight is an incredible achievement for our team.”

Both the F/A-18 and its electronic attack variant, the EA-18G, will benefit from the conformal fuel tanks. The tanks, which are added to the upper fuselage of the aircraft, accommodate up to 3,500 pounds of additional fuel. For a typical strike mission, a Super Hornet or Growler with CFT can increase its unrefueled radius by up to 130 nautical miles or increase its station time by more than 30 minutes. For the EA-18G aircraft, the tanks also provide enhanced capabilities when operating from an aircraft carrier by reducing overall weight.

CFTs are an example of practical modernization of a reliable, proven airframe. The tanks provide new capabilities to the warfighter and can be included on new aircraft or retrofitted to the 600-plus aircraft already operating worldwide.

In addition to conformal fuel tanks, the prototype aircraft features an enclosed weapons pod designed and built by Boeing, the prime contractor for the F/A-18. Other key members of the F/A-18 industry team have also developed upgrades for the Advanced Super Hornet.

The first flight of the Advanced Super Hornet prototype took place Aug. 5 in St. Louis as part of a demanding flight test demonstration program. Several flight tests have also taken place at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. These flight tests will provide the F/A-18 industry team with valuable data on flying qualities, drag and signature levels.

Northrop Grumman produces about 40 percent of the work content for F/A-18 and about 50 percent for the EA-18G. The company manufactures the center/aft fuselage and vertical tails for both aircraft, as well as the airborne electronic attack subsystem for the EA-18G.

 




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


 
 

 
LM-JLTV

Lockheed Martin Team’s JLTV tops 100,000 testing miles during EMD phase

DALLAS, April 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ –†The Lockheed Martin Team’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle has achieved 100,000 miles in the government’s Engineering & Manufacturing Development reliability, availabi...
 
 
LM-F35-hours

F-35 fleet surpasses 15,000 flying hours

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fleet recently surpassed 15,000 flight hours, marking a major milestone for the program.  “Flying 15,000 hours itself demonstrates that the program is maturing, but what I think is e...
 
 

Raytheon awarded first international contract for Paveway IV

Raytheon has received a contract from an international customer for Pavewayô IV precision guided bombs valued at more than $200 million. As part of the sale Raytheon will deliver hundreds of the advanced munitions, which are regarded as the ‘weapon of choice’ for the Royal Air Force. The contract represents the first sale of Pavewayô...
 

 
Northrop Grumman photograph

Northrop Grumman dedicates Aircraft Integration Center of Excellence in Florida

Northrop Grumman photograph Tom Vice, corporate vice president and president, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, addresses the media with, from left, Florida State Sen. John Thrasher, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, U.S. Rep. Ron DeS...
 
 

Lockheed Martin GMLRS alternative warhead logs successful flight test series, shifts to next testing phase

Lockheed Martin successfully conducted the fifth and final Production Qualification Test for the new Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Alternative Warhead recently at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. During the long-range test, four rockets were fired from a HIMARS launcher and destroyed their respective targets approximately 65 kilometers away. The test is the final milestone...
 
 

Forecast International expects UAV market to rise strongly through next decade

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan sent unmanned aerial vehicle production to record heights, but with the last U.S. military troops in Afghanistan slated to depart the country this year, the Pentagon’s demand for unmanned air vehicles is slackening. However, while fewer UAVs are expected to roll off the production lines from 2014 to 2023,...
 




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>