A-10 Prime Team adds smart weapons capability to A-10C flight-test program

OWEGO, NY, 23 March 2006. The A-10 Prime Team, led by Lockheed Martin, has supplied a new weapons delivery system to the U.S. Air Force's A-10C flight-test program. The Digital Stores Management System (DSMS) is integrated with the Sniper and LITENING targeting pods to deliver "smart" weapons capability.

"The new system automates many of the weapons control functions that A-10 pilots today perform manually," says Roger Il Grande, A-10 program director at Lockheed Martin Systems Integration - Owego.

Able to integrate with either targeting pod, the DSMS is designed to improve an A-10 pilot's ability to identify targets, as well as to offer laser guidance of precision air-to-ground weapons.

The U.S. Air Force has designated Joint Direct Attack Munitions and Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser guidance kits for the A-10C aircraft. Each kit converts existing free-fall bombs into guided "smart" weapons, enabling pilots to attack from higher altitudes and in adverse weather conditions.

The Air Force has been conducting flight-testing of the A-10C at Eglin Air Force Base, FL, and at Nellis Air Force Base, NV, since early 2005. Deployments of A-10C aircraft to operational squadrons will begin in early 2007.

The DSMS weapons capability is the latest in a series of upgrades delivered by the Prime Team for the A-10 Precision Engagement (PE) program.

PE includes a new cockpit instrument panel with two 5x5-inches multifunction color displays, a new stick grip and right throttle to provide true hands-on-throttle and-stick (HOTAS) fingertip control of aircraft systems, and six weapons pylons upgraded to precision weapons-capability. Lockheed Martin is delivering the cockpit hardware as kits to the Air Force for installation by the depot at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

Using the HOTAS, the pilot can designate the targeting pod to monitor an area of interest, confirm target identification, and provide laser guidance to the weapon.

Integration of the targeting pods and DSMS took place in Lockheed Martin's A-10 Systems Integration Lab (SIL) in Owego, N.Y.

As A-10 prime contractor and systems integrator under the direction of the Air Force A-10 program office (508th Attack Sustainment Squadron), Lockheed Martin Systems Integration - Owego leads a team that includes BAE Systems, Johnson City, N.Y.; Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Tex.; and Northrop Grumman Corporation, St. Augustine, Fla.

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