LOCKHEED MARTIN UK CONDUCTS WLIP LIVE FIRING
By Julian Nettlefold, Editor, BATTLESPACE
BATTLESPACE Editor Julian Nettlefold visits Lockheed Martin INSYS
03 Dec 07. Lockheed Martin UK – INSYS has successfully tested its design for the Warrior Fightability & Lethality Improvement Programme (WFLIP) in a series of limited live firing trials at the Cranfield Ordnance Test & Evaluation Centre on Salisbury Plain Training Area. The successful completion of these tests marks a significant milestone in the accelerated development and integration of a new turret and weapon system onto the British Army’s Warrior infantry fighting vehicle.
Through rapid prototyping Lockheed Martin has taken its WFLIP turret from an idea, through concept design, physical prototyping to live firing in just 33 weeks.
“This successful live firing was a culmination of a fantastic effort from all our partners on the Warrior FLIP Team,” said Ron Abbott, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “The information gathered has shown us that this design gives crews more space, commanders better situational awareness and gunners a wider choice of ammunition making the Warrior more fightable. Our innovative design means there is no need to alter the hull of the Warrior, reducing the programme risk as the upgrade can be achieved while part of the Warrior Base Overhaul process done by the UK Army Base Repair Organisation (ABRO).”
Lockheed Martin has used its world class Systems Engineering and Systems Integration expertise to integrate the ATK Bushmaster 30mm Mark 44 Cannon, onto a modified Warrior turret with a dual axis stabilised BGTI sight from Thales Optronics Limited. Rhinemetall Defence has designed the cannon, the mounting structure and the Ammunition Handling System. Curtiss-Wright is responsible for the turret stabilisation.
“These live firing tests were absolutely crucial,” said Stephen Ball, managing director of Lockheed Martin UK – INSYS. “Our experience in systems integration and land equipment has helped us create a solution which offers more for less and now we have proved our design works.”
Lockheed Martin has assembled a world class team of partner companies. In addition to Lockheed Martin UK – INSYS, the team includes Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control, TOL, Rhinemetall Defence, ABRO, Curtiss-Wright and ATK, the team also includes NP Aerospace, MOOG, Brimar, AB Connectors and SciSys.
INSYS 50th Birthday
INSYS has historically been a Company which hides its light under a bushel. Thus it was a privilege to be asked up to Ampthill to be briefed on the Company’s progress in its 50 year history.
Hunting started the company in the 1950s as Hunting Perceval which led to the creation of Hunting Engineering making parts including the Mk 41 bomb tail, still in production; the company moved to Ampthill in 1962, and was sold to its management as INSYS in 2001 and then to Lockheed Martin in 2005 where it resides with its own Board, Executive Steering Committee and Accounts reporting to Ron Abbott’s Missiles & Fire Control (MFC) organisation.
The company now employs in excess of 600 people involved in a variety of high-tech defence work and has a turnover of £95m in the current year.
The Programmes which Lockheed Martin INSYS is involved with include:
FRES – where the company won the EATDP which is now concluded. Lockheed Martin recently submitted a bid for the Vehicle Integrator role for the Utility Vehicle. INSYS has a team of 27 people which initially include a large number (90%) of MFC employees seconded form the USA which
WARRIOR – WLIP turret Programme – see above.
IBDS – Integrated Biological and Detection System – All systems have now been delivered.
Apache Munitions – INSYS is the Certification and Procurement Authority
MLRS – INSYS is the MLRS Design Authority and has recently completed a 32m UOR on a number of launchers for Afghanistan, installing