Systems Integration Labs for Presidential Helicopter Program Fully Capable at U.S. Navy Base in Maryland
Owego, NY, 11/26/2008 -- Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] has attained full function capability in all the systems integration laboratories that support the VH-71 presidential helicopter program, after completing the Master Systems Bench (MSB) located at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD.
The NAS Patuxent River MSB, part of the Systems Integration Laboratory, contains all of the aircraft avionic systems installed in a full-scale VH-71A cockpit and rear cabin, with out-the-window visual displays and aircraft simulation allowing full mission scenarios to be flown while on the ground. This enables the flight test pilots and engineers to conduct valuable training, perform system analysis and debug problems on the ground.
Having a fully capable laboratory at the Navy's Presidential Helicopter Support Facility is a huge plus in optimizing flight test time, said Jeff Bantle, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager of the VH-71 program. Ground testing provides a big cost and time savings for the program, because it reserves air time and fuel for airworthiness tests and certifications.
The aircraft-like MSB complements the avionics-based Systems Integration Bench at the same location completed in February. An identical Systems Integration Laboratory at Lockheed Martin in Owego, NY, allows avionics engineers there to develop and test the next version of software used in the helicopter's mission and communications systems.
The advanced communications system of the presidential communications suite allows secure and non-secure communications between the helicopter and personnel at locations such as the White House, the Pentagon and other ground and mobile platforms.
Lockheed Martin Systems Integration-Owego is the prime contractor and systems integrator for the VH-71 program with overall responsibility for the program and aircraft system. AgustaWestland, the principal subcontractor to Lockheed Martin, has responsibility for the basic air vehicle design, production build, and basic air vehicle support functions. More than 200 suppliers in 41 states support the VH-71 program.
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 2007 sales of $41.9 billion.