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MH-60S Seahawk
Multi-Mission Combat
Support Helicopter

Photo of a U.S. Navy H-60S Series helicopter lifting off the deck of a surface combatant
Description: The MH-6Ss Multi-Mission Combat Support Helicopter is the future aircraft for organic mine countermeasures, combat search and rescue, special operations, and logistics support. The MH-60S is replacing the Navy's aging fleet of H-46 helicopters, which is experiencing a near-term inventory shortfall due to the advanced airframe life throughout the H-46 fleet. The MH-60S meets or exceeds all the requirements of the current aircraft, is compatible with all current and future Combat Logistics Force ships, and is an NDI platform program that will provide commonality with existing integrated logistics systems and fleet trainers. The commonality bred into the helicopter not only contributes to mission effectiveness but will provide logistics and acquisition efficiencies. Along with the MH-60R, the MH-60S is the linchpin of the Navy Helicopter Master Plan, replacing H-46s as they retire and increasing standardization for training, maintenance, and operations as older SH-3s, UH-1Ns, and MH-53s are replaced in the out years.

Program Status: The MH-60S is nearing completion of Operational Test and is entering pull-rate production in 2002. The Navy plans to buy as many as 237 of these aircraft; 13 are funded in FY 2002.

Developer/Manufacturer: Sikorsky, Stratford, Connecticut; General Electric, Lynn, Massachusetts; and Lockheed Martin, Owego, New York.

Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft

Description: The Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA) is projected to replace the P-3C Orion and EP-3E Aries aircraft (see separate program summaries), which are approaching the ends of their service lives. MMA's transformational bottom-up design will tailor integration of its on-board mission suite with Unmanned Aerial Vehicle and satellite-based systems and sensors. The platform will advance its predecessors' ASW and ISR superiority through the incorporation of evolving network, sensor, and communications capabilities. MMA will assure battle force access across the broad littoral and play a critical role in the Navy's ability to project power ashore. Transformational in both tactical and smart business applications, MMA will leverage global logistics support infrastructure and established advanced training applications.

Program Status: The MMA Requirements and Technical and Economic Feasibility Analyses completed in 1999 and established the need for continued capability for broad area maritime and littoral armed ISR. The program received a Milestone 0 decision in March 2000 and explored concepts for MMA with industry. Included in the concepts was the integration of unmanned aerial vehicles and satellite based systems to augment MMA capability. An Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) began in the summer 2000, and leveraged previous analyses and the results of the industry studies. The AoA has verified that a manned aircraft is part of the ultimate solution to filling the need and is planned to report out in early 2002. The Undersecretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics) plans a decision review for early 2002 that will examine both the AoA and the Navy's Acquisition Strategy prior to re-engaging industry with a formal request for proposal for the Component Advanced Development planned. Milestone B (entry into System Development and Demonstration) is planned for late 2003 when a single system integrator will be selected to develop MMA. Initial Operational Capability for MMA is targeted for the 2010-2012 timeframe.

Developer/Manufacturer: To be determined.

P-3C Orion
Modification, Improvement, and Sustainment

Closeup Photo of a P-3C Orion in flight
Description: The P-3C Orion provides effective undersea warfare, anti-surface warfare, and Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities to naval and joint commanders. Orions provide long-range, high-endurance support to aircraft carrier battle groups and amphibious ready groups in addition to performing independent operations. The current force is 12 active and seven reserve squadrons. Forty P-3Cs are continuously forward deployed in support of theater and fleet CinCs. The Navy's P-3 roadmap focuses on three areas: Inventory sustainment, modernization, and re-capitalization to provide a force optimized for regional and littoral crisis and conflict. Specific programs include:
Inventory Sustainment:
  • A Service Life Assessment Program (SLAP) is in progress. The SLAP will determine what actions must be taken to safely extend the airframe service life. SLAP testing started in 2000 and full scale fatigue testing will be completed in 2002. Final teardown and analysis will be conducted in 2003 and 2004.
  • The results of the SLAP will be used to define a program of Structurally Significant Inspections (SSIs), which will allow extension of P-3 service life beyond 100 percent Fatigue Life Expended (FLE). SSIs will commence in FY03.
  • The Anti-Surface Warfare Improvement Program (AIP) will provide an enhanced sensor, C4ISR, and weapon capability. The program includes the incorporation of the Stand-off Land-Attack (SLAM) and Maverick missiles, survivability enhancements, an improved Electronic Support Measures (ESM) system that incorporates Specific Emitter ID (SEI) capability, an advanced imaging radar, and electro-optic sensors. Other upgrades include improved satellite communications, and provisions for near-real-time connectivity of surveillance and reconnaissance data with battle group and national command decision-makers. Fifty-three AIP aircraft will be equipped with the USQ-78 (V) display and control processor which will enhance crew performance by enabling workload sharing and optimizes acoustic sensor performance for ASW operations in littoral waters.
  • The P-3C Update III Block Modification Upgrade Program (BMUP) converts P-3C Update II and II.5 aircraft to the Update III system architecture with a goal of one common configuration capable of the use of advanced sensors and weapons. This program will enhance interoperability, replace obsolete components, and reduce support costs of maintaining varied avionics-configured airframes. BMUP aircraft are equipped with the USQ-78 (V) display and control processor that optimizes acoustic sensor performance for ASW operations in littoral waters.


  • The replacement for P-3 and EP-3E aircraft will be the Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA, see separate program summary).
Photo of combine ops AC3
Program Status: AIP was planned to modify 146 P-3C aircraft. Due to affordability, only 62 aircraft modifications are funded through FY 2002. Twenty-five Block Modification Upgrade III kits converting P-3C Update II/II.5 configurations into Common Configuration Aircraft were funded in FY 1997 FY 2001. Two BMUP aircraft have been delivered as of 01 December, 2001.

Developer/Manufacturer: SLAP: Lockheed Martin, Marietta, Georgia. SSIs: TBD. AIP: Lockheed Martin, Eagan, Minnesota and Greenville, South Carolina. Update III: Lockheed Martin, Manassas, Virginia.

S-3B Viking
Sustainment Program

Photo of a U.S. Navy S-3B Viking aircraft launching a anti-ship Harpoon Missile
Description: The S-3B Viking provides multi-mission support to battle group and joint commanders as the carrier battle group's primary anti-surface warfare platform. In addition, it provides electronic surveillance and overland strike support, and will remain the sole organic aerial refueling asset until the full integration of the F-18E/F Super Hornet. Current critical airframe structures initiatives will allow the Viking to remain in service until 2015 if needed. In addition, an on-going avionics upgrade program replaces obsolete, high-maintenance safety-of-flight avionics systems. This effort includes the replacement of autopilot and flight control systems, electronic flight instruments, communications equipment, Carrier Aircraft Inertial Navigation System/GPS, Stores Management System, and tactical display replacement. Additionally, the aircraft will have its obsolete Drum Memory System/computer replaced by the AYK23 mission computer.

Program Status: All avionics/navigation/computer upgrade programs have been approved for Limited-Rate or Full-Rate Production. All systems installations are scheduled to complete by FY 2005. Additionally, the S-3B is blazing the trail for future Navy Time Critical Strike (TCS) and Network Centric Warfare (NCW) with the Surveillance System Upgrade (SSU) demonstration aircraft. The carrier embarked SSU is exploring future precision targeting and TCS architectures using a high resolution, long range Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR); long-range Electro-Optical and Infrared systems; wide-band Tactical Common Data Link (TCDL); and Link-16.

Developer/Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin, Fort Worth, Texas.

Undergraduate Jet Pilot
Training System

Photo of a U.S. Navy T-45 Aircraft is prepared for launch from the deck of an aircraft carrier
Description: The T-45TS provides Naval Aviation with a totally integrated jet pilot training system combining computer-based academics, simulators, T-45A and C Goshawk aircraft, and contractor-supplied maintenance and logistics support. The Goshawk replaces the T-2C and TA-4J trainer aircraft. The T-45TS represents the first time the Department of Defense has applied such a total concept to training military aviators.

Program Status: The T-45TS is fully operational at Naval Air Station (NAS), Kingsville, Texas. Procurement of the T-45C (digital configuration), with associated ground training systems and support, is scheduled through 2003, with 14 aircraft budgeted in FY 2001, six in FY 2002, and 8 in FY 2003 for a total of 181 aircraft and 16 simulators. The operational T-45Cs are based at NAS Meridian, Mississippi, and training in the T-45C began in August 1999. The T-45A configuration located at NAS Kingsville will be converted to the digital configuration to establish a common aircraft configuration.

Developer/Manufacturer: Boeing, St. Louis, Missouri; and Rolls-Royce, Bristol, United Kingdom.

V-22 Osprey
Joint Advanced Vertical Aircraft

Photo of U.S. Marines conduct freefall exit from a V-22 Osprey aircraft
Description: The MV-22 Osprey is a tilt-rotor, Vertical/Short Take-Off or Landing (V/STOL) aircraft designed as the medium-lift replacement for the Vietnam-era CH-46E and CH-53D helicopters. The MV-22 design incorporates advanced technologies in composite materials, survivability, airfoil design, fly-by-wire controls, digital avionics, and manufacturing. The MV-22 is capable of carrying 24 combat-equipped Marines or a 10,000-pound external load, and has a strategic self-deployment capability of 2,100 nautical miles with a single aerial refueling. It is overwhelmingly superior to the CH-46E it replaces-twice the speed, five times the range, and three times the payload capacity. The MV-22's 38-foot rotor system and engine/transmission nacelle mounted on each wingtip allow it to operate as a helicopter for take-off and landing. Once airborne, the nacelles rotate forward 90 degrees, converting the MV-22 into a high-speed (ca. 250 knots), high-altitude (ca. 25,000 feet), fuel-efficient turboprop aircraft. The MV-22 represents a revolutionary change in aircraft capability to meet expeditionary mobility needs for the 21st century. A Special Operation Forces (SOF) variant, CV-22, is also under development.

Program Status: The V-22 has completed developmental testing and the program is nearing the end of the EMD phase. Thirty LRIP aircraft have been procured in four lots to support V-22 OPEVAL and initial Fleet fielding, ten of which have been delivered to the Marine Corps. During the OPEVAL, the MV-22 logged 805 flight hours in 522 sorties; total flight hours for the V-22 program in early 2001 exceeded 5,000. The FY 2002 budget requests nine aircraft. Once in Full Rate Production, the aircraft procurement rate will ramp-up to approximately 30 aircraft per year by FY 2008. The total budgeted buy for the Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force is 458 aircraft. The Marine Corps requirement is 360 aircraft.

Developer/Manufacturer: Bell Helicopter Textron, Fort Worth, Texas; Boeing Defense and Space Group, Helicopter Division, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Allison Engine Company, Indianapolis, Indiana.

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