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Boeing F/A-XX sixth-gen fighter concept New Update

boeing 6th generation concept 300x168 Boeing  F/A XX sixth gen fighter concept New Update

Defense News Asia

The technologies are emerging, but what’s needed is a program to pull them together.

Within the next few years, we will begin work on the sixth generation [fighter] capabilities necessary for future air dominance.” The Secretary of the Air Force, Michael B. Donley, and the USAF Chief of Staff, Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, issued that statement in an April 13 Washington Post article.

The Air Force may have to move a little faster to develop that next generation fighter. While anticipated F-22 and F-35 inventories seem settled, there won’t be enough to fix shortfalls in the fighter fleet over the next 20 years, as legacy fighters retire faster than fifth generation replacements appear.

The Air Force will have to answer a host of tough questions about the nature of the next fighter.

 

 

fighter01 Boeing  F/A XX sixth gen fighter concept New Update

Defense News Asia

From left to right, USAF fighter generations one through five, plus a placeholder for generation six. *Illustrations not to scale. (Illustrations by Zaur Eylanbekov)

 

Should it provide a true “quantum leap” in capability, from fifth to sixth generation, or will some interim level of technology suffice? When will it have to appear? What kinds of fighters will potential adversaries be fielding in the next 20 years? And, if the program is delayed, will a defense industry with nothing to work on in the meantime lose its know-how to deliver the needed system?

What seems certain is that more is riding on the Air Force’s answers than just replacing worn-out combat aircraft.

Initial concept studies for what would become the F-22 began in the early 1980s, when production of the F-15 was just hitting its stride. It took 20 years to go from those concepts to initial operational capability. Industry leaders believe that it will probably take another 20 years to field a next generation fighter.

That may be late to need. By 2030, according to internal USAF analyses, the service could be as many as 971 aircraft short of its minimum required inventory of 2,250 fighters. That assumes that all planned F-35s are built and delivered on time and at a rate of at least 48 per year. The shortfall is due to the mandatory retirement of F-15s and F-16s that will have exceeded their service lives and may no longer be safe to fly.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has set the tone for the tactical aviation debate. He opposed the F-22 as being an expensive, “exquisite” solution to air combat requirements, and has put emphasis on the less costly F-35 Lightning II instead. He considers it exemplary of the kind of multirole platforms, applicable to a wide variety of uses, that he believes the US military should be buying in coming years. He and his technology managers have described this approach as the “75 percent” solution.

Gates has also forecast that a Russian fifth generation fighter will be operational in 2016—Russia says it will fly the fighter this year—and a Chinese version just four years later. Given that US legacy fighters are already matched or outclassed by “generation four-plus-plus” fighters, if Russia and China build their fifth generation fighters in large numbers, the US would be at a clear airpower disadvantage in the middle of the 2020s. That’s a distinct possibility, as both countries have openly stated their intentions to build world-class air fleets. If they do, the 75 percent solution fails.

What You See Is What You Get

The Air Force declined to offer official comment on the status of its sixth generation fighter efforts. Privately, senior leaders have said they have been waiting to see how the F-22 and F-35 issues sorted out before establishing a structured program for a next generation fighter.

The Air Force has a large classified budget, but it seems there is no “black” sixth generation fighter program waiting in the wings. A senior industry official, with long-term, intimate knowledge of classified efforts, said the F-22 wasn’t stopped at 187 aircraft because a secret, better fighter is nearly ready to be deployed. He said, “What you see is what you get.”

That opinion was borne out in interviews with the top aeronautic technologists of Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman, the three largest remaining US airframers. They said they were unaware of an official, dedicated Air Force sixth generation fighter program and are anxiously waiting to see what capabilities the service wants in such a fighter.

The possibilities for a sixth generation fighter seem almost the stuff of science fiction.

It would likely be far stealthier than even the fifth generation aircraft. It may be able to change its shape in flight, “morphing” to optimize for either speed or persistence, and its engines will likely be retunable in-flight for efficient supersonic cruise or subsonic loitering.

 

 

fighter02 Boeing  F/A XX sixth gen fighter concept New Update

Defense News Asia

 

A Northrop Grumman artist’s conception of a sixth generation fighter employing directed energy weapons and stealthy data networking. (Northrop Grumman illustration)

 

The sixth generation fighter will likely have directed energy weapons—high-powered microwaves and lasers for defense against incoming missiles or as offensive weapons themselves. Munitions would likely be of the “dial an effect” type, able to cause anything from impairment to destruction of an air or ground target.

Materials and microelectronics technologies would combine to make the aircraft a large integrated sensor, possibly eliminating the need for a nose radar as it is known today. It would be equipped for making cyber attacks as well as achieving kinetic effects, but would still have to be cost-effective to make, service, and modify.

Moreover, the rapid advancement of unmanned aircraft technologies could, in 20 years or so, make feasible production of an autonomous robotic fighter. However, that is considered less likely than the emergence of an uninhabited but remotely piloted aircraft with an off-board “crew,” possibly comprising many operators.

Not clear, yet, is whether the mission should be fulfilled by a single, multirole platform or a series of smaller, specialized aircraft, working in concert.

“I think this next round [of fighter development] is probably going to be dominated by ever-increasing amounts of command and control information,” said Paul K. Meyer, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman’s Advanced Programs and Technology Division.

Meyer forecast that vast amounts of data will be available to the pilot, who may or may not be on board the aircraft. The pilot will see wide-ranging, intuitive views of “the extended world” around the aircraft, he noted. The aircraft will collect its own data and seamlessly fuse it with off-board sensors, including those on other aircraft. The difference from fifth generation will be the level of detail and certainty—the long-sought automatic target recognition.

Directed Energy Weapons

Embedded sensors and microelectronics will also make possible sensor arrays in “locations that previously weren’t available because of either heat or the curvature of the surface,” providing more powerful and comprehensive views of the battlefield, Meyer noted. Although the aircraft probably won’t be autonomous, he said, it will be able to “learn” and advise the pilot as to what actions to take—specifically, whether a target should be incapacitated temporarily, damaged, or destroyed.

Traditional electronics will probably give way to photonics, said Darryl W. Davis, president of Boeing’s advanced systems division.

“You could have fewer wires,” said Davis. “You’re on a multiplexed, fiber-optic bus … that connects all the systems, and because you can do things at different wavelengths of light, you can move lots of data around airplanes much faster, with much less weight in terms of … wire bundles.”

Fiber optics would also be resistant to jamming or spoofing of data and less prone to cyber attack.

A “digital wingman” could accompany the main fighter as an extra sensor-shooter smart enough to take verbal instructions, Meyer forecasted.

Directed energy weapons could play a big role in deciding how agile a sixth generation fighter would have to be, Meyer noted. “Speed of light” weapons, he added, could “negate” the importance of “the maneuverability we see in today’s fashionable fighters.” There won’t be time to maneuver away from a directed energy attack.

 

 

fighter03 150x150 Boeing  F/A XX sixth gen fighter concept New Update

Defense News Asia

 

F-22 Raptors on a training mission soar over the mountains near Elmendorf AFB, Alaska. The fifth generation fighter features all-aspect stealth and full-sensor fusion. (USAF photo)

 

Pulse weapons could also fry an enemy aircraft’s systems—or those of a ground target. Based on what “we have seen and we make at Northrop Grumman,” Meyer said, “in the next 20 years … that type of technology is going to be available.”

With an appropriate engine—possibly an auxiliary engine—on board to provide power for directed energy weapons, there could be an “unlimited magazine” of shots, Meyer said.

Hypersonics—that is, the ability of an air vehicle to travel at five times the speed of sound, or faster—has routinely been suggested as an attribute of sixth generation fighters, but the industry leaders are skeptical the capability will be ready in time.

While there have been some successes with experimental hypersonic propulsion, the total amount of true hypersonic flying time is less than 15 minutes, and the leap to an operational fighter in 20 years might be a leap too far.

“It entails a whole new range of materials development, due to … sensors, fuzes, apertures, etc.,” Meyer noted, “all of which must operate in that intense heat environment at … Mach 5-plus.”

Still, “it is indeed an option that we would consider” because targets will be fleeting and require quick, surgical strikes at great distances. However, such an approach would probably be incompatible with a loitering capability.

Davis said he thinks hypersonics “will start to show up in sixth generation,” but not initially as the platform’s power plant, but rather in the aircraft’s kinetic munitions.

“I think it will start with applications to weapons,” Davis said. And they may not necessarily be just weapons but “high-speed reconnaissance platforms for short missions on the way to the target.”

Because of the extreme speed of hypersonic platforms and especially directed energy weapons, Davis thinks it will be critical to have “persistent eyes on target” because speed-of-light weapons can’t be recalled “once you’ve pulled the trigger,” and even at hypersonic speed, a target may move before the weapon arrives. That would suggest a flotilla of stealthy drones or sensors positioned around the battlefield.

Not only will hypersonics require years more work, Davis said it must be combined with other, variable-cycle engines that will allow an aircraft to take off from sea level, climb to high altitude, and then engage a hypersonic engine. Those enabling propulsion elements are not necessarily near at hand in a single package.

The sixth generation fighter, whatever it turns out to be, will still be a machine and will need to be serviced, repaired, and modified, according to Neil Kacena, deputy director of Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works advanced projects division. He is less confident that major systems such as radar will be embedded in the aircraft skin.

“If the radar doesn’t work, and now you have to take the wing off, … then that may not be the technology that will find its way onto a sixth gen aircraft,” he said. In designing the next fighter, life cycle costs will be crucial, and so practical considerations will have to be accommodated.

Toward that end, he said, Lockheed Martin is working on new composite manufacturing techniques that use far fewer fasteners, less costly tooling, and therefore lower start-up and sustainment costs. It demonstrated those technologies recently on the Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft program.

Given the anticipated capabilities of the Russian and Chinese fifth generation fighters, when will a sixth generation aircraft have to be available?

Davis said the Air Force and Navy, not industry, will have to decide how soon they need a new generation of fighters. However, “if the services are thinking they need something in 2020” when foreign fifth generation fighters could be proliferating in large numbers, “we’re going to have to do some things to our existing generation of platforms,” such as add the directed energy weapons or other enhancements.

 

 

fighter04 Boeing  F/A XX sixth gen fighter concept New Update

Defense News Asia

 

In Boeing’s conception, traditional electronics give way to photonics, reducing weight and increasing processing speed. (Boeing illustration)

 

Kacena agreed, saying that Lockheed Martin has “engaged with both services and supplied them data and our perspectives” about the next round of fighter development. If the need exists to make a true quantum leap, then sixth generation is the way to go, but, “if it’s driven by the reduction in force structure [and] … the equipment is just getting old and worn out in that time frame, then [we] may very well be on a path of continuous improvement of fifth generation capabilities.” Lockheed Martin makes both the F-22 and F-35.

He said the company’s goal is to find the knee in the curve where “you get them the most bang for the buck without an 80 to 90 percent solution. Something that doesn’t take them beyond the nonlinear increase in cost.”

Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, the Air Force deputy chief of staff for intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance and a fighter pilot, said the next fighter generation may well have characteristics fundamentally different from any seen today, but he urged defense decision-makers to keep an open mind and not ignore hard-learned lessons from history.

Although great strides have been made in unmanned aircraft, said Deptula, “we have a long way to go to achieve the degree of 360-degree spherical situation awareness, rapid assimilation of information, and translation of that information into action that the human brain, linked with its on-site sensors, can accomplish.”

Numbers Count, Too

Despite rapid increases in computer processing power, it will be difficult for a machine to cope with “an infinite number of potential situations that are occurring in split seconds,” Deptula added, noting that, until such a capability is proved, “we will still require manned aircraft.”

It’s important to note that America’s potential adversaries will have access to nearly all the technologies now only resident with US forces, Deptula said. Thinking 20 to 30 years out, it will be necessary to invest properly to retain things US forces depend on, such as air superiority.

However, he warned not to put too much emphasis on technology, per se. “Just as precision air weapons and, to a certain degree, cyberspace are redefining our definition of mass in today’s fight, we have to be very wary of how quickly ‘mass’ in its classic sense can return in an era of mass-precision and mass-cyber capabilities for all.”

In other words, numbers count, and too few fighters, even if they are extremely advanced, are still too few.

Hanging over the sixth generation fighter debate is this stark fact: The relevant program should now be well under way, but it has not even been defined. If the Pentagon wants a sixth generation capability, it will have to demonstrate that intent, and soon. Industry needs that clear signal if it is to invest its own money in developing the technologies needed to make the sixth generation fighter come about.

Moreover, the sixth generation program is necessary to keep the US aerospace industry on the cutting edge. Unless it is challenged, if the “90 percent” solution is needed in the future, industry may not be able to answer the call.

Under Gates, Pentagon technology leaders have said they want to avoid cost and schedule problems by deferring development until technologies are more mature. Unfortunately, this safe and steady approach does not stimulate leap-ahead technologies.

Meyer said, “We need to have challenges to our innovative thoughts, our engineering talents, our technology integration and development that would … push us … to the point where industry has to perform beyond expectations.”

He noted that today’s F-35 is predicated on largely proven technologies and “affordability,” but it was the B-2 and F-22 programs that really paved the way for the systems that underpin modern air combat.

The B-2 bomber, he noted, “was a program of significant discovery,” because it involved a great deal of invention to meet required performance. The B-2 demanded “taking … basic research and developing it in the early … phases” of the program, which yielded nonfaceted stealth, enhanced range and payload, nuclear hardening, new antennas, radars, and flight controls.

Today, Meyer said, most programs are entering full-scale development only when they’ve reached a technology readiness level of six or higher (see chart).

“We probably had elements on the B-2 … that were at four, and a lot at five,” Meyer said.

Programs such as the sixth generation fighter “are the ones we relish because they make us think, they make us take risks that we wouldn’t normally take, and in taking on those risks we’ve discovered the new technologies that have made our industry great,” he asserted.

Davis said that other countries are going to school on the US fighter industry and taking its lessons to heart.

“We still think you have to build things—fly them and test them—in order to know what works and what doesn’t,” said Davis. “And, at some point, if you don’t do that, just do it theoretically, it doesn’t get you where you need to be.”

He added, “If we don’t continue to move forward, they will catch us.”

Fighter Generations

The definition of fighter generations has long been subject to debate. However, most agree that the generations break down along these broad lines:

 

Generation 1: Jet propulsion (F-80, German Me 262).

Generation 2: Swept wings; range-only radar; infrared missiles (F-86, MiG-15).

Generation 3: Supersonic speed; pulse radar; able to shoot at targets beyond visual range (“Century Series” fighters such as F-105; F-4; MiG-17; MiG-21).

Generation 4: Pulse-doppler radar; high maneuverability; look-down, shoot-down missiles (F-15, F-16, Mirage 2000, MiG-29).

Generation 4+: High agility; sensor fusion; reduced signatures (Eurofighter Typhoon, Su-30, advanced versions of F-16 and F/A-18, Rafale).

Generation 4++: Active electronically scanned arrays; continued reduced signatures or some “active” (waveform canceling) stealth; some supercruise  (Su-35, F-15SE).

Generation 5: All-aspect stealth with internal weapons, extreme agility, full-sensor fusion, integrated avionics, some or full supercruise (F-22, F-35).

Potential Generation 6: extreme stealth; efficient in all flight regimes (subsonic to multi-Mach); possible “morphing” capability; smart skins; highly networked; extremely sensitive sensors; optionally manned; directed energy weapons.

 

Technology Readiness Levels

Pentagon leaders now seek to reduce weapon risks and costs by deferring production until technologies are mature. Pentagon technology readiness levels—TRLs—are defined as follows:

TRL 1: Basic principles observed and reported. Earliest transition from basic scientific research to applied research and development. Paper studies of a technology’s basic properties.

TRL 2: Invention begins; practical applications developed. No proof or detailed analysis yet.

TRL 3: Active R&D begins. Analytical and lab studies to validate predictions. Components not yet integrated.

TRL 4: Basic elements are shown to work together in a “breadboard,” or lab setting.

TRL 5: Fidelity of demonstrations rises. Basic pieces are integrated in a somewhat realistic way. Can be tested in a simulated environment.

TRL 6: Representative model or prototype. A major step up in readiness for use. Possible field tests.

TRL 7: Prototype of system in operational environment is demonstrated—test bed aircraft, for example.

TRL 8: Final form of the technology is proved to work. Usually the end of system development. Weapon is tested in its final form.

TRL 9: Field use of the technology in its final form, under realistic conditions.

 

 

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Unmanned Aircraft Systems Airspace Operations Challenge (UAS AOC)

 

701308main UAV Challenge Arena 45A91C7 lg 300x199 Unmanned Aircraft Systems Airspace Operations Challenge (UAS AOC)

 

Before unpiloted or remotely piloted aircraft can safely operate in the same airspace as other, piloted aircraft, robotic aircraft and their operators will need to demonstrate a high level of operational robustness and the ability to “sense and avoid” other air traffic. The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Airspace Operations Challenge (UAS AOC) is focused on developing some of the key technologies that will make UAS integration into the National Airspace System possible.

This competition is being formulated as part of NASA’s Centennial Challenge Program, which is designed to foster individual, academic, and private sector innovation to solve difficult problems that are important to NASA and the nation. This Centennial Challenge will be conducted in two parts: Phase 1 of the Challenge is scheduled to be held in Spring, 2014 and Phase 2 of the Challenge will be held approximately one year after Phase 1 has been successfully completed.

Phase 1 of the Challenge focuses on important aspects of safe airspace operations, robustness to system failures, and seeks to encourage competitors to get an early start on developing some of the skills critical to Phase 2. Specific skills that Phase 1 competitors will need to demonstrate include:

  • Safe Airspace Operations:
    • Separation Assurance using ADS-B
    • 4 Dimensional Trajectories
    • Ground Control Operations
  • Robustness to System Failures:
    • Lost Link
    • GPS Unavailable
    • GPS Unreliable
  • Preparation for Phase 2 Competition:
    • Uncooperative Air Traffic Detection

There are other technical challenges that must be solved to enable the integration of UAS in the NAS, but a competitor that successfully demonstrates the skills required in Phase 1 will be able to field a robust UAS that is significantly closer to the goals of UAS-NAS integration embodied in theNextGen Airspace Concept. The total prize money available for Phase 1 of the competition is $500,000.


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X 51A Waverider 617x416 X 51A Wave Rider Hypersonic Aircraft

X-51A WaveRider

Mission
The experimental X-51A Waverider is an unmanned, autonomous supersonic combustion ramjet-powered hypersonic flight test demonstrator for the U.S. Air Force.

Features
The X-51A is designed to be launched from an airborne B-52 Stratofortress bomber. The flight test vehicle stack is approximately 25 feet long and includes a modified solid rocket booster from an Army Tactical Missile, a connecting interstage, and the X-51A cruiser. The nearly wingless cruiser is designed to ride its own shockwave, thus the nickname, Waverider. The distinctive, shark-nosed cruiser has small controllable fins and houses the heart of the system, an SJY61 supersonic combustion ramjet or scramjet engine built by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne designed to burn JP-7 jet fuel. Boeing’s Phantom Works performed overall air vehicle design, assembly and testing for the X-51′s various component systems.

The X-51 was made primarily using standard aerospace materials such as aluminum, steel, inconel, and titanium. Some carbon/carbon composites of the leading edges of fins and cowls are used. For thermal protection, the vehicle utilizes a Boeing designed silica-based thermal protection system as well as Boeing Reusable Insulation tiles, similar to those on board the NASA Space Shuttle Orbiters.

Four X-51As were built for the Air Force. The X-51A program is a technology demonstrator and was not designed to be a prototype for weapon system. It was designed to pave the way to future hypersonic weapons, hypersonic intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and future access to space. Since scramjets are able to burn atmospheric oxygen, they don’t need to carry large fuel tanks containing oxidizer like conventional rockets, and are being explored as a way to more efficiently launch payloads into orbit.

In addition to scalable scramjet propulsion, other key technologies that will be demonstrated by the X-51A include thermal protection systems materials, airframe and engine integration, and high-speed stability and control.

Background
The X-51A represents one of the service’s most significant reinvestments in hypersonic flight since the rocket-powered X-15 program which flew 50 years earlier.

Air Force officials anticipate the X-51A program will provide a foundation of knowledge required to develop the game changing technologies needed for future access to space and hypersonic weapon applications. For example, hypersonic speeds on the order of flying 600 nautical miles in 10 minutes may provide the ability to accurately engage a long-distance target very rapidly.

The X-51A program is a collaborative effort of the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, with industry partners The Boeing Company and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. Program management is accomplished by the Air Force Research Laboratory Propulsion Directorate at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

Hypersonic flight, normally defined as beginning at Mach 5, five times the speed of sound, presents unique technical challenges with heat and pressure, which make conventional turbine engines impractical. Program officials said producing thrust with a scramjet has been compared to lighting a match in a hurricane and keeping it burning.

The Air Force currently plans to fly each X-51A on identical flight profiles. Like the X-15, the X-51A is designed to be carried aloft by a B-52 mother ship launched from the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. It is released at approximately 50,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean Point Mugu Naval Air Warfare Center Sea Range. The solid rocket booster accelerates the X-51A for 30 seconds to approximately Mach 4.5, before being jettisoned. Then the cruiser’s scramjet engine, remarkable because it has virtually no moving parts, ignites. The ignition sequence begins burning ethylene, transitioning over approximately 10 seconds to the same JP-7 jet fuel once used by the SR-71 Blackbird.

Powered by its scramjet engine, the X-51A will accelerate to approximately Mach 6 as it climbs to nearly 70,000 feet. Hypersonic combustion generates intense heat so routing of the engine’s own JP-7 fuel will serve to both cool the engine and heat the fuel to optimum operating temperature for combustion. The fuel load and flight profile provides for a 240-second engine burn, transmitting vast amounts of telemetry data on its systems to orbiting aircraft and ground stations, before the vehicle exhausts its fuel supply, splashes down into the Pacific and is destroyed, as planned. Flight test vehicles are not recovered.

The X-51A development team elected from the outset not to build recovery systems in the flight test vehicles, in an effort to control costs and focus funding on the vehicle’s fuel-cooled scramjet engine. A U.S. Navy P-3 Orion aids in transmitting telemetry data to engineers at both Naval Air Station Point Mugu and Vandenberg AFB, Calif., before it arrives at its final destination, the Ridley Mission Control Center at Edwards AFB.

Conceived in 2004, the X-51A made its first “captive carry” flight Dec. 9, 2009. The flight test verified the B-52′s high-altitude performance and handling qualities with the X-51 attached and tested communications and telemetry systems, but the vehicle remained attached to the B-52s wing.

The X-51A made history during its first supersonic combustion ramjet-powered hypersonic flight May 26, 2010, off the southern California Pacific coast. Officials said the flight test vehicle flew as anticipated for nearly 200 seconds, with the scramjet accelerating the vehicle to approximately Mach 5, nearly 3,400 miles per hour. The fuel-cooled scramjet performed as planned transmitting normal telemetry for more than 140 seconds, then observing a decrease in thrust and acceleration for another 30 seconds. An anomaly then resulted in a loss of telemetry, and the test was terminated and vehicle was destroyed by flight controllers on command.

Despite the anomaly, the May 26 flight is considered the first use of a practical hydrocarbon fueled scramjet in flight. The longest previous hypersonic scramjet flight test performed by a NASA X-43 in 2004 was faster, but lasted only about 12 seconds and used less logistically supportable hydrogen fuel.

Following an extensive analysis of flight data from the X-51A’s first hypersonic flight test, slight modifications are planned to strengthen the rear seal area near the engine exhaust nozzles for the three remaining X-51As.

The next two X-51A flights ended prematurely. The second vehicle was boosted by the rocket to just over Mach 5, separated and lit the scramjet on ethylene. When the vehicle attempted to transition to JP7 fuel operation, it experienced an inlet un-start. The hypersonic vehicle attempted to restart and oriented itself to optimize engine start conditions, but was unsuccessful. The vehicle continued in a controlled flight orientation until it flew into the ocean within the test range.

The third X-51A safely separated from the B-52, however after 16 seconds under the rocket booster, a fault was identified with one of the cruiser control fins. Once the X-51 separated from the rocket booster, approximately 15 seconds later, the cruiser was not able to maintain control due to the faulty control fin and was lost.

 

The final flight of the X-51A occurred May 1, 2013 and was the most successful in terms of meeting all the experiment objectives. The cruiser traveled more than 230 nautical miles in just over six minutes reaching a peak speed of Mach 5.1.

Overall the more than 9 minutes of data collected from the X-51A program was an unprecedented achievement proving the viability of air-breathing, high-speed scramjet propulsion using hydrocarbon fuel.

article 2187520 14890949000005DC 816 634x400 X 51A Wave Rider Hypersonic Aircraft

 

General Characteristics
Primary Function:
 Hypersonic scramjet-powered flight test demonstrator
Contractors: Boeing, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne
Power Plant: JP-7 fueled/cooled SJY61 supersonic combustion ramjet
Thrust: 500 – 1,000 pound class
Length: Full stack 25 feet; Cruiser 14 feet; Interstage 5 feet; Solid rocket booster 6 feet
Weight: Approx. 4,000 pounds
Fuel Capacity: Approx. 270 pounds JP-7
Speed: 3,600+ miles per hour (at Mach 6)
Range: 400+ nautical miles
Ceiling: 70,000 + feet
Crew:  ground station monitored
Unit Cost: Unavailable
Initial Flight Test: May 26, 2010
Inventory: Four purpose-built for flight test, not designed for recovery (one vehicle expended as of Feb. 1, 2011)


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U.S. Air Combat Command Chief Hints at 6th Gen Fighter

 

6th generation fighter aircraft

6th generation fighter aircraft

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Even as the F-35, America’s first 5th generation fighter, struggles to achieve liftoff, the U.S. Air Force is starting to plan on how to get the 6th generation of jets off the ground.

What capabilities a 6th generation jet will possess remains unclear, but Gen. Mike Hostage, the head of Air Combat Command, dropped some hints at an event hosted this morning by the Center for Strategic and Informational Studies.

During a question-and-answer session, Hostage reiterated a DoD timeline that a new generation of fighter will be needed by 2030.

“That’s why we’re already looking at what defines the 6th generation,” Hostage said. “It’ll be some kind of game-changing ability. Don’t yet know what it is, but we’re out there looking at it carefully.”

After his speech, Hostage expanded on his comments to reporters.

“We’re trying to decide what [a 6th generation technology] is,” he said. “We’re looking at technologies that hold promise to potentially define 6th gen, but we haven’t said ‘that’s it, we’re going down that path.’ We’re starting today to try and define it, because it takes so dang long to procure things,” Hostage added.

The 5th generation fighter designs have been defined by their stealth abilities. Hostage declined to go into specifics on what the Air Force is looking at but hinted it would not be a single piece of technology that moved jets into the 6th generation designation.

“There are some very exciting technologies out there,” Hostage said. “I believe it will be a combination, I don’t believe it will be one … radical thing that says, ‘We’ll do things completely differently.’ I think it will be a combination of some really interesting technologies that will produce the game-changing capabilities.”

However, the possibility of a top-end next generation fighter doesn’t erase the need for other aspects of the Air Force fleet. Hostage said air power still demands a “family of systems,” including the proposed long-range bomber that Air Force Chief of Staff Mark Welsh has identified as one of his key programs.

 

By Sanindu Fonseka


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MQ-9 UAS REAPER

 

English: With smoke from the Lake Arrowhead ar...

English: With smoke from the Lake Arrowhead area fires streaming in the background, NASA’s Ikhana unmanned aircraft heads out on a Southern California wildfires imaging mission. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

SAR Baseline (Production Estimate)

FY 2011 President’s Budget dated February 1, 2010

Approved APB

Defense Acquisition Authority (DAE) Approved Acquisition Program Baseline (APB) dated February 12, 2012 MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

Mission and Description

 

Mission:

The MQ-9 Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Reaper is a multi-mission Hunter-Killer and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) system, which provides the combat commander with a persistent capability to find, fix, track, target, engage and assess Time Sensitive Targets. In the Hunter-Killer mission, the M-Q 9 offers the commander a choice of weapons including the Hellfire Air-to-Ground Missile, Laser Guided Bombs and Joint Direct Attack Munitions.  In the ISR role, the MQ-9’s ability to fly for up to 14 hours at altitudes up to 25,000-30,000 feet while carrying up to 3,000 pounds on the wings make it the platform of choice for a number of ISR and strike missions. This ability to support a wide variety of operations results in a steady stream of requirements to develop new capabilities to support an expanding array of missions. As a result of the combat deployment of the developmental system, the MQ-9 is supported and maintained by contractor logistics support personnel under contract and managed by the MQ-9 Program Office (PO).

Description:

An MQ-9 system consists of four aircraft, a Ground Control Station (GCS), a Satellite Communications terminal, support equipment, maintenance and operations personnel deployed for 24-hour operations. The aircraft is controlled by a pilot who is located in the GCS. Control commands are transmitted from the GCS to the aircraft by a ground based datalink terminal. The GCS incorporates workstations that allow operators to plan missions, control and monitor the aircraft, reconnaissance sensors and weapons and exploit received images. The MQ-9 carries the Multi-spectral Targeting System which integrates electro-optical, infrared, laser designator, and laser illuminator into a single sensor package. The system is composed of four major components which can be deployed for worldwide operations. The MQ-9 aircraft can be disassembled and loaded into a container for travel. The GCS is transportable in a C-130 Hercules (or larger) transport aircraft or installed in a fixed facility. The MQ-9 can operate on a 5,000 by 75 feet (1,524 meters by 23 meters), hard surface runway with clear line-of-sight. The ground data terminal antenna provides line-of-sight communications for takeoff and landing. The satellite communication system provides over-thehorizon control of the aircraft. An alternate method of employment, Remote Split Operations, employs a mobile version of the ground control system for launch and recovery efforts. This system conducts takeoff and landing operations at the forward deployed location while the Continental United States based GCS conducts the mission via extended communication links.

In March 2006, COMACC (Commander of Air Combat Command) directed early fielding to meet operational needs.  To meet the early fielding date, the program was broken into two blocks with Block 1 providing initial capability to meet the early fielding date and Block 5 completing the program to the Increment I requirements as described in the Capability Production Document (CPD).  Consequently, the MQ-9 Increment I program is comprised of Block 1 and Block 5 aircraft. This SAR only includes Increment I requirements.  An Increment II subprogram will be established in the future to incorporate additional capabilities into the MQ-9 Weapon System.  Increment II has a separate Capability Development Document and will have a separate CPD.

The MQ-9’s combat potential and demonstrated combat performance fueled the rapid growth of the program.  By January 2012, the Air Force contracted for a total of 157 MQ-9s which included 58 added by Congress to accelerate fielding in support of the overseas contingency operations. As of February 29, 2012, General Atomics-Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI) delivered 93 of the 404 planned aircraft, 53 of which are operationally active.  While the MQ-9 program was initially managed as a Quick Reaction Capability program, a separate program office was established in 2006 to restructure the program to support Air Combat Command’s urgent request to field the system. The MQ-9 has been actively flying combat missions in overseas contingency operations since September 2007.

The program is in concurrent capability development, procurement, combat operations and support.  This situation resulted from the MQ-9’s urgent beginnings in the weeks after September 11, 2001, its growth as a Hunter-Killer to support overseas contingency operations, and the MQ-9’s evolution into the platform of choice for both Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and Hunter-Killer missions.

MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

CBP Air and Marine group conduct aerial operat...

CBP Air and Marine group conduct aerial operations with their UAS aircraft over areas affected by Hurricane Ike to help broadly assess damage so as to better deploy rescuers to specific areas with the most need. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Executive Summary

 

Air Combat Command (ACC) stood up six additional MQ-9 Combat Air Patrols (CAPs) since the last SAR, bringing the total number to 22.  This brings the total number of combined MQ-1 Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Predator and MQ-9 CAPs serving US and Allied warfighters to 57.  These CAPs enabled the MQ-9 to accumulate 242,560 cumulative flight hours.  The Program Office (PO) remains on track to support the Air Force required fielding of the required 65 CAPs (MQ-1 and MQ-9) by 3Q FY 2014.

Since the last SAR, the MQ-9, along with the MQ-1, achieved the requirement to provide 50 CAPs.  This was completed on April 2, 2011, nearly six months ahead of schedule.  The PO is on schedule to meet the June 2012 Required Assets Available (RAA) date with only one remaining item; Block 1 integration of electronic technical manuals.  The decision was made to postpone the Milestone C from June 2011 to June 2012 to allow additional time to revise the test strategy; conduct first flight of a modified Block 1 aircraft with 904.6 Rev A software, and complete the required Milestone C program documentation.  The first modified Block 1 aircraft was delivered to Gray Butte, CA on January 11, 2012, approximately six months ahead of schedule.  Ground testing is in progress.

On February 12, 2012 the PO received the signed Acquisition Program Baseline (APB).

The PO initiated a Business Case Analysis (BCA) in November 2009 for the purpose of determining the “best value” long term sustainment strategy.  The expected outcome of the BCA is a Performance Based Logistics approach which embraces public and private partnership arrangements.  The BCA schedule was accelerated and the final report is due in June 2012 with coordination to follow.

There are no significant software-related issues with this program at this time.

MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

Threshold Breaches

 

APB Breaches

Schedule

Performance

Cost    RDT&E

Procurement

MILCON

Acq O&M

Unit Cost        PAUC

APUC

Nunn-McCurdy Breaches

Current UCR Baseline

PAUC None
APUCOriginal UCR Baseline None
PAUC None
APUC None

MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

Schedule

)

Milestones

SAR Baseline Prod Est

Current APB

Production

Objective/Threshold

Current Estimate

Milestone B ACAT II FEB 2004 FEB 2004 FEB 2004 FEB 2004
Milestone C ACAT II Block 1 FEB 2008 FEB 2008 FEB 2008 FEB 2008
IOT&E for Block 1 MAY 2008 MAY 2008 MAY 2008 MAY 2008
RAA SEP 2010 DEC 2011 JUN 2012 JUN 2012
Milestone C ACAT ID Increment 1, Block 5 MAR 2011 JUN 2012 MAY 2013 JUN 2012
FOT&E for Increment I Block 5 NOV 2012 NOV 2013 OCT 2014 NOV 2013
FRP Decision for Increment I Block 1 and 5 MAR 2013 JUL 2014 JUN 2015 JUL 2014

Acronyms And Abbreviations

ACAT – Acquisition Category

FOT&E – Follow-On Test and Evaluation

FRP – Full Rate Production

IOT&E – Initial Operational Test and Evaluation RAA – Required Assets Available

Change Explanations

(Ch-1) The current estimates for RAA and Milestone C ACAT ID Inc 1, Block 5, changed from Jul 2011 to Jun 2012 due to timelines required to complete Milestone C documentation, testing associated with Block 5 capabilities, and reliability metrics/growth program improvements. Due to the delay in Milestone C, FOT&E for Increment I Block 5 changed from Apr 2013 to Nov 2013 and FRP Decision for Increment I Block 1 and 5 changed from Sep 2013 to Jul 2014.

Memo

RAA includes two fixed Ground Control Stations (GCS), two mobile GCSs, six Primary Mission Aircraft Inventory MQ-9 UAS REAPER         December 31, 2011 SAR

(PMAI) Block 1 aircraft, technical orders, support equipment, initial and readiness spares packages, and logistics support.

MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

Performance

 

Characteristics

SAR Baseline Prod Est

Current APB

Production

Objective/Threshold

Demonstrated Performance

Current Estimate

Hunter The system’s capability must allow a targeting solution at the weapon’s maximum range. The system’s capability must allow a targeting solution at a direct attack weapon’s maximum range The system’s capability must allow a targeting solution at a direct attack weapon’s maximum range DT ongoing for KPP;AFOTEC

IOT&E did not evaluate KPP due to system

availability;

Full KPP evaluation deferred to future

FOT&E

The system’s capability must allow a targeting solution at the weapon’s maximum range.
Killer System must be capable of computing a weapon’s release point, passing required information, at the required accuracy, to the weapon and reliably releasing the weapon upon command. System must be capable of computing a weapon’s release point, passing required information, at the required accuracy, to the weapon and reliably releasing the weapon upon command. System must be capable of computing a weapon’s release point, passing required information, at the required accuracy, to the weapon and reliably releasing the weapon upon command. AFOTECIOT&E found KPP

operationally effective and suitable

System must be capable of computing a weapon’s release point, passing required information, at the required accuracy, to the weapon and reliably releasing the weapon upon command.
Net Ready: The system must support Net-Centric military operations. The system must be able to enter and be managed in the network, and exchange data in a secure manner to enhance mission effectiveness. The system must continuously provide survivable,interoperable, secure, The Systemmust fully support

execution of

all

operational activities identified in the applicable joint and system integrated architectures and the system must

The Systemmust fully support

execution of

all

operational activities identified in the applicable joint and system integrated architectures and the system must

The Systemmust fully support execution of joint critical operational activities identified in the applicable joint and system integrated architectures and the system must JITCcertified

KPP; JITC

certification is renewed for each software update

The Systemmust fully support execution of all operational activities identified in the applicable joint and system integrated architectures and the system must

MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

and operationally effective information exchanges to enable a Net-Centric military capability. satisfy the technical requirements for NetCentric military operationsto include 1)

DISR mandated

GIG IT standards and profiles identified in

the TV-1, 2)

DISR mandated GIG KIPs

identified in the KIP declaration table, 3)

NCOW-RM

Enterprise

Services 4)

IA requirements including availability, integrity, authentication, confidentiality, and nonrepudiation, and issuance of an ATO by the DAA, and 5) Operationally effective information exchanges; and mission

critical

performance and information

assurance

attributes, data correctness, data

satisfy the technical requirements for NetCentric military operationsto include 1)

DISR mandated

GIG IT standards and profiles identified in

the TV-1, 2)

DISR mandated GIG KIPs

identified in the KIP declaration table, 3)

NCOW-RM

Enterprise

Services 4)

IA requirements including availability, integrity, authentication, confidentiality, and nonrepudiation, and issuance of an ATO by the DAA, and 5) Operationally effective information exchanges; and mission

critical

performance and IA

attributes, data correctness, data

availability, and

satisfy the technicalrequirements for transition to NetCentric military operations

to include 1)

DISR mandated

GIG IT standards and profiles identified in

the TV-1, 2)

DISR mandated GIG KIPs

identified in the KIP declaration table, 3)

NCOW-RM

Enterprise

Services 4)

IA requirements including availability, integrity, authentication, confidentiality, and nonrepudiation, and issuance of an IATO by the DAA, and 5) Operationally effective information exchanges; and mission

critical

performance and IA

attributes, data correctness, data

availability,

satisfy the technical requirements for Net-Centric military operationsto include 1)

DISR mandated

GIG IT standards and profiles identified in

the TV-1, 2)

DISR mandated GIG KIPs

identified in the KIP declaration table, 3)

NCOW-RM

Enterprise

Services 4)

IA requirements including availability, integrity, authentication,

confiden-

tiality, and nonrepudiation, and issuanceof an ATO by the DAA, and 5) Operationally effective information exchanges; and mission

critical

performance and information

assurance

attributes, data correctness, data

MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

availability, and consistent data processing specified in the applicable joint and system integrated architecture views. consistent data processing specified in the applicable joint and system integrated architecture views. and consistent data processing specified in the applicable joint and system integrated architecture views. availability, and consistent data processing specified in the applicable joint and system integrated architecture views.

Requirements Source:

Air Force Requirements for Operational Capabilities Council (AFROCC) Capability Production Document (CPD), dated August 8, 2006, validated by Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) on January 29,2007. AFROC Memo 07-11-01 dated July 21, 2011.

Acronyms And Abbreviations

AFOTEC – Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center

ATO – Approval to Operate

DAA – Designated Approval Authority

DISR – Department of Defense Information Technology Standards Registry

DT – Developmental Testing

FOT&E – Follow-On Operational Test and Evaluation

GIG – Global Information Grid

IA – Information Assurance

IATO – Interim Approval to Operate

IOT&E – Initial Operational Test and Evaluation

IT – Information Technology

JITC – Joint Interoperability Test Command

KIP – Key Interface Profile

KPP – Key Performance Parameter

NCOW-RM – Net-Centric Operations and Warfare Reference Model TV-1 – Technical Standards Profile

Change Explanations

None

MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

Track To Budget

 

English: An MQ-9 Reaper takes off on a mission...

English: An MQ-9 Reaper takes off on a mission in Afghanistan Oct. 1. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

General Memo

RDT&E Program Element (PE) 0305205F was shared by the MQ-1 Predator, MQ-9  Reaper and Global Hawk program offices from FY 2002 – FY 2004.

RDT&E PE 0305219F were shared by the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper program office from FY 2005 – FY 2007.

Procurement ICN’s PRDTA1 and PRDT01 were shared by the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper program office from FY 2002 – FY 2007.

RDT&E
APPN 3600

 

BA 07 PE 0205219F (Air Force)
  Project 5246 MQ-9 Development andFielding (Shared)
APPN 3600  BA 07 PE 0305205F (Air Force)
  Project 4755 (Shared) (Sunk)
APPN 3600  BA 07 PE 0305219F (Air Force)
  Project 5143 (Shared) (Sunk)
Procurement
APPN 3010  BA 07 PE 0205219F (Air Force)
  ICN 000075 Organic Depot Activation (Shared)
APPN 3010  BA 06 PE 0205219F (Air Force)
  ICN 000999 Initial Spares (Shared)
APPN 3010  BA 05 PE 0305205F (Air Force)
  ICN PRDT01 Aircraft Modification (Shared) (Sunk)
APPN 3010  BA 04 PE 0305205F (Air Force)
  ICN PRDTA1 Aircraft Procurement (Shared) (Sunk)
APPN 3010 BA 04 PE 0205219F (Air Force)
MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR
  ICN PRDTB1 Aircraft Procurement
APPN 3010  BA 05 PE 0205219F (Air Force)
MILCON

 

ICN PRDTB2 Aircraft Modification
APPN 3300  BA 01 PE 0205219F (Air Force)
Project BHD000 MQ-9 Operations

MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

Cost and Funding

 

Cost Summary

 

TY $M

SAR

Baseline

Prod Est

Current

APB

Production

Objective

Current Estimate

Total Acquisition Cost and Quantity

RDT&E          778.8   1005.7 1106.3 1004.1 809.9   1063.2 1063.2

8038.7

7905.7 8943.4 9059.0

8038.7

7905.7 8943.4 9059.0

0.0

0.0 0.0

0.0

1785.3

2493.2 1922.6 2812.3

1109.0

997.0 1202.4 1121.8

676.3

1496.2 720.2 1690.5

Procurement  9824.0 10402.1           11442.3           10398.9           10866.0           11871.3           11871.3

Flyaway

Recurring

Non Recurring

Support

Other Support

Initial Spares

MILCON        148.5   133.5   146.9   133.5   158.9   153.4   153.4

Acq O&M        0.0       0.0       —          0.0       0.0       0.0       0.0

Total   10751.3           11541.3           N/A      11536.5           11834.8           13087.9           13087.9

Confidence Level for Current APB Cost 50% – This APB reflects cost and funding data based on the MQ-9 Reaper’s April 2011 cost estimate briefed through ASC/FM and SAF/FMC. This cost estimate was quantified at a 50% confidence level. A draft Service Cost Position (SCP) in support of a June 2011 Milestone C was created; however, not formalized due to a delay of Milestone C.

Quantity

SAR Baseline Prod Est

Current APB Production

Current Estimate

RDT&E          3          3          3

Procurement  388      401      401

Total   391      404      404

Procurement quantity is the number of MQ-9 aircraft.  Ground Control Stations and other equipment costs are included, but not used as a unit of measure.

MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

Cost and Funding

 

Funding Summary

 

Appropriation and Quantity Summary

FY2013 President’s Budget / December 2011 SAR (TY$ M)

Appropriation

Prior

FY2012 FY2013 FY2014 FY2015 FY2016 FY2017

To Complete

Total

RDT&E

477.5

126.7

148.0

147.0

110.6

34.7

0.0

18.7

1063.2

Procurement

2831.6

1058.1

920.0 1007.6

1015.8

799.7

783.7

3454.8 11871.3
MILCON

55.6

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

97.8

153.4

Acq O&M

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

PB 2013 Total

3364.7

1184.8

1068.0 1154.6

1126.4

834.4

783.7

3571.3 13087.9
PB 2012 Total

3867.6

1317.9

1531.6 1275.7

1246.7

1051.4

836.0

1369.7 12496.6
Delta 

-502.9

-133.1

-463.6

-121.1

-120.3

-217.0

-52.3

2201.6

591.3

Quantity Undistributed Prior FY2012 FY2013 FY2014 FY2015 FY2016 FY2017

To Complete

Total
Development

3

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

3

Production

0

156 48 24 24 24 24 24 77 401
PB 2013 Total

3

156 48 24 24 24 24 24 77 404
PB 2012 Total

3

156 48 48 48 48 48 0 0 399
Delta

0

0 0 -24 -24 -24 -24 24 77

5

MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

Cost and Funding

 

Annual Funding By Appropriation

 

Annual Funding TY$

3600 | RDT&E | Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation, Air Force

Fiscal Year Quantity End Item Recurring

Flyaway 

TY $M

Non End

Item

Recurring

Flyaway 

TY $M

Non

Recurring

Flyaway  TY $M

Total

Flyaway  TY $M

Total

Support  TY $M

Total

Program 

TY $M

2002

7.8

2003

12.8

2004

20.9

2005

56.8

2006

10.1

2007

34.0

2008

55.9

2009

39.7

2010

102.8

2011

136.7

2012

126.7

2013

148.0

2014

147.0

2015

110.6

2016

34.7

2017

2018

18.7

Subtotal

3

1063.2

MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

Annual Funding BY$

3600 | RDT&E | Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation, Air Force

Fiscal Year Quantity End Item Recurring

Flyaway 

BY 2008 $M

Non End

Item

Recurring

Flyaway 

BY 2008 $M

Non

Recurring

Flyaway 

BY 2008 $M

Total

Flyaway 

BY 2008 $M

Total

Support 

BY 2008 $M

Total

Program 

BY 2008 $M

2002

8.9

2003

14.4

2004

22.9

2005

60.7

2006

10.5

2007

34.4

2008

55.4

2009

38.9

2010

99.3

2011 129.5
2012 117.9
2013 135.4
2014 132.3
2015

97.8

2016

30.1

2017

2018

15.7

Subtotal

3

1004.1

FY 2002 RDT&E includes $7.8M (TY$) of Defense Emergency Response Funds (DERF).

MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

Annual Funding TY$

3010 | Procurement | Aircraft Procurement, Air Force

Fiscal Year Quantity End Item Recurring

Flyaway 

TY $M

Non End

Item

Recurring

Flyaway 

TY $M

Non

Recurring

Flyaway 

TY $M

Total

Flyaway 

TY $M

Total

Support 

TY $M

Total

Program 

TY $M

2002                       4          60.4     —          —          60.4     —          60.4

2003                       4 36.8 — — 36.8 — 36.8 2004 5 67.7 — — 67.7 2.8 70.5 2005 5 85.8 2.2 — 88.0 5.3 93.3 2006 2 72.1 33.0 — 105.1 4.8 109.9 2007 12 109.4 50.6 — 160.0 151.6 311.6 2008 28 214.2 51.1 — 265.3 81.0 346.3 2009 24 225.0 133.3 — 358.3 168.6 526.9

2010                    24          262.2   105.5   —          367.7   171.6   539.3

2011                    48          504.5   101.5   —          606.0   130.6   736.6 2012      48        621.4   106.9  —          728.3   329.8   1058.1 2013    24        417.7   218.1   —          635.8   284.2  920.0 2014      24        405.2   253.5   —          658.7   348.9   1007.6

2015     24        417.0   295.9   —          712.9   302.9   1015.8 2016    24        427.4   208.8   — 636.2   163.5   799.7

2017     24        436.9   226.5   —          663.4   120.3   783.7 2018      24        526.4   377.7   — 904.1   162.2   1066.3 2019    24        556.9   197.0   —          753.9   186.5   940.4 2020      24 580.2   72.8     —          653.0   150.4   803.4 2021      5          250.1   26.7     —          276.8   33.7 310.5

2022                       —          141.4   16.9     —          158.3   6.0       164.3

2023                       — 106.9 12.8 — 119.7 4.7 124.4 2024 — 16.1 6.2 — 22.3 1.3 23.6 2025 — 1.3 4.2 — 5.5 1.1 6.6 2026 — — 3.6 — 3.6 0.5 4.1

2027                       —          5.3       0.3       —          5.6       —          5.6

2028                       —          5.3       0.3       —          5.6       —          5.6

Subtotal

401

6553.6

2505.4

9059.0

2812.3

11871.3

MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

Annual Funding BY$

3010 | Procurement | Aircraft Procurement, Air Force

Fiscal Year Quantity End Item Recurring

Flyaway 

BY 2008 $M

Non End

Item

Recurring

Flyaway 

BY 2008 $M

Non

Recurring

Flyaway 

BY 2008 $M

Total

Flyaway 

BY 2008 $M

Total

Support 

BY 2008 $M

Total

Program 

BY 2008 $M

2002                   4     68.0     —          —          68.0     —          68.0

2003                   4 40.8 — — 40.8 — 40.8 2004 5 73.1 — — 73.1 3.0 76.1 2005 5 90.0 2.3 — 92.3 5.6 97.9 2006 2 73.7 33.7 — 107.4 4.9 112.3 2007 12 108.9 50.4 — 159.3 150.8 310.1 2008 28 209.8 50.1 — 259.9 79.3 339.2 2009 24 216.6 128.4 — 345.0 162.3 507.3 2010 24 247.5 99.6 — 347.1 162.1 509.2

2011                48     468.1   94.2     —          562.3   121.2   683.5

2012                48     566.9   97.5     —          664.4   300.9   965.3 2013      24        374.6   195.7   —         570.3   254.9   825.2

2014                24     357.1   223.3   —          580.4   307.5   887.9

2015                24     361.0   256.1   —          617.1   262.2   879.3

2016                24     363.4   177.6   —          541.0   139.0   680.0

2017                24     364.9   189.3   —          554.2   100.4   654.6

2018                24     431.9   309.9   —          741.8   133.1   874.9

2019                24 448.9 158.8 — 607.7 150.3 758.0 2020 24 459.4 57.6 — 517.0 119.1 636.1 2021 5 194.5 20.7 — 215.2 26.3 241.5

2022 — 108.0 12.9 — 120.9 4.6 125.5 2023 — 80.2 9.7 — 89.9 3.5 93.4

2024 — 11.9 4.5 — 16.4 1.0 17.4 2025 — 0.9 3.1 — 4.0 0.8 4.8 2026 — — 2.5 — 2.5 0.4 2.9

2027                  —    3.7       0.2       —          3.9       —          3.9

2028                  —    3.6       0.2       —          3.8       —          3.8

Subtotal

401

5727.4

2178.3

7905.7

2493.2

10398.9

FY 2002 Procurement includes $29.1M (TY$) of Defense Emergency Response Funds (DERF).

End-item related costs include aircraft, Multi-spectral Targeting System-B (MTS-B) and government furnished equipment, as well as retrofit costs associated with aircraft and MTS-B.

Non-end item recurring flyaway costs include retrofit, Ground Control Stations (GCS), communications and Airborne Signals Intelligence Payload 2C (ASIP-2C) sensors requirements.  Retrofits include GCS and other miscellaneous communications and sensor retrofits.

MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

Cost Quantity Information

3010 | Procurement | Aircraft Procurement, Air Force

Fiscal Year Quantity End Item Recurring

Flyaway

(Aligned with

Quantity)

BY 2008

$M

2002

4

68.0

2003

4

40.8

2004

5

91.2

2005

5

120.2

2006

2

85.8

2007

12

181.5

2008

28

379.3

2009

24

361.9

2010

24

372.6

2011

48

712.4

2012

48

741.1

2013

24

310.1

2014

24

286.2

2015

24

300.4

2016

24

303.6

2017

24

306.9

2018

24

321.9

2019

24

330.6

2020

24

339.6

2021

5

73.3

2022

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

Subtotal

401

5727.4

MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

Annual Funding TY$

3300 | MILCON | Military Construction, Air Force

Fiscal Year

Total

Program 

TY $M

2009

44.5

2010

2.7

2011

8.4

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

97.8

Subtotal

153.4

MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

Annual Funding BY$

3300 | MILCON | Military Construction, Air Force

Fiscal Year

Total

Program 

BY 2008 $M

2009

42.9

2010

2.6

2011

7.8

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

80.2

Subtotal

133.5

Low Rate Initial Production

 

There is no LRIP quantity for this program at this time.

First MQ-9 Reaper makes its home on Nevada fli...

First MQ-9 Reaper makes its home on Nevada flightline: The MQ-9 Reaper Unmanned Aerial Vehicle taxis into Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, March 13 marking the first operational airframe of its kind to land here. This Reaper is the first of many soon to be assigned to the 42nd Attack Squadron. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

Foreign Military Sales

 

Country

Date of Sale

Quantity

Total

Cost $M

Memo

Italy 11/20/2008

6

175.3 Purchase of six aircraft, three Mobile Ground Control Stations, and assorted support equipment.
United Kingdom 10/4/2007

4

62.8 Purchase of four aircraft, one Mobile Ground Control Station, and spares.
United Kingdom 2/14/2007

2

184.7 Purchase of two aircraft, two Mobile Ground

Control Stations, and assorted support equipment.

As noted in the table above, Italy’s Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA), dated November 20, 2008, is a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) transaction, agreement number IT-DSAG, and will be in the operations and sustainment phase in July 2012 after aircraft #5 and #6 deliver.  The Italian Air Force deployed two MQ-9s, one Ground Control Station and associated spares to Sigonella, Sicily supporting North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) operations.

As noted in the table above, the United Kingdom LOA, dated February 14, 2007, is an FMS transaction, agreement number UK-D-SMI, and is in the operations and sustainment phase.  The United Kingdom LOA, dated October 4, 2007, is an FMS transaction, agreement number UK-D-SMJ, and is in the operations and sustainment phase.  United Kingdom signed another LOA, on November 10, 2011, to acquire five additional MQ-9s and four additional Mobile Ground Control Stations; however, these are not on contract and therefore not included in the table above.

The Program Office (PO) is responding to a Letter of Request (LOR) from Australia for pricing and availability for MQ-9 capability.  In addition, the PO received an official LOR from Germany for three MQ-9s and four Mobile Ground Control Stations with a June 2014 operational need date.

The PO received a request to validate or update the previously submitted pricing for MQ-1 and MQ-9 capability for Turkey. At this time this request is not an indication of forward movement of Turkey’s draft LOA.

Nuclear Cost

 

None

MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

Unit Cost

 

Unit Cost Report

 

BY2008 $M

BY2008 $M

Unit Cost

Current UCR

Baseline

(FEB 2012 APB)

Current Estimate (DEC 2011 SAR)

BY % Change

Program Acquisition Unit Cost (PAUC)

Cost 11541.3 11536.5
Quantity 404

404

Unit Cost

Average Procurement Unit Cost (APUC)28.568

28.556

-0.04

Cost10402.110398.9 Quantity401

401

 Unit Cost25.940

25.932

-0.03

 

BY2008 $M

BY2008 $M

Unit Cost

Original UCR

Baseline

(FEB 2012 APB)

Current Estimate (DEC 2011 SAR)

BY % Change

Program Acquisition Unit Cost (PAUC)

Cost 11541.3 11536.5
Quantity

404

404

Unit Cost

Average Procurement Unit Cost (APUC)28.568

28.556

-0.04

Cost10402.110398.9 Quantity

401

401

 Unit Cost25.940

25.932

-0.03

 

MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

Unit Cost History

SAR Unit Cost History

Current SAR Baseline to Current Estimate (TY $M)

Initial PAUC Prod Est

Changes

PAUC

Current Est

Econ

Qty

Sch Eng

Est

Oth

Spt

Total

30.268

 

0.328

-0.473  0.181   0.219   -0.261  0.000   2.134   2.128

Current SAR Baseline to Current Estimate (TY $M)

32.396

Initial APUC Prod Est

Changes

APUC

Current Est

Econ

Qty

Sch Eng

Est

Oth

Spt

Total

28.005      0.307   -0.403  0.182   0.000   -0.637  0.000   2.150   1.599   29.604

MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

SAR Baseline History

Item/Event

SAR

Planning

Estimate (PE)

SAR

Development

Estimate (DE)

SAR

Production

Estimate (PdE)

Current Estimate

Milestone A N/A N/A

N/A

N/A

Milestone B N/A N/A FEB 2004 FEB 2004
Milestone C N/A N/A FEB 2008 FEB 2008
IOC N/A N/A

N/A

JUN 2012
Total Cost (TY $M) N/A N/A 11834.8

13087.9

Total Quantity N/A N/A 391

404

Prog. Acq. Unit Cost (PAUC) N/A N/A 30.268

32.396

Schedule Milestone C above reflects the ACAT II Block 1 Milestone C decision.  The ACAT ID Increment 1, Block 5 Milestone C is scheduled for June 2012.

Schedule Milestone Required Assets Available (RAA) is used in lieu of Initial Operating Capability (IOC).

MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

Cost Variance

 

Cost Variance Summary

 

Summary Then Year $M

RDT&E

Proc

MILCON

Total

SAR Baseline (Prod Est)

Previous Changes809.910866.0158.911834.8 Economic-0.6-18.6+0.3

-18.9

 Quantity–+119.6–+119.6 Schedule—14.9–

-14.9

 Engineering+23.3—-

+23.3

 Estimating+71.4-198.6-2.5-129.7 Other——

 Support–+682.4–+682.4 Subtotal+94.1+569.9-2.2+661.8 Current Changes     Economic+7.7+141.7+1.9+151.3 Quantity–+82.7–

+82.7

 Schedule–+88.0–

+88.0

 Engineering+65.2—-

+65.2

 Estimating+86.3-56.8-5.2

+24.3

 Other——

 Support–+179.8–+179.8 Subtotal+159.2+435.4-3.3+591.3 Total Changes

+253.3

+1005.3

-5.5

+1253.1

  CE – Cost Variance

1063.2

11871.3

153.4

13087.9

  CE – Cost & Funding

1063.2

11871.3

153.4

13087.9

 

MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

Summary Base Year 2008 $

M

RDT&E

Proc

MILCON

Total

SAR Baseline (Prod Est)

Previous Changes778.89824.0148.510751.3 Economic——

 Quantity–+103.2–+103.2 Schedule——

 Engineering+21.7—-

+21.7

 Estimating+65.4-213.6-5.8-154.0 Other——

 Support–+593.1–+593.1 Subtotal+87.1+482.7-5.8+564.0 Current Changes     Economic——

 Quantity–+64.3–

+64.3

 Schedule—0.7—0.7 Engineering+59.7—-

+59.7

 Estimating+78.5-86.2-9.2

-16.9

 Other——

 Support–+114.8–+114.8 Subtotal+138.2+92.2-9.2+221.2 Total Changes

+225.3

+574.9

-15.0

+785.2

  CE – Cost Variance

1004.1

10398.9

133.5

11536.5

  CE – Cost & Funding

1004.1

10398.9

133.5

11536.5

 

Previous Estimate: December 2010

MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

RDT&E

$M

Current Change Explanations

Base Year

Then Year
Revised escalation indices. (Economic)

N/A

+7.7

Adjustment for current and prior escalation. (Estimating)

-3.2

-3.4

Increase due to System Development and Demonstration Increment I Bridge contract and additional requirements for reliability and maintainability. (Engineering)

+59.7

+65.2

Increase due to Air Force funding Counter Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and Unmanned Air Vehicle Command and Control Initiative. (Estimating)

+28.2

+30.5

Revised estimate for Ka band Migration. (Estimating)

+33.1

+36.4

Increase due to additional funding for other government costs associated with extended development period of performance. (Estimating)

+20.4

+22.8

RDT&E Subtotal

 

+138.2

+159.2Procurement

$M

 Current Change Explanations

Base Year

 Then YearRevised escalation indices. (Economic)

N/A

+141.7Total Quantity variance resulting from an increase of 5 aircraft from 396 to 401. (Subtotal)

+53.8

+69.2

Quantity variance resulting from an increase of 5 aircraft from 396 to 401. (Quantity)

(+64.3)

(+82.7)Allocation to Schedule resulting from Quantity change. (Schedule) (QR)

(-0.7)

(-0.9)

Allocation to Estimating resulting from Quantity change. (Estimating) (QR)

(-9.8)

(-12.6)Increase due to stretch-out of procurement buy profile from FY 2002 – FY 2017 to FY 2002 – FY 2021. (Schedule)

0.0

+88.9

Adjustment for current and prior escalation. (Estimating)

-23.6

-25.3

Refined estimate to incorporate change to the projected learning curve. (Estimating)

-52.8

-18.9

Adjustment for current and prior escalation. (Support)

-10.5

-11.5

Increase in Other Support due to funding for organic depot activation. (Support)

+227.1

+276.7Decrease in Initial Spares due to Congressional reduction in FY 2011. (Support)

-101.8

-85.4

Procurement Subtotal

 

(QR) Quantity Related

 

+92.2

+435.4MILCON

$M

 Current Change Explanations

Base Year

 Then YearRevised escalation indices. (Economic)N/A

+1.9

Adjustment for current and prior escalation. (Estimating)-0.4

-0.4

Adjustment to reflect the application of new out year escalation indices. (Estimating)-5.8

-1.5

Decrease due to Congressional Marks. (Estimating) -3.0

-3.3

MILCON Subtotal-9.2

-3.3

 

MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

Contracts

 

Appropriation: RDT&E
Contract Name Block 50 Ground Control Station (GCS) Modernization
Contractor General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.
Contractor Location San Diego, CA 92065
Contract Number, Type

FA8620-05-G-3028/30,  CPFF

Award Date March 25, 2010
Definitization Date

March 25, 2010

Initial Contract Price ($M)

Current Contract Price ($M)

 Estimated Price At Completion ($M)

Target

Ceiling

Qty

Target

Ceiling

Qty  Contractor

Program Manager

17.2     N/A      N/A      83.7     N/A      N/A

 

 

88.8     88.1

Variance

Cost Variance

 

Schedule Variance

Cumulative Variances To Date

-7.7      -8.1

Previous Cumulative Variances

-3.1      -2.4

Net Change

-4.6      -5.7

Cost And Schedule Variance Explanations

 

The unfavorable net change in the cost variance is due to engineering analysis associated with the Critical Design Review (CDR); delays in information assurance certification and accreditation causing additional design iterations, and design efforts for the System Requirements Review (SRR), Preliminary Design Review (PDR), and CDR.

The unfavorable net change in the schedule variance is due to delayed subcontractor efforts on Auxiliary Software Design; delays in approval of the Modified Airworthiness Certification criteria, and delays in receiving subcontractor invoices. Additional delays are due to lack of information assurance requirements needed to build rule sets for the cross domain solution.

Contract Comments

The difference between the initial contract price target and the current contract price target is due to content changes i.e. engineering change orders and contract modifications.

The current contracted completion date ofJuly 2012 is expected to extend to December 2012.

MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

Appropriation: RDT&E
Contract Name MQ-9 System Development and Demonstration Bridge DO 49
Contractor General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc
Contractor Location

San Diego, CA 92127-1713

Contract Number, Type

FA8620-05-G-3028/49,  CPIF

Award Date July 17, 2009
Definitization Date

July 17, 2009

Initial Contract Price ($M)

Current Contract Price ($M)

 Estimated Price At Completion ($M)

Target

Ceiling

Qty

Target

Ceiling

Qty  Contractor

Program Manager

39.3     N/A      N/A      62.3     N/A      N/A

 

 

80.0     83.3

Variance

Cost Variance

 

Schedule Variance

Cumulative Variances To Date

-5.2      -4.5

Previous Cumulative Variances

-0.1      -5.3

Net Change

-5.1      +0.8

Cost And Schedule Variance Explanations

 

The unfavorable net change in the cost variance is due to the decision to accelerate activities associated with the retrofit of a first article Block 5 MQ-9. In addition, upfront costs required to re-align environmental testing activities under the prime contractor versus current arrangement with a subcontractor caused a short-term unfavorable cost variance. The remaining unfavorable cost variance is attributed to an updated forecast of the required iterations needed to complete activities on the Block 5 MQ-9 forward avionics bay redesign.

The favorable net change in the schedule variance is due to the decision to accelerate activities associated with the retrofit of a first article Block 5 MQ-9.

Contract Comments

The difference between the initial contract price target and the current contract price target is due to contract overruns and rebaselining.

MQ-9 UAS REAPER

Appropriation: Procurement  December 31, 2011 SARContract NameGWOT Aircraft  ContractorGeneral Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc Contractor LocationSan Diego, CA 92064 Contract Number, TypeFA8620-05-G-3028/50,  FFP Award DateNovember 26, 2008 Definitization DateJanuary 04, 2010

Initial Contract Price ($M)

Current Contract Price ($M)

Estimated Price At Completion ($M)

Target

Ceiling

Qty

Target

Ceiling

Qty

Contractor

Program Manager

115.2   N/A      16        315.7   N/A      52        315.7   315.7

Cost And Schedule Variance Explanations

Cost and Schedule variance reporting is not required on this FFP contract.

Contract Comments

The difference between the initial contract price target and the current contract price target is due to contract definitization, award of various contract options for additional requirements, and a change in quantity.

This contract is 90% complete and will no longer be reported.

MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

Appropriation: Procurement
Contract Name Multi-spectral Targeting System Production and Modification
Contractor Raytheon Company
Contractor Location McKinney, TX 75069
Contract Number, Type

FA8620-06-G-4041/10,  FFP/CPFF

Award Date July 23, 2009
Definitization Date

October 07, 2010

Initial Contract Price ($M)

Current Contract Price ($M)

 Estimated Price At Completion ($M)

Target

Ceiling

Qty

Target

Ceiling

Qty  Contractor

Program Manager

87.3     N/A      N/A      128.1   N/A      N/A

 

 

128.1   128.1

Variance

Cost Variance

 

Schedule Variance

Cumulative Variances To Date

0.0       0.0

Previous Cumulative Variances

—          —

Net Change

+0.0     +0.0

Cost And Schedule Variance Explanations  None Contract Comments

 

The difference between the initial contract price target and the current contract price target is due to quantity increases as the result of exercising contract options in support of Overseas Contingency Operation requirements.

This contract is more than 90% complete; therefore, this is the final report for this contract.

Cost and Schedule reporting is not required on the FFP portion of this contract. The value of the CPFF portion of the contract is below the $20M threshold for Earned Value Management (EVM) reporting. In lieu of EVM, the Program Office is using a Performance Cost Report to monitor contract expenditures against the budget.

MQ-9 UAS REAPER

Appropriation: Procurement  December 31, 2011 SARContract NameMQ-9 FY10 Production Effort  ContractorGeneral Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. Contractor LocationSan Diego, CA 92064 Contract Number, TypeFA8620-10-G-3038/28,  FFP Award DateFebruary 03, 2011 Definitization DateFebruary 03, 2011

Initial Contract Price ($M)

Current Contract Price ($M)

Estimated Price At Completion ($M)

Target

Ceiling

Qty

Target

Ceiling

Qty

Contractor

Program Manager

148.3   N/A      24        198.4   N/A      32        198.4   198.4

Cost And Schedule Variance Explanations

Cost and Schedule variance reporting is not required on this FFP contract.

Contract Comments

The difference between the initial contract price target and the current contract price target is due to exercise of contract options for additional units.

MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

Appropriation: Procurement
Contract Name MQ-9 FY09/10 Spares and Support Equipment
Contractor General Atomics – Aeronautical Systems Inc.
Contractor Location San Diego, CA 92127
Contract Number, Type FA8620-10-G-3038/35,  FFP
Award Date September 27, 2011
Definitization Date

September 27, 2011

Initial Contract Price ($M)

Current Contract Price ($M)

Estimated Price At Completion ($M)

Target

Ceiling

Qty

Target

Ceiling

Qty

Contractor

Program Manager

120.6   N/A      N/A

 

120.6 N/A N/A 120.6 120.6Cost And Schedule Variance Explanations

 

Cost and Schedule variance reporting is not required on this FFP contract.

Contract Comments

This is the first time this contract is being reported.

MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

Deliveries and Expenditures

 

Deliveries To Date

Plan To Date Actual To Date Total Quantity

Percent Delivered

Development 3   3

3

 100.00%
Production       92   90   401   22.44%
Total Program Quantities Delivered 95

93 404  23.02%Expenditures and Appropriations (TY $M)    Total Acquisition Cost13087.9Years Appropriated

11

 Expenditures To Date

1865.0

Percent Years Appropriated

40.74%

 Percent Expended

14.25%

Appropriated to Date

4549.5

 Total Funding Years

27

Percent Appropriated

34.76%

 

As of February 29, 2012, actual production deliveries were less than planned due to production process issues.  Issues have been corrected and deliveries are expected to be back on track by March 2012.

MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

Operating and Support Cost

 

Assumptions And Ground Rules

The Operating and Support (O&S) costs are from the Program Office (PO) estimate dated November 2011. The Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) costs are based upon approximately nine years of actual cost history.

The O&S estimate includes all Cost Analysis Improvement Group elements – Unit Personnel, Unit Operations, Maintenance, Sustaining Support, Continuing System Improvements, and Indirect Support. The MQ-9 UAS Reaper has been flying operations since 2002. Historical costs are attained from monthly CLS cost reports, Air Force Total Ownership Cost (AFTOC) actuals, and other data sources. Future costs are based on flying hour projects, manpower projections, the number of operating locations, and applicable rates and factors. Flying hours are based on the number of anticipated Combat Air Patrols (CAPs). Air Combat Command (ACC) defines a range of 5,840 – 8,760 flying hours per year per CAP.  The attrition rate is based upon the official Air Force Studies and Analysis MQ-9 UAS Reaper attrition model.  Quantity of aircraft per CAP will continue to vary based on mission requirements and future operations.

Unit Personnel costs are derived using the AFTOC database to determine an average cost per flying hour for operations, maintenance, and support personnel. Unit Operations cost factors include fuel, training munitions, and temporary duty costs. Maintenance costs include Operational-level (O-level), Depot-level (D-level), and Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) repair. Sustaining Support included D-level sustaining engineering and program management and system specific training derived from actual costs from previous years captured from the AFTOC database, and converted to a cost per flying hour. Continuing System Improvements costs include Reliability & Maintainability (R&M) Enhancements and Software Maintenance supported via the CLS contract. Indirect Support costs are based on factors from Air Force Instruction (AFI) 65-503 table A56-1, which were applied against manpower projections provided by Air Combat Command. Based on this information, the average cost per flying hour for an MQ-9 UAS Reaper is $3.253K and the average number of flying hours per tail per year is 918.7.  In order to convert to a cost per tail the PO multiplied the cost per flying hour by the average number of flying hours per tail per year, totaling $2.988M.

The cost per flying hour increased from the December 2010 SAR due to increases in CLS infrastructure, mishap repair, and projected Block 5 aircraft depot repair costs.  The increase in infrastructure costs is a result of increased field engineering support requests, technical order maintenance changes, software maintenance, and other support activities resulting from the planned fielding of additional aircraft and ground control station configurations.  The mishap repair costs were omitted from last year’s SAR.  The mishap repair costs are required to support continental United States and outside continental United States aircraft incidents.  The increase in depot repair costs results from the projected additional cost of the Block 5 aircraft configuration.

The PO received the MQ-9 Manpower Estimate Report (MER) and updated the O&S estimate with the Air Force Cost Analysis Agency and Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation. The O&S estimate will be updated as the program proceeds to the milestone C decision.

The total Operating and Support cost was derived by multiplying the average cost per flying hour for each cost element category (totaling $3.253K) by the total flying hours of the program (15,960,264 hours).   The expected operational life of the MQ-9 system is 43 years.

Disposal costs for the MQ-9 UAS Reaper are not known at this time.

MQ-9 UAS REAPER December 31, 2011 SAR

Costs BY2008 $M

Cost Element

MQ-9 UAS REAPER

Avg Annual Cost per Aircraft

MQ-1 Predator Avg Annual Cost per Aircraft

Unit-Level Manpower 0.712 0.293
Unit Operations 0.199 0.050
Maintenance 0.931 0.511
Sustaining Support 0.770 0.053
Continuing System Improvements 0.062 0.000
Indirect Support 0.314 0.303
Other

Total Unitized Cost (Base Year 2008 $)

2.988 1.210

Total O&S Costs $M

MQ-9 UAS REAPER MQ-1 Predator

 

Base Year       51920.9 7793.7

Then Year       77048.6 8448.6

By Sanindu Fonseka