Lockheed Martin JSF Team begins radar signature testing
29 March 2000
Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) team has begun radar cross section (RCS) testing of a full-scale aircraft pole model at Lockheed Martin's remote Helendale Measurement Facility in California.
The model, known as SigMA (short for Signature Measurement Aircraft), is the culmination of a series of signature demonstrations validating affordability and risk reduction for the next phase of the JSF programme, Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD).
"The SigMA configuration was developed directly from our Preferred Weapon System Concept design, which continues its strong linkage to our X-35 demonstrator aircraft and will be highly representative of our EMD proposal configuration,'' said Henry J. Levine, vice president and deputy for JSF operations.
The planned testing will measure aircraft RCS and the performance of various antennas on the aircraft. Tests also will demonstrate the robustness of supportable low observable (SLO) materials and their ease of repair. After baseline testing, several doors and panels will be intentionally damaged and later repaired, and RCS measurements will be made to determine the impact of defects and the effectiveness of repairs.
The model's high-fidelity features include removable doors and access panels, canopy transparency, cockpit details, external lights, air data probes, engine components, edges, repositionable control surfaces, antenna apertures, radar array and a flight-capable radome.
Lockheed Martin and Boeing each received JSF Concept Demonstration contracts awarded by the Department of Defense in November 1996. The Lockheed Martin JSF team includes Northrop Grumman and BAE SYSTEMS. Flight evaluation of the demonstrator aircraft is scheduled to take place in 2000, with government selection of a single contractor for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase set for 2001.
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