Lockheed Martin Delivers First Upgraded U-2S Reconnaissance Aircraft
PALMDALE, CA, April 15th, 2002 -- Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, a business area of Lockheed Martin Corporation [NYSE:LMT], today delivered the first U-2S reconnaissance aircraft equipped with state-of-the-art cockpit displays and controls to the 9th Reconnaissance Wing based at Beale Air Force Base, CA. This first aircraft is on schedule, under budget, and meets all performance and program requirements.
The U-2S Reconnaissance Avionics Maintainability Program (RAMP) upgrades the 1960s-vintage cockpit with newly installed equipment, including three 6x8 inch multifunction displays, an up-front control and display unit, and an independent secondary flight display system. The new equipment replaces legacy systems that are no longer supportable and provides improved pilot situational awareness. The entire fleet of 31 U-2S models and four two-cockpit trainers will be modified before the project is completed in 2007.
Bryan Swords, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics project manager, said, " The outstanding performance of all U-2 RAMP team members - our customer, our suppliers and Lockheed Martin participants - has led to this successful first delivery. These new system capabilities will help to sustain the U-2 fleet into the next decade."
"The bottom line in any modernization effort is support to the war fighter, " stated Lt. Col. Mike Masucci, U-2 Flight Test Commander. "With this first RAMP delivery, the U-2 pilot now has superior situational awareness and improved survivability. This increases collection efficiency which leads directly to more bombs on target and reduced risk to friendly forces."
RAMP uses commercial off-the-shelf equipment, some of which is modified to meet the special needs of the high-altitude U-2S aircraft. A new main avionics processor receives signals that currently drive the legacy instruments and then digitize, process and output information to various smart multifunction displays. The RAMP head-forward controls increase situational awareness and replace existing radio controls which were located on the left side-panel aft of the pilot and awkward to reach in flight.
The RAMP contract was awarded in October 1998. Flight test of the Engineering and Management Development vehicle was conducted from December 2000 through July 2001. This first production aircraft began its six-month modification cycle in August 2001. Six aircraft will be modified per year, with the production rate governed by the U-2S periodic depot maintenance cycle.
The U-2 has been the backbone of our nation's airborne intelligence collection operations for over three decades, and continues to provide unmatched operational capabilities in support of Operational Enduring Freedom. As a result of the RAMP upgrade, along with other sensor modifications, the U-2S will continue to provide leading-edge intelligence collection capabilities for years to come.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, is a leader in the design, development, systems integration, production and support of advanced military aircraft and related technologies. Its customers include the military services of the United States and allied countries throughout the world. Products include the F-16, F-22, F-35 JSF, F-117, C-5, C-27J, C-130, P-3 and U-2.