Boeing Joint Strike Fighter Program Completes Successful Initial Design Review

he Boeing Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program has successfully passed its Concept Demonstrator Aircraft Initial Design Review (IDR), paving the way for fabrication and assembly of the company's two X-32 aircraft.

"Our sessions with program officials were extremely productive and our design concept was well-received," said Frank Statkus, JSF program manager for Boeing. "Based on the customer feedback we received, Boeing clearly stands ready to deliver on its commitments."

The combined IDR and Concept Demonstration Contract Program Management Review (PMR) addressed significant aspects of the Boeing demonstrator aircraft design including airframe and subsystem reviews, air vehicle weight, propulsion system flight integration and the Preferred Weapon System Concept (PWSC), manufacturing planning, flight simulation planning, and first flight elements.

The IDR and PMR also highlighted several significant program achievements including air vehicle weight, which was well below the weight Boeing committed to at the kick-off in January, and PWSC affordability planning. Additional accomplishments included several recent propulsion system tests demonstrating the engine compatibility of the JSF direct lift system components and the high-speed inlet/forebody compression system, all of which are crucial to gaining first-flight certification.

Also participating in the IDR and PMR were representatives from the United Kingdom Royal Navy, Norway and the Netherlands, who recently signed memoranda of understanding to participate in the JSF program.

"We are pleased our new international partners have come into the program when it's doing as well as it is," Statkus said. "Our team has worked extremely hard to ensure that we met the pre-IDR affordability, performance and supportability criteria established by the Joint Strike Fighter program office."

Prior to IDR, Boeing completed preliminary design and baseline reviews, and successfully met 119 established criteria necessary to reach IDR. The two-week-long series of presentations concluded with a program management review (PMR) covering overall management performance, for which Boeing also received high marks.

Boeing was awarded a $662 million contract from the Department of Defense in late 1996 for the Concept Demonstration Phase (CDP) of the Joint Strike Fighter program. During the four-year CDP, Boeing will build and flight-test two demonstrator airplanes. One aircraft will demonstrate characteristics of both the Air Force and allied conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) and the Navy's CV variants. The second aircraft will demonstrate the STOVL variant envisioned for use by the Marine Corps, the United Kingdom Royal Navy and other U.S. allies.

Boeing also will demonstrate critical technologies, processes and characteristics of its plan to produce an affordable JSF, and define a multi-service preferred weapon system concept for the next phase of the JSF program, the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) program. A competition winner will be selected in 2001, with actual fighter deployment set for 2008.