Friday, October 29, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
There were just a couple presentations this morning. Attendees will wrap up any final meetings, and then the 2010 P-3 International Operators Support Conference will be complete.
We have some pictures and videos to post today to wrap up the blog. Please let us know if you have and questions or suggestions for us.
If you're looking for presentations from the conference, check the P-3 IOSC website in a couple weeks.
Hope everyone had a great conference!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Ingo Eickmann from ESG discussed the Mission Support Center in greater detail.
The system provides mission preparation and post-mission analysis to establish a common data base and archive. The data archives includes three classifications of information: geo (map and satellite images), object (ship or submarine information) and mission (from original task order through mission report).
The report generator can pre-fill the mission report with data, which can then be expanded upon by the crew after the mission.
The German Navy began using the preliminary systems in mid-2010, and expect final systems delivery in 2011.
U.S. CBP P-3s operate out of Jacksonville, Florida and Corpus Christi, Texas.
They showed a great video about the record-breaking fiscal year 2009. That year, CBP interdicted more than 250,000 pounds of narcotics - their best year ever. This includes seizing 29 vessels, 102,000 pounds of cocaine, 106 suspects and $12.4 million in cash. CBP P-3s were also the FEMA first responder to Hurricane Ike.
In the 2010 fiscal year, CBP disrupted and seized more than 197,000 pounds of narcotics. Their primary accomplishment in 2010 was increased availability, with 6 aircraft each on the ramps in Jacksonville and Corpus Christi. This allowed CBP to surpass flight hour requirements and achieve the most flight hours Jacksonville has ever achieved in a single year.
CBP P-3s are uniquely able to locate self-propelled semi-submersibles (SPSS), which are 60-85 feet long and difficult to find. Eckardt mentioned that the next threat will be self-propelled fully submersibles, although CBP has not found one yet.
CBP recently received its first re-winged aircraft from Lockheed Martin, which High said flies like a brand new aircraft. CBP plans to re-wing 14 of its 16 airplanes, allowing for 20 more years of operation.
Because of the relatively small P-3 fleet, CBP prefers to work with other operators to conduct joint projects that will help both operators save money. They are currently discussing full-motion video capability and cockpit upgrade projects with other operators and are open to other ideas.
Portugal is a small country, but has responsibility for a large sea area, so the PtAF has a great need for updated maritime patrol aircraft. The primary mission is maritime patrol, including submarines and surface ships. The secondary mission is search and rescue, but Major Santos suspects that their P-3 mission will be redefined when new capabilities are achieved with new mission systems.
The PtAF was able to work with Lockheed Martin MS2 in the lab during mission system software qualification tests, which Major Santos says was very helpful and suggests to other operators. They will have new hardware, radar, acoustic systems, data link, navigation, electronic warfare and many other new systems. The new systems will give the PtAF improved pictures, often with information or sensor output integrated. The PtAF is looking forward to fielding the upgraded aircraft to see how it operates. They are hoping to operate the P-3 CUP+ for 25 more years.
1st Lt. Filipe M. S. Pedro is now briefing about PtAF P-3 operation and sustainment.
The PtAF currently operates several different P-3 configurations, which fly 300-400 hours per year.
Current sustainment issues include the air multiplier, propellers, landing gear, drag struts and navigation units. He is looking for feedback from other operators regarding whether they have similar issues and how they are addressing them.
RNAF is making some small modifications to the cockpit, but most of the work is being done on the Aircraft Service Life Extension Program (ASLEP).
P-3Cs are being updated with new systems as well as the ASLEP. Lockheed Martin is manufacturing the RNAF ALSEP kit, and the wings are installed by IMP Aerospace.
First ASLEP delivery is expected for the first quarter of 2011.
The RNZAF has six P-3s, which they plan to operate through 2025.
Current roles of the RNZAF P-3 vary and include anti-submarine warfare, disaster relief, airshows, surveillance and reconnaissance, and even aeromedical evacuation. They carry out operations across the world.
RNZAF challenges include radomes, weapon systems, acoustic processor and sea rescue obsolescence. The RNZAF has a System Upgrade Project that is underway to improve P-3 mission systems.
NOAA has 10,000 hours on the airframes, which have many unique features for their weather and science mission.
Commander Newman says NOAA's three challenges are engines, sea salt effects on the aircraft, and determining whether the aircraft should be re-winged.
Lockheed Martin is doing a Service Life Assessment Program (SLAP) for NOAA to determine whether they need to re-wing their planes, particularly taking cost and timeline into account.
Canada has 18 CP-140s Auroras in their fleet, which are primarily responsible for combat operations, support of air operations and surveillance, search and rescue and environmental law enforcement among other missions. The CP-140s also supports large events such as the Winter Olympics that were held in Vancouver earlier this year.
The Canadian Forces are incrementally adding capability with Applanix Camera and Overland Equipment Mission Suite (OEMS). These upgrades provide detailed text and imagery to ground stations.
Ten CP-140 aircraft are getting new wings (Aircraft Service Life Extension Program - ASLEP) and full mission system upgrades (Aurora Incremental Modernization Project - AIMP) to allow for operations beyond 2020 and at least 35,000 flight hours. AIMP includes fully integrated, digital and color systems that significantly increase capability.
Because of the time required for ASLEP and AIMP upgrades, the primary challenge for the Canadian Forces is aircraft availability.
Lt. Colonel Gowanlock said the future of the Canadian Forces' CP-140 is intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, as well interoperability with unmanned aircraft.
MPRA has two Integrated Project Teams for P-3: Airframe Sustainment and Mission Systems Sustainment. These IPTs work with the greater MPRA, including the P-8 team, to identify opportunities to benefit from shared investments.
Captain Moran said the team has had tremendous success with investments in acoustics that will be fielded on both the P-3 and P-8 platforms.
The future of the Navy's EP-3 is still unknown, but the Navy plans to sustain the EP-3 until a replacement is fielded (which could be 2020 or later). Captain Moran said the Navy will likely maintain 40 or so P-3 aircraft in the future, in addition to P-8 and unmanned systems.
Captain Moran reiterated Captain Rondeau's message: the Navy has much better P-3 availability compared to last year's IOSC. There are now about 80 airplanes on the ramp, up from 50 last year, and aircraft spend 92% less time awaiting depot.
Captain Moran said the U.S. Navy's fleet priorities are focused on regaining expertise in anti-submarine warfare and increasing readiness. More specifically, Captain Moran's priorities are to reduce turnaround time with depots, support missions and execute the program.
The U.S. Navy is currently investing in P-8 development, and some projects are done jointly with the P-3 program to keep the P-3 relevant and moving forward. In general, the Navy is moving toward interoperability with U.S. and joint forces.
Captain Moran said U.S. Navy P-3 program is dedicated to supporting international operators, as interoperability is key.
The U.S. Navy made significant gains in the last year to improve their P-3 airframe sustainment efforts. Since the 2009 P-3 IOSC, the U.S. Navy has increased P-3 aircraft mission availability by 34%. Captain Rondeau said this was largely because of improvements made at organic and commercial depots.
Captain Rondeau discussed several P-3 mission systems upgrades. The upgrades will provide significant capability improvements, including Link-16 communications, new acoustic hardware and software, digital autopilot, GPS, navigation and air traffic management systems.
He said the goal is to install software on the P-3s that is common or similar to the P-8, allowing for risk reduction and ease of transition.
The U.S. Navy is also focused on airframe sustainment, including depot support, fatigue tracking, inventory projections and liaison with international operators.
The Navy monitors the airframe through a corrosion and fatigue life management program. Airframe sustainment is a continuous process, and Captain Rondeau says the Navy is doing a lot better to keep more airplanes in the fleet.
The Navy tracks hazards and safety of the aircraft. Fatigue life is highest risk, so they monitor each individual airframe with hours, flight frequency and landing data. This helps them predict data for next six months to determine when aircraft may need to be repaired.
Overall, Captain Rondeau said the goal is to return airplanes to fleet and keep P-3 mission systems relevant.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Tonight there is an international reception for IOSC attendees.
Tomorrow, P-3 operators will be presenting. In the afternoon, attendees will have the opportunity to visit Lockheed Martin and tour three P-3s that are on site (US Customs and Border Protection, US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and a VP-30).
Chuck Stevenson from Kellstrom Industries, a P-3 distributor, talks about the importance of the P-3 platform. For more information about the roll of distributors, check out our notes from yesterday.
We'll be talking to some more folks today, so check back for more videos.
Monday, October 25, 2010
We're getting some more videos and sound bites from the presenters here. Tomorrow is golf day, so let's hope for nice weather for our golfers.
Comment on here if you have any questions for the presenters.
Australian Aerospace became a Lockheed Martin P-3 Service Center in 2000 and primarily supports the RAAF.
The company provides engineering support, integrated logistics support, supply chain management and training for RAAF technicians.
Australian Aerospace learned from other P-3 operators' experience with the airframe, and leveraged lessons learned from other fleets' maintenance programs.
A primary Australian Aerospace contract is the Block Upgrade Program for the RAAF. The program groups together upgrade projects to maximize efficiencies in Australian P-3 maintenance time.
Australian Aerospace's goal is to improve aircraft availability to the operators.
IMP is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and has supported the CP-140 Aurora (the Canadian version of the P-3) fleet for many years. IMP is one of four Lockheed Martin-authorized maintenance facilities.
IMP is also a Lockheed Martin-approved wire harness supplier, including Service Life Extension Program work.
The company is certified to overhaul and build new structural components for the P-3.
IMP began upgrading the CP-140 in 1984 with depot-level maintenance. Since then, IMP has worked with Lockheed Martin to conduct Service Life Assessment Program studies.
The government of Canada launched the Optimized Weapon System Support in 2002, with the objective of reducing fleet maintenance cost, increasing aircraft availability and adopting best industry practices. This means that CP-140 support is divided between three companies, where IMP provides Primary Air Vehicle services. With this change, IMP moved from a depot maintenance provider to a full in-service support provider.
OGMA has been a Lockheed Martin-authorized service center in Portugal since 1982. They serve 45 different customer countries across multiple aircraft platforms.
OGMA has more than 1,500 employees. that provide executive, commercial and military aviation service. Cover the whole aircraft, including the T56 engines, propellers, wiring, etc.
OGMA began working on the P-3 in 1972. The company is currently working on Portuguese and Spanish P-3s.
OGMA is leveraging the Full Fleet Support for the C-130 in developing Total Care systems for the P-3. OGMA is looking forward to building long-term relationships with operators in order to deliver affordable sustainment for the P-3.
The T56 has 50 years of service, and Rolls-Royce has continued to improve reliability with the worldwide maintenance network.
Rolls-Royce has leveraged tailored commercial support options for military and international customers. Customer options include everything from spare parts to extended support for T56 engines.
Slim says that Rolls-Royce is continually upgrading and improving components of the T56 for cost-effective ownership for the next three decades.
Chris Culp from Rolls-Royce is now talking about the series 3.5 development program for the T56 engine. The 3.5 program uses existing technologies from commercial and industrial variants, including compressor inlet housing, compressor blades, single crystal 1st stage turbine blade and compressor wheel knife seals. The changes don't require aircraft installation or interface changes, making 3.5 a low-risk technology solution for P-3 operators.
The updates improve engine fuel consumption, hot-day take off performance and turbine life. Rolls-Royce is in the last month of development for the 3.5 upgrades for the U.S. Air Force C-130H aircraft. Flight tests will be in 2011. The work done for U.S. Air Force aircraft will be leveraged for the P-3 fleet. Low rate production will begin later this year.
Steve says the world needs Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM). For programs like the P-3, parts integration challenges are extremely significant. Customers want OEM parts and support, so Blue Aerospace and Kellstrom Industries support Lockheed Martin to deliver quality products to customers.
Steve said distributors are able to provide parts with OEM data and full range proactive customer support, including engineering and repair support.
Distributors can accommodate smaller sales requests on a part-by-part basis for P-3 operators. Blue and Kellstrom work with Lockheed Martin to provide spares and support, but distributors specialize in small requests as well as comprehensive support arrangements.
P-3 distributors act as force multipliers, with close ties to Lockheed Martin. They provide value by serving as a liaison between customers and Lockheed Martin, particularly for operators with small P-3 fleets. Distributors consolidate inventory across the P-3 fleet so they can deliver more affordable parts.
Benz said operators are best served by a combination of an active, disciplined distribution network, integrated OEM and well-designed Certified Parts Program.
Lori is quizzing the audience throughout her presentation. Her first question: the longest P-3 flight was 21.5 hours, achieved in 1972 by New Zealand.
Lori says that keeping pace with technology is important to P-3 operations. MS2's airborne mission systems are flexible and scalable. Operators can pull pallets in and out to support many missions.
Mission system upgrades allow operators to deliver integrated, tactical pictures to all operators. This feature allows communication interoperability to different platforms.Data, information and intelligence must be supported by a reliable network, allowing P-3 operators to share information. Technology upgrades must be done on the aircraft itself and the receiver on the ground, from pre-flight planning to post-flight analysis.
Lori says a full mission system update doesn't require the full update at once. The ease is in a open-architected approach to mission system updates.
There are examples of the mission systems upgrades in the IOSC exhibit hall.
Dave says initial assessements demonstrate significant performance benefits like fuel savings, increased range and increased time on station.
Lockheed Martin studied 100s of winglet options, and based the P-3 study on a similar study of C-130 winglets. C-130 wind tunnel tests verified cruise-drag reduction estimates.
Initial P-3 estimates expect a 2-3% increase in range or a 4-6% increase in time on station.
We're not developing the winglet for a specific customer, and haven't built or installed any yet. Next steps will be to finalize the winglet design and perform certification efforts.
The P-3 was designed for Anti-Submarine Warfare, but it has become much more versatile. The P-3 now supports anti-piracy, anti-terrorism, homeland security and drug interdiction missions and still has a critical role in reconnaissance.
Ray encourages attendees to interact with each other to acheive the IOSC mission: share collective successes and resolve challenges.
This year, Ray says he challenged Lockheed Martin presenters to give more detail about what the company does to enable operators to fly their aircraft.
The P-3 Orion has a broad operator community. More than 430 aircraft are still in service, with 21 operators in 17 nations. Each operator has different demands, depending on fleet size, so Lockheed Martin works to tailor offerings to operator requirements.
Lockheed Martin looks at three areas of support to sustain, refresh and support.
Ray's example of a customer that focuses on all three elements is U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Sustainment includes organizations, intermediate, embedded support and depot maintainence.
The program has invested in researching the benefits of adding winglets to the P-3. There will be more detail of research investments in later presentations.
Subcommittees will meet later this afternoon. There will be two subcommittees - Avionics/Mission Systems and Sustainment. We'll have more about the subcommittees and their progress later.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Here's what we're expecting for 2010 P-3 IOSC.
23rd annual P-3 International Operators Support Conference
428 pre-registered attendees, including
- 125 military/government attendees
- 64 Lockheed Martin employees
- 241 contractors from other companies
3 P-3 Orions at Lockheed Martin's Marietta, Ga. plant
We'll kickoff tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. eastern time. Please let us know if you have any questions or comments.
Monday, October 4, 2010
If you're at the conference, please check the blog for information about conference sessions and activities.
If you aren't here in person, follow the blog for summaries of conference sessions.
Either way, post your comments and questions and we'll respond as quickly as we can.
Have a great conference!
The P-3 IOSC Team