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VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., Oct. 8, 2009 — The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA], through its commercial launch business, today successfully launched the WorldView-2 satellite for DigitalGlobe aboard a Delta II rocket.
Liftoff occurred at 11:51 a.m. Pacific time from Pad SLC-2W at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The Delta II released WorldView-2 approximately 62 minutes after liftoff, delivering it into a sun-synchronous orbit where the satellite will begin its mission of collecting and recording commercial, high-resolution Earth imagery.
“We are pleased to provide another successful launch for DigitalGlobe,” said Ken Heinly, director of Boeing Launch Products & Services and president of Boeing Launch Services. “Today’s launch of WorldView-2 marks the 91st consecutive successful launch of the highly reliable and dependable Delta II launch vehicle.”
The first of the DigitalGlobe next-generation class of imaging satellites, WorldView-1, was launched by a Delta II in September 2007.
United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin, provides the Delta II launch vehicle and mission services under a commercial contract administered by Boeing Launch Services.
Boeing Launch Services is a customer-focused subsidiary that provides business development, sales, procurement and program management of Delta launch services for commercial customers. It is part of the Space Exploration division of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems and is based in Huntington Beach, Calif.
BRUSSELS, Oct. 8, 2009 — The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] is demonstrating a virtual, networked security system for military force protection this week at the NATO-sponsored BELCOAST 09 technology conference at Koksijde Air Base, Belgium.
Boeing’s Visual Security Operations Console (VSOC) Virtual Shield integrates a variety of sensors, mobile hardware and command-and-control software to give commanders a centralized tool for establishing and maintaining situational awareness around military bases. The system collects and collates sensor data in real time, displays the combined data on user-friendly computer consoles, and can be reconfigured quickly to adapt to new situations.
“This force protection system provides a clear, comprehensive and timely picture of the environment around critical infrastructure, even a military base spread over many miles,” said Tim Peters, vice president of Boeing Global Security Systems. “This capability will help military and civilian users identify and neutralize threats rapidly, making people and facilities dramatically safer.”
VSOC Virtual Shield builds on Boeing’s VSOC Sentinel software to provide a range of configuration options that integrate seamlessly with legacy components.
ST. LOUIS, Oct. 8, 2009 — The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has signed Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contracts with the U.S. government to provide Laser Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) to two international customers.
The FMS contracts are part of a $98 million indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract for Laser JDAM production and integration that Boeing received in August. The weapons are scheduled for delivery in 2010.
“There is strong international interest in Laser JDAM because it engages both stationary and moving targets with tremendous precision,” said Dan Jaspering, Boeing director of Direct Attack Programs. “There are more than 20 countries that have JDAM, and we expect many of them will adopt Laser JDAM within the next few years.”
A recent Block 08 update to the weapon system’s software increases Laser JDAM’s effectiveness against targets that are turning, accelerating or decelerating. Boeing has completed two successful maneuvering target missions with the Block 08 software, which is expected to be fielded in 2010. In February, Laser JDAM engaged and destroyed a target traveling at an initial speed of 55 miles per hour that quickly decelerated shortly before weapon impact. The second test took place in August against a target traveling at an initial speed of 50 miles per hour that made a sharp turn shortly before weapon impact.
“This enhanced capability makes Laser JDAM an even greater asset for our customers,” added Jaspering. “If the target can be laser-tracked, Laser JDAM will hit it.”
Laser JDAM consists of the standard JDAM guidance tailkit and a Precision Laser Guidance Set kit that acquires and tracks laser target signals. The weapon is designed to accurately and effectively engage both stationary and fast-moving targets. The tailkit and laser guidance set are easily attached in the field to convert 500-pound bombs into precision laser or GPS-guided munitions.
LONG BEACH, Calif., Oct. 7, 2009 — The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today delivered a third C-17 Globemaster III to the NATO Airlift Management Organization (NAMO) in support of NAMO’s 12-nation Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) initiative. The delivery, which took place at Boeing’s final assembly facility in Long Beach, completes SAC’s first fleet of the advanced airlifters.
Assigned to SAC’s Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW) at Pápa Air Base in western Hungary, SAC 03 will support International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) operations in Afghanistan as well as the airlift requirements of SAC member nations.
“The delivery of SAC’s third C-17 fulfills a vision that came to life three years ago,” the HAW’s wing commander, U.S. Air Force Col. John Zazworsky, said to Boeing employees at the delivery ceremony. “A vision that 12 nations could form a unique partnership to jointly own and operate the world’s most advanced airlifter to save lives and to meet their critical airlift requirements. We’ve done it, and with unparalleled cooperation.”
Jean Chamberlin, Boeing vice president and general manager, Global Mobility Systems, offered the company’s best wishes to Zazworsky and the SAC nations “as you deploy the C-17’s tremendous capabilities while supporting humanitarian, disaster-relief and peacekeeping missions.”
“On behalf of all our C-17 employees and suppliers, always remember that wherever the SAC C-17s go, whatever the mission, you will have our support,” Chamberlin added.
The HAW, which was activated on July 27, conducted its first mission to Afghanistan in September when it delivered materiel to Mazar-e-Sharif to supply Swedish troops. The wing had already flown several operational missions, including flights to support Kosovo Force troops in Kosovo. The first trip to Afghanistan, however, was a particularly important milestone for the SAC program, which was launched three years ago to acquire three C-17s to meet member nations’ strategic airlift requirements.
The SAC group includes 10 NATO nations — Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, United States — and Partnership for Peace members Sweden and Finland. They will share acquisition and operating costs for the fleet of three C-17s over a nearly 30-year agreement.
NAMA is responsible for the acquisition, day-to-day management, and support of the C-17 fleet on behalf of NATO and all participating SAC nations. A Boeing team based at Pápa provides additional support for the SAC C-17s, including material management and depot maintenance support, under Boeing Global Services & Support’s C-17 Globemaster III Sustainment Partnership.
A total of 19 C-17s are in service with international customers, including the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force, the Royal Australian Air Force, the Canadian Defence Forces, the SAC consortium, and Qatar. Later this year, Boeing anticipates an order from the United Arab Emirates. The company also has delivered 189 of 213 contracted C-17s to the U.S. Air Force.
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft has launched its Extended Service Program (ESP) to extend the economic life of the Dash 8-100 turboprop to 120,000 flight cycles from the original 80,000 flight cycles. Launch customer for the Dash 8-100 ESP is Widerøe’s Flyveselskap AS of Norway.
The Dash 8-100 aircraft entered service in December 1984, and today – as its 25th anniversary approaches – there are an estimated 240 in service throughout the world. Bombardier estimates the near-term market for the ESP would be the approximately 100 Dash 8-100 aircraft which have flown 50,000 or more cycles.
“The first Dash 8-100 aircraft in our fleet entered service in 1993 and have each done about 60,000 cycles so the Extended Service Program will give the airplanes another 10 or 12 years of useful life,” said Lars Kobberstad, Chief Executive Officer of Widerøe.
“The Dash 8-100 aircraft is a robust and reliable turboprop and the extension program will further enhance its operational value to customers,” said Benjamin Boehm, Vice-President, Programs, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “The ESP will be accomplished through structural and engineering analysis, utilizing extensive fatigue and test data that has been accumulated on the Dash 8 aircraft, and will be initiated through a Service Bulletin, which will make reference to a new Maintenance Supplement.”
As launch customer, Widerøe will incorporate the Service Bulletin and Maintenance Program Supplement and arrange for the replacement of some structural and systems components as identified by the Service Bulletin.
While initially aimed at the Dash 8-100 aircraft model, the ESP could be expanded to apply to the Dash 8-200 and Dash 8-300 aircraft as they approach the 80,000 cycle mark.
Mr. Boehm said that third-party facilities are interested in offering other Dash 8-100 upgrades such as new interiors and the addition of a modern “glass” cockpit with large LCD displays.