Boeing Defense, Space & Security2006-06-12 08:38:48

Boeing and Lockheed Martin F-22 Test Team Scores Direct Hit in Supersonic, High-Altitude JDAM Drop

The U.S. Air Force F-22 Combined Test Force team of The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA], Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] and Air Force pilots successfully demonstrated the F-22 Raptor's ability to release a munition at supersonic speed, high altitude and standoff range during a recent joint developmental and operational test at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.

An Air Force F-22 air dominance fighter, flying at a speed of Mach 1.5 and an altitude of 50,000 feet, released a GPS-aided, 1,000-pound Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) from a range of 24 nautical miles, destroying a ground target in the aircraft's fastest and highest JDAM delivery to date. Nellis Air Force Base (AFB), Nev., supplied the live warhead.

The ability to release a munition at supersonic speeds and standoff ranges greatly enhances the aircrew's survivability against heavily defended targets.

"We've already demonstrated the airplane's ability to operate with virtual impunity in the air-to-air realm, but successfully attacking a ground target at this speed, altitude and range shows that to be true in the air-to-ground mission as well," said pilot Lt. Col. Raymond "Buzz" Toth following the test. "The Raptor is ready to fight and is uniquely capable of supporting Air Force and Joint Command objectives against any enemy."

Success of the standoff delivery is due in part to the Raptor avionics' ability to compute an accurate Launch Acceptability Region (LAR), the area in the sky from which the pilot can release a weapon to successfully attack the desired target. The LAR supersonic algorithm, developed by a Boeing collaboration of F-22, Phantom Works and JDAM engineers, factors in navigation, weather, target and weapon information.

"The LAR algorithm developed by this interdisciplinary team offers the robust capability of updating to the latest weapon performance without requiring a new software build," said Paul Bay, vice president and F-22 program manager at Boeing. "Our JDAM, Phantom Works and F-22 units, working with Lockheed Martin's Air Combat Simulator team in Marietta, each brought a specialized expertise that was essential to making the LAR integration a success."

John E. Paquet, director of F-22 Mission Systems and Software at Lockheed Martin, added, "The successful drop of the JDAM from the Raptor has demonstrated our systems engineering process throughout the design life cycle. Early in the design phase, we brought Raptor pilots to the high-fidelity Air Combat Simulator in Marietta. Ga., and received valuable feedback on the new JDAM LAR. We were able to quickly incorporate their feedback into the software design, and the results of that collaborative effort were evident in the recent test."

The F-22 is capable of dominating any adversary through an unmatched combination of stealth, supercruise speed, agility and a complete view of the battlespace provided by an advanced sensor suite. The Raptor will enable combat commanders to change the way wars are fought over the next 40 years.

Prime contractor Lockheed Martin has delivered 71 F-22s to the Air Force, with 107 Raptors currently on contract. The fighter is assigned to four bases across the U.S. Testing is conducted at Edwards AFB, Calif.; tactics development takes place at Nellis AFB, Nev.; pilots and maintenance teams receive training at Tyndall AFB, Fla.; and operational F-22s of the 1 st Fighter Wing are assigned to Langley AFB, Va.

A GPS-aided, near-precision weapon, the JDAM guidance kit is capable of guiding inventory bombs ranging from 500 to 2,000 pounds, as demonstrated in extensive U.S. Air Force and Navy global operations. Since 1998, Boeing has produced more than 140,000 JDAM guidance kits for 16 domestic and international customers.

The F-22 Raptor, the world's most advanced fifth-generation fighter, is built by Lockheed Martin in partnership with Boeing and Pratt & Whitney. Parts and subsystems are provided by approximately 1,000 suppliers in 42 states. F-22 production takes place at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics facilities in Palmdale, Calif.; Meridian, Miss.; Marietta, Ga.; and Fort Worth, Texas, as well as at Boeing's Seattle, Wash., plant. Final assembly and initial flight-testing of the Raptor occur at the Marietta facilities.

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