Boeing successfully completed a comprehensive series of reviews with Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) officials including affordability and performance aspects of the company's operational aircraft design and two JSF demonstrator aircraft (X-32).
"These were highly successful reviews that allowed Boeing to showcase many of the military and commercial best practices and technologies we're building on to produce the world's most affordable next generation strike fighter," said Frank Statkus, Boeing vice president, general manager, and JSF program manager. "We were able to demonstrate to our customer that the Boeing JSF program is healthy, on time and on budget."
Boeing is building two X-32 demonstrator aircraft while defining characteristics for the operational aircraft - the Preferred Weapon System Concept (PWSC). One X-32 will demonstrate characteristics of the U.S. Air Force's requirement for conventional takeoff and landing and the U.S. Navy's aircraft carrier variant; the second will demonstrate the short takeoff/vertical landing variant envisioned for use by the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.K. Royal Navy. The PWSC will be built following the engineering and manufacturing development phase.
During the program review, Boeing presented design and affordability data for both current and future program phases to officials from the JSF program, U.K. government, and representatives from Denmark, Norway and The Netherlands, which are participating as associate partners in the program, and Canada, which is participating as an informed partner.
Boeing briefings focused on technologies, aircraft performance and best practices; and, unique demonstrations focused on reducing cost while mitigating risk. Additional discussions covered weight management, recent propulsion and inlet tests, the next full mission simulation, mission systems and cockpit configuration.
"The Boeing JSF concept will meet or exceed the capability needs of our customers at - or below - the established cost goals," Statkus added. "Exceeding those cost figures is simply not an option for this program," he concluded.
Prior to the program review, the Boeing JSF team participated in a PWSC-unique demonstration review highlighting maturing technologies, manufacturing and production processes that will provide critical balance between affordability and performance in the operational aircraft. Specific discussions focused on airframe design, propulsion and mission systems, cockpit design, final assembly planning and correlation between the two evolving X-32 demonstrator aircraft and PWSC.
Boeing is competing to build the JSF under a four-year U.S. Navy and Air Force concept demonstration phase contract awarded in late 1996.