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To: leigh aulper who wrote (187)2/27/2009 10:37:56 PM
From: leigh aulper
   of 213
 

Lockheed Martin Delivers Third C-5M Super Galaxy to United States Air Force




MARIETTA, Ga., Feb. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) today delivered the third fully modernized C-5M Super Galaxy to the U.S. Air Force. Following a small send-off at the company's Marietta facility, the C-5M flew to Dover AFB, Del.

"This delivery is yet another success in the C-5 modernization program," said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin C-5 program vice president. "I'm confident the Air Force will be as impressed with the improved performance, reliability and capability of the Super Galaxy as we were during flight test."

This was the second C-5M to be delivered to Dover this month, and was the third and final aircraft delivered during the System Design and Development phase of the program. The C-5M program will enter production this summer. Induction of the first aircraft is planned for August.

The C-5M Super Galaxy climbs higher and faster than its legacy counterparts while carrying more cargo over longer distances. It also requires less tanker support and is projected to have a much higher mission availability rate due to increased reliability. Current Air Force plans call for Lockheed Martin to deliver 52 fully modernized C-5Ms by 2016.

The C-5M is the product of a two-phase modernization effort. The first, the ongoing Avionics Modernization Program (AMP), provides a state-of-the-art glass cockpit with modern avionics and flight instruments that meet future Communication, Navigation, Surveillance and Air Traffic Management requirements. AMP kit installations have now been completed on more than 40 C-5Bs. Lockheed Martin is under contract to perform AMP modifications on 111 C-5 aircraft.

The Reliability Enhancement and Re-Engining Program (RERP) is the second phase of the C-5 modernization effort. It includes 70 enhancements or replacements of major components and subsystems, including the installation of GE CF6-80C2 commercial engines. Modernization of the C-5 pays for itself through savings in operation and sustainment costs.

The C-5 has been the backbone of strategic airlift in every engagement since it entered service. It is the only aircraft capable of carrying 100 percent of certified air-transportable cargo, with a dedicated passenger compartment enabling commanders to have troops and their equipment arrive in an area of operation simultaneously. The C-5 can carry twice the cargo of other strategic airlift systems. With more than 70 percent of its structural service life remaining, the C-5M Super Galaxy will be a force multiplier through 2040.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 146,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.



SOURCE Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company

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From: leigh aulper3/12/2009 9:01:03 AM
   of 213
 
Northrop Grumman-Navy Team Exceeds Expectations During Mine-Clearing Weapon Test
BETHPAGE, N.Y., March 11, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A laser-imaging, helicopter-borne gun system designed by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) for the U.S. Navy to destroy mines at sea exceeded expectations the first time it fired at underwater targets. The Rapid Airborne Mine Clearance System (RAMICS) is one of four airborne mine countermeasures systems in early production or development by the company.

During testing, the system hung from a 50-story tower that simulated RAMICS on an airborne helicopter. The system's mission was to locate and fire eight rounds at a submerged target. The statistical expectation was one hit only. Seven of eight shots hit the target within a tightly grouped pattern.

"Shooting a submerged mine from altitude on a moving platform is an incredible algorithmic and hydrodynamic challenge. RAMICS' test performance was a major accomplishment that proves it can hit submerged mines from tactically significant distances, and do it all with better than expected accuracy," said Bob Klein, vice president of Maritime and Tactical Systems for Northrop Grumman. "We're getting closer to the goal of getting the sailor out of the minefield."

The RAMICS gun is a 30mm MK44 Bushmaster II cannon manufactured by ATK Armament Systems, Clearfield, Utah. It fires a supercavitating round. Unlike typical projectiles that markedly slow when they hit water, a supercavitating round has a unique configuration that allows it to maintain its velocity when it enters the water. Thus, it maintains its direction and kinetic energy to destroy a mine by impact.

The test took place at the Lake Glendora test range within the Navy Surface Warfare Center in Crane, Ind.

RAMICS is designed to get target data from another Northrop Grumman mine countermeasures product: the Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS). That system is now in low-rate initial production. Northrop Grumman is also developing the Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis (COBRA) system for the Marine Corps and Airborne Surveillance, Target Acquisition & Minefield Detection System (ASTAMIDS) for the Army.

"The goal with all our products is to find mines quickly, locate them accurately, and, at sea with RAMICS, destroy them without endangering divers so that our forces can have assured access to their targets and assured success in their missions," Klein said.

The RAMICS customer team is led by the Naval Sea Systems Command, PMS-495 (Littoral and Mine Warfare), and the Naval Surface Warfare Centers at Panama City, Fla., and Crane, Ind. The Northrop Grumman RAMICS industrial team includes Kaman Aerospace Electro-Optics Development Center, Tucson, Ariz.; DRS Sensors and Targeting Systems, Cypress, Calif.; CPI Aerostructures, Edgewood, N.Y. and Meggit Western Design, Irvine, Calif.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.

CONTACT: John A. Vosilla
Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems
(516) 575-5119
John.Vosilla@ngc.com


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From: leigh aulper3/13/2009 2:18:09 PM
   of 213
 
AIR FORCE LOOKING TO REPLACE WINGS ON ALL A-10 WARTHOG ATTACK JETS

_______________________________________________

Date: March 13, 2009

The Air Force is looking to replace the wings on all of its 356 A-10 Warthogs despite current plans that call for modernizing only two-thirds of the fleet, according to a senior service official.

This comes as the service has been working to repair cracks on many of the attack jets’ wings. The issue forced the Air Force to ground more than 100 jets -- many of which are still unable to fly -- since the cracks were discovered last year.

The Air Force has budgeted more than $1 billion to buy 242 new wings for the oldest A-10s. Jets with thin-skin wings only would receive the upgrade. However, the service would like to garner additional funding to replace the wings on the remaining Warthogs, which have also been subject to cracking.

“For the total fleet of aircraft, there are still a few that are unfunded, but that can be worked as we go through funding cycles in the next couple of years to get the full fleet funded,” Air Force Materiel Command boss Gen. Donald Hoffman said during a Feb. 27 meeting with a handful of reporters at an Air Force Association-sponsored conference in Orlando, FL.

The Air Force selected Boeing to replace the wings on all of its thin-skinned A-10s in June 2007. The contract runs into the next decade.

For now, the Air Force is rapidly working to repair the cracks in many of its Warthogs, which have been relied upon heavily for close air support of ground troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I think we can fix the crack that exists right now with confidence and let the normal cost of the wing replacement take place,” Hoffman said. “We’ll continue to monitor the fix that we put in.”

As the Air Force’s fleet of legacy fighters continues to grow, many aircraft have experienced structural issues that have subsequently led to grounding and flight restrictions.

The service grounded all of its F-15s in 2007 after a jet broke in half during a training mission. An investigation into the crash revealed major issues with the fighter’s longeron support beams. Some jets still remain grounded due to the issue.

In January 2008, Hoffman -- who at the time was serving as the service’s No. 2 acquisition official -- said Air Force lawyers were considering potential legal action against the Eagle’s original equipment manufacturer, McDonnell Douglas, which is now part of Boeing. But that course of actions has been abandoned, the four-star said last month.

“We do not see any financial relief through those processes,” he said last month when asked if the repair costs would be covered by Boeing.

“It’s like [if] you take your 10-year-old car back to the dealer,” Hoffman said. “Maybe it no kidding was a manufacturing defect, it wasn’t built to spec. But after you operate your car for 10 years, you don’t have much of an argument there.”

The Air Force’s other fourth-generation fighter -- the F-16 -- has experienced bulkhead cracks. In addition, the service’s HH-60 combat search-and-rescue helicopters have among the lowest mission-capable rates of any aircraft in the service’s inventory, Hoffman said.

“As a fleet, they had the lowest,” he said of the helicopters’ reliability rates.

At the same time, the Air Force has ordered inspections of its entire C-130 Hercules cargo hauler fleet after discovering a potential issue with wing bolts, according to service officials.

Each aircraft must undergo a two- to four-hour inspection before returning to flight, an Air Force Special Operations Command official told Inside the Air Force last week. The command operates specially configured Hercs that are used to insert troops into combat zones and refuel helicopters.

The mandatory inspections include newer Lockheed Martin C-130J aircraft in addition to the legacy C-130s, which make up the bulk of the Air Force’s inventory. The oldest Air Force Hercules aircraft entered service in the early 1960s. The newer J-models entered the fleet in the late 1990s.

C-130s are the backbone of intratheater airlift and are used extensively in Iraq and Afghanistan to transport troops and cargo.

“Despite the size of the fleet, inspections are proceeding rapidly, and while this is a significant effort for our maintainers we currently don’t expect any major disruptions to essential airlift operations,” Vicki Stein, an Air Force spokeswoman, wrote in a March 6 e-mail. -- Marcus Weisgerber

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From: leigh aulper4/17/2009 12:50:59 PM
   of 213
 
REPORT: RETIRING AIR FORCE C-5s TO BUY MORE C-17s NOT COST-EFFECTIVE

_______________________________________________

Date: April 17, 2009

The Air Force will not save any money if it retires some of its oldest Lockheed Martin C-5 Galaxy cargo haulers and replaces them with newer Boeing C-17 airlifters, a congressionally mandated reported has concluded.

The Institute for Defense Analyses study also found that, under certain parameters, it would be more cost-effective to use the L-3 Communications-Alenia C-27J Joint Cargo Aircraft over the Lockheed C-130J for intratheater airlift operations, according to the “Proper Mix of Fixed-Wing Airlift Assets.”

Lawmakers requested the in-depth study of the Air Force’s mobility fleet in the Fiscal Year 2008 Defense Authorization Act. The study’s findings were delivered to lawmakers on Capitol Hill last month. Inside the Air Force reviewed an unclassified summary of the report this week. The analysis comes just months before the Air Force completes its major Mobility Capability and Requirements Study-2016.

The new IDA report considered a variety of different modifications to the Air Force’s mobility fleet. The study looked at the effects of installing new engines on C-5A aircraft (the current plan calls for re-engining only newer C-5Bs), purchasing more C-17s, the tradeoffs among various tactical lift forces (C-130s, C-27s, and C-17s), using commercial airlift for military purposes in peacetime and wartime and utilizing tankers for cargo transport.

The Air Force’s current mobility program of record consists of 205 C-17s, 59 C-5As, 52 C-5Ms, 269 C-130Hs and 120 C-130Js. The service also intends to buy at least 24 C-27s.

The C-5 is the Air Force’s largest strategic airlifter, followed by the C-17. The quad-turbo prop C-130 is the service’s primary tactical airlifter. The service intends to use the twin-prop C-27s for special operations and light-airlift missions.

All of the service’s airlifters -- with the exception of the C-130E -- are structurally sound until the 2030s, according to the report. C-17s and C-5s have structural service lives beyond 2040.

The fleet “is adequate in meeting the benchmark requirements identified in the [2005 Mobility Capability Study] for moderate acceptable risk,” the report states. “Three different computer models used in the study produced somewhat different results for deliveries. The most pessimistic results matched MCS benchmark results, and with other models, lower force levels than programmed also met the MCS benchmark level.”

The study considered 36 alternative mixes and sizes and compared them both in cost and effectiveness with the program of record. The study identified several “relatively inexpensive ways” of generating higher capability from the existing force without buying more planes.

Purchasing “additional C-17s were not needed to meet the MCS moderate-acceptable-risk delivery rates used as a benchmark by the analyses conducted here,” the report states.

The IDA findings come at a critical juncture following Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ announcement last week that his FY-10 budget proposal recommends ending C-17 production at 205 aircraft. That figure has been debated over the last few years with some Air Force generals contending that the service could use more Globemaster IIIs. The Pentagon has attempted to end C-17 production several times over the past few years, but Congress ended up inserting money for additional aircraft during its review of several Pentagon spending requests.

IDA concluded that it would be highly expensive to restart the C-17 line once production is stopped.

“We also found that retiring C-5As to release funds to buy and operate more C-17s is not cost-effective,” the study concluded.

In 2007, Air Mobility Command officials floated a “30-30 proposal” -- which called for the unrestricted retirement of 30 C-5As and replacing them with 30 C-17s acquired through a multiyear contract.

“A small amount of additional capability could be achieved if all C-5s are converted through Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program (RERP) to C-5Ms,” the report states. “This alternative is at comparable life-cycle cost to that of the [program of record]; near-term acquisition costs are almost repaid over time in later years by reduced operating and support costs.”

Since the Air Force determines its airlift and other force requirements based on wartime demands, some models used in the study found the retirement of some of the oldest C-5As could help free up cash.

“If the appropriate acquisition planning scenarios are not [major combat operations] but are high tempo non-MCO operations such as in Iraq and Afghanistan today, we find that some C-5As could be retired to save [operating and support] costs with no loss in capability for those missions,” the report states.

“Moreover, a more cost-effective fleet than the [program of record] is one that, in addition to having fewer C-5As, uses the smaller C-27Js instead of the larger C-130Js. These observations are driven by the need for numerous geographically separated, but small loads during non-MCO operations, as currently anticipated in DOD planning scenarios,” it adds.

Researchers looked at a number of ways to increase productivity of the Air Force’s current fleet of mobility aircraft. The service could achieve 2 percent to 4 percent more productivity by flying C-5s at “wartime planning levels” meaning they could carry more fuel or cargo, depending on the mission.

Using the Civil Reserve Air Fleet to transport oversized cargo could free up C-5 and C-17 strategic airlifters that could then carry larger items thus increasing productivity by 10 percent. Utilizing host-nation aircraft adds another 4 percent to 5 percent and using tankers not tasked with aerial refueling missions could add another 4 percent.

“Use of these capabilities could also allow for a smaller strategic fleet that still meets MCS benchmark delivery requirements,” the report notes.

In the meantime, the Air Force’s Mobility Capability and Requirements Study-2016 will recommend new investment decisions for mobility aircraft. Using wargaming parameters, the study will determine the best mix and use of mobility aircraft during combat. The study’s preliminary findings are due this spring, and a final report is expected by the end of the year. -- Marcus Weisgerber

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From: leigh aulper5/3/2009 11:03:27 AM
   of 213
 
Lockheed Martin Delivers 50th C-5 AMP Aircraft






MARIETTA, Ga., April 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) recently delivered the 50th C-5 Galaxy strategic airlifter upgraded with Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) improvements. AMP is the first part of the two-phase C-5 modernization program. The aircraft, delivered to Air Force Reserve Command's 433rd Airlift Wing at Lackland AFB, Texas, is now equipped with a state-of-the-art glass cockpit with modern avionics and flight instruments.

"This delivery brings the Air Force one step closer to realizing the full capability of an upgraded and more efficient C-5 fleet," said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin C-5 program vice president. "We're currently running two very successful AMP production lines. This effort, along with the upcoming second phase of the C-5 modernization program, will ensure the Air Force has a C-5 fleet that will be highly effective for the next 40 years."

The AMP installations are taking place at Dover AFB, Del., and at Travis AFB, Calif. The fleet-wide AMP modifications are scheduled to be completed in the second quarter of 2014. A total of 111 C-5s are scheduled to be modified with AMP upgrades.

The AMP upgrades replace the analog cockpit instruments and systems in the C-5 with digital displays and equipment. This modernization phase also provides the necessary communications and navigational avionics to comply with Global Air Traffic Management (GATM) requirements, the new set of international standards for aircraft movement and reduced separation in flight.

The second phase of the C-5 modernization effort is the Reliability Enhancement and Re-Engining Program (RERP). RERP includes 70 enhancements or replacements of major components and subsystems, including the installation of GE CF6-80C2 commercial engines. Fifty-two of the 111 airplanes receiving the AMP upgrades are currently scheduled to receive the RERP upgrades. When one of the giant transport aircraft receives both the AMP and RERP modifications, it receives the C-5M Super Galaxy designation. Three aircraft (two former B-models and one former A-model) were used as the C-5M test fleet. All three of the C-5M aircraft have been delivered back to the U.S. Air Force.

The C-5 has been the backbone of strategic airlift in every military and humanitarian engagement since it entered service. It is the only aircraft capable of carrying 100 percent of certified military air-transportable cargo with a dedicated passenger compartment enabling commanders to have troops and their equipment arrive simultaneously in an area of operation. The C-5 can carry twice the cargo of other strategic airlift systems, and the C-5M Super Galaxy will be a force multiplier through 2040. Modernization of the C-5 pays for itself through savings in operation and sustainment costs.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 146,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.


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From: leigh aulper5/19/2009 6:10:00 AM
   of 213
 
New C-17s Not Needed, DOD Analysis Shows

May 18, 2009


By Amy Butler


Early indications from the Pentagon’s Mobility Capabilities Requirements Study suggest no need for additional strategic airlift beyond the funded procurements of re-engined C-5s and 205 C-17s already planned, says U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz.

The 2005 Mobility Capabilities Study had suggested a requirement of roughly 300 strategic airlifters, and Schwartz says he sees “no major shift in the demand signal.” The 2005 study, however, was discredited in much of Washington as a budget-driven formality under former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and a new study has been eagerly awaited.

The new study is now under way, although official results are not expected until the fall. Unlike previous reviews, this study will take into account the requirements associated with increases in Army and Marine Corps end-strength, as well as the new U.S. Africa Command.

Even if more strategic airlift is ultimately needed, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley says an independent study presents several options before considering a buy of additional C-17s, the only aircraft made at Boeing’s Long Beach, Calif., plant.

These include leasing additional Civil Reserve Air Fleet capacity, as well as re-engining all 111 C-5s. Now, the C-5 Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program (RERP) calls for modifying only 49 C-5Bs, two C-5Cs and one A model for test purposes.

Boeing’s C-17 program has survived in recent years on congressional earmarks and international orders. The USAF also has nonetheless wished to retire its worst C-5s.

Meanwhile, the first C-5 of the 46 to be inducted into the M-model upgrade production line is slated to arrive at Lockheed Martin’s Marietta, Ga., facility in August with delivery following a year later.

This single C-5 will make up the low-rate-initial-production phase of the C-5M RERP upgrade program. The M upgrade includes a new propulsion system as well as improvements to several bad actors on the aircraft, including hydraulics and landing gear, says Lorraine Martin, vice president of the C-5 Reliability Enhancement and Re-Engining Program for prime contractor Lockheed Martin.

Three C-5s were modified with the M upgrade during the development phase of the program; two were C-5Bs and one was a C-5A.

Operational test and evaluation for the C-5M is slated to begin in September, lasting at least three months. The C-5M includes the General Electric CF6-80C2 engine, which Martin says provides 22 percent more thrust per aircraft. The C-5M can climb to 31,000-feet altitude in 19 minutes carrying 120,000 pounds of cargo compared to the C-5A/B’s 33 minutes to climb to 24,000 feet, Martin says.

Aside from the performance, Lockheed Martin is making some predictions related to the cost of the program. Reduced maintenance of the newer propulsion systems and replacement of the bad parts on the C-5 will “save” $9 billion over the life of the aircraft in the cost of operations and sustainment, Martin says. This is after the $6 billion cost to procure and install the kits, she says.

It is unknown whether shutting down the F-22 line in Marietta, Ga., where the C-5 work is handled by Lockheed, will impact the cost of the RERP effort.

The operational test and evaluation is expected to begin in September and last up to four months.

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From: leigh aulper8/19/2009 6:12:16 PM
   of 213
 
Lockheed Martin C-5 RERP Production Begins

MARIETTA, Ga., Aug. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The first Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) C-5 Galaxy strategic transport was inducted into the Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program (RERP) production line in ceremonies at the Lockheed Martin facility here August 18. The RERP modifications consist of more than 70 improvements and upgrades to the C-5 airframe and aircraft systems, and include the installation of new higher-thrust, more reliable turbofan engines.

"We have been planning this day for more than a decade and it is a day we have been working incredibly hard to get to for the past two years," said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin C5 vice president. "The aircraft is here; our facilities and our team are ready to go. This aircraft will be a critical asset for the warfighter when it rejoins the Air Force operational fleet next year as a C-5M."

The C-5M is the product of a two-phase modernization effort. The first, the ongoing Avionics Modernization Program (AMP), provides the aircraft a state-of-the-art glass cockpit with modern avionics and flight instruments. Nearly half of the C-5 fleet has already undergone the AMP modifications. RERP is the second phase of the C-5 modernization effort.

The first aircraft to enter the RERP production line is a C-5B based at Dover AFB, Del. This aircraft, Air Force serial number 83-1258, was the first C-5B to come off the production line in 1985. Modernization of this first aircraft is expected to take 13 months. At rate production, the conversion time on future C-5s is expected to be reduced to eight months.

The Super Galaxy climbs higher and faster than legacy C-5s while carrying more cargo over longer distances. It also requires less tanker support. The C-5M is projected to have a much higher mission availability rate due to increased reliability.

An Air Force aircrew based at Dover AFB, Del., recently demonstrated this improved capability by flying non-stop and unrefueled from Dover to Incirlik, Turkey, while carrying 90,000 pounds of cargo on 36 standard military cargo pallets. The crew was able to complete the round trip in two days versus the normal three, and they saved 30,000 pounds of fuel by eliminating an en-route stop.

Current Air Force plans call for Lockheed Martin to deliver 52 C-5Ms (modification of 49 C-5Bs, two C-5Cs, and one C-5A) by 2016. Three C-5Ms, the former Super Galaxy test fleet, have been redelivered to the Air Force. Two aircraft are currently based at Dover. The third C-5M is scheduled to come out of programmed depot maintenance at the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center at Robins AFB, Ga., in early September and will then be ferried to Dover where it will enter operation.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 146,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.

RERP Production Process Background

After the C-5 aircraft is inducted into the RERP assembly line and the fuel tanks are drained, removal of major systems and equipment, including the current GE TF39 turbofan engines will begin. Lockheed Martin has made a significant initial investment in fixtures and ergonomic work platforms for the C-5 mod hangar at its Marietta facility. Additional investment will be made as the program ramps up its production rate.

Work will then begin on the wing and empennage, wing slats, wing trailing edges, the fuel system, and installing the engine pylon attach fittings and the pylons themselves. This work will be followed by modifications to the cargo compartment, the flight station and landing gear. Also, aircraft systems, such as environmental control, will be reworked, while others, such as the auxiliary power units, will be replaced. The last stage of modifications includes removing wiring for the old systems and installing new wiring.

Finally, the GE F138-GE-100 turbofan engines will be installed. These engines, rated at 50,000 pounds of thrust, are the military version of the CF6-80C2 engine that has recorded millions of flight hours in commercial service. This is the same engine as on Air Force One. It is expected that the F138 engines will have a 20-year on-wing service life before overhaul on the C-5M.

When modifications to the aircraft are completed, both Lockheed Martin and the Air Force will perform functional check flights of the C-5M before its scheduled redelivery to the Air Force. The first production C-5M is scheduled for redelivery to Dover AFB in September 2010.


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From: leigh aulper8/26/2009 3:04:05 PM
   of 213
 
Lockheed Martin Delivers Final C-5B Galaxy Transport Modified Under Avionics Modernization Program


TRAVIS AFB, Calif., Aug. 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) delivered the 50th C-5B Galaxy strategic transport modified under the Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) back to the Air Force in ceremonies here today. This completes the AMP modifications to the C-5B fleet. Modification of the C-5A fleet continues at Travis and at Dover AFB, Del. Current plans call for the entire 111-aircraft C-5 fleet to receive the AMP modifications.

"Completing the B-model fleet marks a significant milestone for the AMP program," said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin C-5 vice president. "We are at the halfway point in AMP aircraft redeliveries, our modification teams have consistently been on or ahead of schedule, and our quality has been exceptional. We are delivering a significant capability to the warfighter, enabling the C-5 to fly wherever it's needed around the world."

AMP is the first phase of a two-phase modernization effort for the C-5. The AMP modifications replace the earlier analog avionics in the Galaxy with a commercially available, digital avionics suite along with an integrated architecture that allows for upgrades. The entire system is designed to increase safety, ease crew workload and enhance situational awareness.

"AMP takes all the gauges you see in a legacy aircraft and consolidates them," said Lt. Col. Mike Semo, Chief, C-5M Program Integration Office at Dover. "So now, instead of knowing a distance to a certain location, you have a top-down view of where the aircraft is compared to where you're going. It gives you a lot more situational awareness, which is very important in a combat zone."

A total of 55 C-5 aircraft (50 C-5Bs, two C-5Cs, and three C-5As) have already been through one of the two AMP modification lines. As of Aug. 20, the AMP fleet has accumulated 70,156 flight hours on 15,967 sorties. The aircraft have been flown to all points of the globe, including regular operations to Europe and the Pacific as well as to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The second phase of C-5 modernization is the Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program (RERP). The RERP modifications consist of more than 70 improvements and upgrades to the C-5 airframe and systems. They include installation of higher-thrust, more reliable, more environmentally friendly F138-GE-100 turbofan engines, the military version of the CF6 engine that has recorded millions of hours on commercial airliners all over the world. These engines power Air Force One as well. The first aircraft was inducted into the RERP production line at the Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta, Ga., on Aug. 18.

When a Galaxy has been through both AMP and RERP, it is redesignated as a "C-5M." Current Air Force plans call for Lockheed Martin to deliver 52 C-5Ms (49 C-5Bs, two C-5Cs, and one C-5A) by 2016. Three C-5Ms have already been delivered to the Air Force.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.


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From: leigh aulper9/21/2009 3:35:39 PM
   of 213
 
C-5 upgrade might not fly in Congress Decision will affect future of Dover AFB

September 21, 2009

By JAMES MERRIWEATHER
The News Journal

DOVER -- A week ago Sunday, the pilot and crew of a new C-5M Super Galaxy, the souped-up version of the giant cargo aircraft that has been whining over Dover for more than 38 years, set out to see what the new plane could really do.

Carrying a payload of 176,610 pounds, the aircraft, dubbed "The Spirit of Normandy," climbed to an altitude of 41,188 feet in 23 minutes and 53 seconds, a new world record for jets weighing 551,155 to 661,386 pounds. In rising to that height so quickly and flying horizontally when it got there, the C-5M broke seven other records and set first-time standards in 33 categories that had not been documented previously.

So far, only three C-5 Galaxy aircraft have been retrofitted with new avionics and new engines to become C-5Ms, and all three are assigned to Dover Air Force Base.

The planes essentially are demonstration aircraft, intended to show the worthiness of equipping all 111 of the jet aircraft in the Air Force's C-5 fleet with new avionics.

Lt. Col. Scott Erickson, who has been flying the C-5M since the first one was delivered to Dover in February, is sold on the modified aircraft. He serves as chief of C-5M training for Reserve pilots at DAFB and was the pilot of the record-breaking Sept. 13 flight.

"We're in a familiarization period with the M model, and ground crews, flight crews and everybody are using this time to get familiar with the aircraft," Erickson said a few days after the 90-minute flight that may prove to be historic -- provided the records are certified by the National Aeronautic Association, the arbiter of U.S. records.

"This is all a good part of the process, for us to explore the full envelope of the aircraft."

Count Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, and lots of other congressmen among those who aren't likely to be impressed with the C-5M accomplishments. They're resisting the Obama administration's call for a shutdown of the assembly line for Boeing's C-17 Globemaster III, describing that newer, smaller plane as the best alternative for the military's airlift needs while sending signals that the C-5 modernization program may be cut short.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the Air Force has enough C-17s -- if congressional designs come to pass, the fleet will total 223 aircraft, up from an original order of 180. Murtha, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, has amended the administration's spending plan for the year that begins Oct. 1 to include $674 million for three new C-17s. The Senate Appropriations Committee, chaired by Inouye, went the House panel one better, agreeing unanimously to provide $2.59 billion for 10 additional C-17s -- in addition to eight aircraft included in a supplemental fiscal 2009 spending bill signed by President Barack Obama in June. Both committees deleted $91.4 million requested by Gates for shutting down Boeing's C-17 assembly line.

The administration requested $606.9 million for C-5 modernization, but the House committee cut $56.6 million as "funding ahead of need," while the Senate panel cut $45.1 million for the same reason.

Murtha, acknowledging that the jobs of constituents figured in his support for C-17s, noted in a speech at a technology conference in March that one Air Force official had described the C-17 as the "backbone of the nation's strategic air mobility fleet."

"It's time to re-evaluate how large of a C-5A fleet we need," he said, casting a cloud over plans for installing new avionics in the oldest C-5s, "and the committee is looking into the cost of continuing to operate these legacy aircraft."

Inouye offered even more ominous remarks as his committee began its rewrite of the administration's military budget proposal, which was unanimously approved by the committee on Sept. 10.

"The administration has recently been provided with authority to retire the aging, hard-to-maintain, and often broken C-5A force," Inouye said in a statement.

"We expect that in re-examining its airlift fleet, the Defense Department will eventually conclude that purchasing additional C-17s and maintaining the strategic asset of a hot airlift production line is the right solution."

Advantages of C-17

The C-17, deployed in June 1993, is cherished for its ability to use relatively short, unimproved runways, and typically, it's much more reliable than the aging C-5s, the first of which was deployed in 1969. The C-5's redeeming quality is its size, which makes it able to haul more cargo than the C-17. The C-5, for instance, can carry two M-1 Abrams tanks, the Army's main battle tank, while the C-17 can carry just one.

With the C-17s having proved their worth, the C-5 came under attack in the mid-'90s from congressmen and others as a maintenance nightmare. At the time, reliability rates were measured as low as 50 percent, meaning the planes were fit to fly only about half of the time -- even as some planes were cannibalized for parts to keep other planes flying. However, Lockheed Martin, the C-5 manufacturer, asserted that the frames of even the oldest C-5s were good for up to 40 more years and persuaded Congress to embrace the avionics modernization program in 1998. The engine replacement plan was approved a few years later.

From the start, Delaware's congressional delegation, spearheading an effort among C-5 supporters, has helped keep the modernization program on track against long odds through three administrations.

The avionics work is being done by Lockheed teams hosted by DAFB and Travis Air Force Base, Calif., with the planes being flown to Lockheed in Marietta, Ga., for installation of the new, more powerful GE commercial engines. In starting the avionics upgrade program in 2004, Lockheed said it would take on up to 18 local workers at Dover.

So far, 55 C-5s -- including all 50 C-5Bs, 49 of which are slated for new engines -- have been equipped with new avionics. Last month, the first C-5 -- the first "B" model to roll off the assembly line in 1985, which was based at Dover -- was "inducted" into the regular re-engining production line and is expected to be returned to the base in a year or so.

If current plans hold, two C-5Cs, modified to carry outsized loads for NASA, and one "A" model also will get new engines by 2016.

"The C-5's wings and fuselage were carefully evaluated and examined by experts, who concluded that there's another 30 to 40 years of useful life in the basic airframe of the C-5," U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., said in a telephone interview.

"The C-17 is a great airplane, but we don't need to continue to run the C-17 production line indefinitely. Parts for the C-17 are built in probably close to 45 states, and a lot of representatives and senators see it as a jobs program. The C-5M carries roughly twice as much cargo and flies almost twice as far without refueling, and we can modernize anywhere from two to three C-5s for the price of one new C-17."

The Air Mobility Command, DAFB's parent organization, lists the cost of C-5 modernization at $90 million per plane in "fiscal 2009 constant dollars." The cost of a C-17 is listed at $202.3 million in "constant fiscal 1998 dollars."

Delaware's delegation continued to push for C-5 modernization even after DAFB was scheduled in 2002 to get 13 C-17s, the last of which was delivered last October. Dover retained 18 of the C-5B aircraft, first deployed in 1986, as 18 older "A" models were assigned to National Guard units around the country.

Better for DAFB

U.S. Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del., said DAFB supporters always had their eyes on the C-17, but wanted to modernize the C-5s as well.

"The C-5M program was essential in maintaining the C-5," Castle said, "and I think we've been successful. I rely on experts at DAFB in reaching that conclusion.

"We're very content to have that mix of C-5s and C-17s, and I'm delighted that the president is recommending continuing the C-5 modernization because that, in my judgment, means DAFB remains that much more viable."

Now, Carper said, it's up to Lockheed to blunt arguments from critics by living up to promises made to win grudging congressional approval for the modernization program.

"The key is for Lockheed to deliver what they're contractually required to deliver," he said.

"They need to deliver C-5Ms at the agreed-to price, and those aircraft have to meet a high rate of mission capability, in excess of 75 percent. If Lockheed does their job, it makes my job a whole lot easier."

No firm reliability measurements are yet available, but Steve Knoblock, Lockheed's lead C-5M test pilot, said anecdotal evidence suggests that the airplane is measuring up to the mission-capable rate quoted by Carper. With the spotlight shining brightly on the plane's performance capabilities, Knoblock said, it should be noted that increased reliability was the main objective of the modernization program.

"Those airplanes have been flying every week, as scheduled, and pretty much on time," he said of the C-5Ms.

Erickson, the lead Reserve pilot trainer at DAFB, agreed. "The flight cancellation rate, anecdotally, is markedly improved," he said.

But still, it's the modernized C-5's engines, widely used on commercial aircraft, that have DAFB's pilots singing its praises. Lockheed credits the engines with empowering the Super Galaxy to climb higher and faster than so-called "legacy" C-5s while carrying more cargo over longer distances.

C-5M has more thrust

Accomplishing one notable feat in May, a C-5M bearing a crew from Dover and 90,000 pounds of cargo bound for Iraq flew nonstop to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, skipping the normal fueling stop at Rota, Spain. According to Lockheed, the aircraft consumed 13 percent less fuel than what would have been used by other C-5s, saved 30,000 pounds of fuel by eliminating the stop, and was able to complete its mission in two days instead of the customary three.

"You're talking about saving two or three hours of ground time, five hours with descent," Erickson said.

"If we needed to, we could get cargo into Iraq. That's something nobody else is going to do without a tanker" for refueling.

The four new turbofan engines are credited with increasing thrust by 22 percent, which, in Knoblock's words, "is like adding a fifth engine to a B model." It's those engines, Erickson said, that make the C-5M a joy to fly.

"Very much," he said when asked if he liked flying the new plane. "I don't know of many pilots who would turn down extra thrust."

With that, Erickson, Knoblock and four other crewmen departed from interviews in the 436th Airlift Wing's operations center to check out the capabilities of the only "A" model modernized for testing purposes, which was delivered a week or so earlier. Plans were for a local four-hour instrument training mission featuring tactical maneuvers and touch-and-go landings.

As an aside, Erickson said the C-5M's new engines meet the highest standard for aircraft quietness, offering a major benefit for people who live in or near flight paths and get regularly rattled by the distinctive high-pitch whine of departing C-5s.

"The C-5M is the quietest plane at Dover Air Force Base now," Erickson said. "It's even quieter than the C-17s."

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From: leigh aulper2/16/2010 4:38:55 PM
   of 213
 
Conference Call Intel - Cpi Aerostructures (NYSE Amex:CVU)
Tuesday, February 16, 2010, 3:10 PM ET -

by Maj Soueidan, President GeoInvesting

Listening to conference calls is one of the many strategies I apply for gathering Intel on future prospects of companies. Even though these calls are considered public information, investors just don’t have the time to look beyond a press release, giving us a chance to take advantage of information inefficiencies. I particularly salivate at opportunities to listen to calls between earning releases, such as investor presentations, when investors often become increasingly lazy. I look forward to selling them my shares at higher prices when the company repeats bullish information in its earnings press release.

As I just issued an update on Cpi Aerostructures (NYSE AMEX:CVU) on January 26, 2010, I was eager to listen to an investor presentation replay that took place on February 11, 2010. I hoped to attain a better grasp on my assumption that CVU would report a stellar 2009 fourth quarter as well as glean insight into the growth outlook heading into 2010.

I have been on hundreds of conference calls and I can say that this is one of the most bullish I have experienced. So much so, I added to my position. CEO, Ed Fred, was articulate and inferred several times that his aggressive EPS guidance for 2009 of $0.63 to $0.69 and long term growth expectations, supported by its new business model that focuses more on subcontracted work than primary government contracts, are still in tact. I found this particularly interesting since this is similar strategy Electronic Control Securities (OTC BB:EKCS), a stock I just profiled on the street, has embarked upon.

Unfortunately, the company did not provide specific 2010 guidance. I found this odd since during the presentation the company expressed confidence that it may able to achieve net income of $8 million in 2011 on $75 million in revenues. As in my initial article, I am left to ponder what 2010 might look like. The problem lies with the three year compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) assumption CVU issued at the end of 2008 of 50% to 60% for net income and 30% to 35% for revenues. Without getting too technical, the CAGR formula basically only takes into account your beginning and end year periods. So, over a three year period, as long as you hit the the year three number implied by the formula, it doesn’t matter what happens in year two. Regardless, loaded with the ammo of 2011 expectations and a confirmation of its long-term growth forecast, I came up with a best efforts 2010 EPS target of $0.96. Analyst estimates are calling for 2010 EPS to reach $1.01. I urge investors to make their own assumptions and listen to the conference call replay.

CVU plans to comment on 2010 guidance in its year end press release.

Additional key points from the presentation:

Has long term visibility due to contract pipeline and its emphasis as a subcontractor to defense companies such as Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) , Northrop Grum Hol (NYSE:NOC) and Sikorsky Aircraft
Guidance does not include nearly 400 million of unawarded contract bids
Guidance does not account for the government having to devote funds to the repair of planes that return home from IRAQ.
Guidance does not include upside from contracts CVU is currently involved in.
Room for gross margin improvement from 25% to 30% - 35%.
Happy with results and will continue to get better
GeoInvesting.com Disclosure
Positions: Long CVU,

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