12 Feb 02. The Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT – news)-led F-22 Raptor industryteam has delivered the latest integrated avionics software package—Block3.1 — to the program’s Combined Test Facility at Edwards Air Force Base,Calif., for flight test aboard the Raptors located there.
The Block 3.1 software has increased radar, electronic warfare andcommunication, navigation and identification capabilities, as well as addedglobal positioning system capability to the F-22’s integrated avionics.The F-22’s advanced integrated avionics suite is composed of hardware andsoftware produced by F-22 team members Lockheed Martin, Boeing and other keysuppliers, including Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC – news) and Raytheon whounder a joint venture build the APG-77 radar.
The F-22’s advanced integrated avionics suite allows the pilot to operate inbattle conditions without the burden of managing individual sensors, therebydramatically improving situational awareness and improving the performanceof the pilot and aircraft. “Release of the Block 3.1 software is asignificant enhancement to the war fighting capabilities alreadydemonstrated by theRaptor,” said Bob Rearden, Lockheed Martin F-22 vice president and generalmanager.
F-22 Raptor prime contractor Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. is principallyresponsible for the successful development and initial testing of theaircraft’s advanced integrated avionics suite at both its Marietta, Ga., andFort Worth, Texas, facilities. F-22 team partner Boeing is responsible forfinal integration, testing and software delivery for the F-22’s advancedavionics.
“Block 3.1 supplies more than 90 percent of the total functionality plannedfor the F-22, and allows the flight-test program to accomplish itsobjectives,” said Bob Barnes, Boeing vice president and F-22 programmanager. “The team is very encouraged by the initial dynamic testing ofBlock 3.1 in our airborne and ground-based labs.”
Prior to delivery, Boeing rigorously tested the software at the company’sAvionics Integration Lab and on its 757 Flying Test Bed, both located inSeattle, Wash.
The avionics lab and flying test bed are helping reduce avionics risks andcontain development costs by enabling extensive evaluation andtroubleshooting before full avionics are installed on the F-22. To date,more than 98 percent of the avionics system anomalies have been found priorto delivery to the F-22 due to the team’s extensive experience inlarge-scale integration, high- fidelity facilities, tools and processes. Theteam has been testing the Raptor’s avionics packages at both the lab, since1998, and on the flying test bed since March1999.