Lockheed Martin Announces Propulsion Team for Navy's Multi-Mission Maritime Aircraft Competition
Marietta, GA, 16-DEC-03 --
Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has chosen Pratt & Whitney and Hamilton Sundstrand to provide the propulsion system for its entry in the U.S. Navy's Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA) competition. The Lockheed Martin entry is a technically advanced, highly updated derivative of the P-3 Orion maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft currently in service. The proposed aircraft will have four engines and propellers.
Lockheed Martin is giving the Navy the best solution for the MMA missions, said Ted Samples, Lockheed Martin's vice president of Special Mission and Reconnaissance Programs. We made a deliberate design decision to select a turboprop engine because it is optimal for the mission profile. It will give our aircraft a 60 % shorter takeoff roll. It will burn 27% less fuel than a turbofan and provide 50% faster thrust response while loitering on station, which is important when flying at heavy weights, slow speeds and at very low altitudes, which is how this aircraft will be operated. The selection of this advanced engine and propeller combination allows the Lockheed Martin MMA solution to exceed all performance-based requirements with an unprecedented level of persistence and availability, and with a 99.96% dispatch rate, airliner-like propulsion reliability.
After evaluating several competitors, Lockheed Martin selected a variant of the Pratt and Whitney PW150A turboprop engine as the best overall value because of its technical performance, low risk, schedule, life cycle costs, and ability to meet MMA mission requirements. The PW150A turboprop, a 7,000 shp-class engine, is part of the highly successful PW100 engine family, a global leader in the regional airline turboprop market that has accumulated more than 80 million operating hours on more than 1,900 aircraft.
Lockheed Martin selected the eight-bladed Hamilton Sundstrand NP2000 propeller, which is currently in production for the Navy's E-2C Hawkeye aircraft and C-2 aircraft retrofit program. The NP2000 includes all composite blades with an individual blade replacement capability. It operates more quietly than the current P-3C propeller and incorporates an active inflight balancing system. Hamilton Sundstrand also will produce the integrated engine and propeller control system for MMA.
The Navy has stated that antisubmarine warfare [ASW] is the core mission for MMA. In addition, Lockheed Martin fully understands that MMA has to provide a true multi-mission capability, Samples said. This propulsion system brings a balanced capability to all required missions. MMA will have to fly high, low, fast and slow and remain on station for very long periods of time while carrying a variety of sensors and weapons.
Lockheed Martin was awarded MMA Component Advanced Development Phase I, and subsequently CAD Phase II by the U.S. Navy in September 2002 and February 2003, respectively. The contract for System Development and Demonstration is scheduled to be awarded in June 2004. The Navy forecasts a need for up to150 aircraft to accomplish the varied missions and the MMA aircraft is expected to enter service no later than 2012.
Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies (NYSE: UTX) company, is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, space propulsion systems and industrial gas turbines.
Hamilton Sundstrand, also a United Technologies (NYSE: UTX) company, designs, manufactures and services aerospace systems and provides integrated systems solutions for commercial, regional, corporate and military aircraft.