Train, Fight, Win: How the Air Force will Break Barriers for the Next 70 Years

“We need global mobility, global intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, global strike, the ability to fight anytime, anywhere and win.” 

- U.S. Air Force Secretary Heather A. Wilson, June 5, 2017

In today’s world, complexity can be your greatest enemy or your greatest asset.

To ensure superiority against asymmetric threats, the U.S. Air Force will continue its heritage of breaking barriers and connect its systems and platforms into a cohesive 21st-century operational environment supported by the best-trained force and 5th generation systems in air and space. Airmen will analyze and disrupt the electromagnetic spectrum while defending or disrupting cyber networks. Future systems will have high-tech capabilities, including lasers and hypersonics. And all of these systems will be supported for the next 70 years with cost-effective fleet management and lifecycle sustainment teams.

Interoperable systems – like the F-35 and Aegis Weapon System – will expand the possibilities of land and sea dominance and drive national defense for the U.S. and its allies. To integrate operations, a secure intelligence network seamlessly links data from aircraft, ground and space systems – enabling complete battlespace awareness and giving Airmen the ability to fight anytime, anywhere and win.

“Lockheed Martin is working with the best of the best in government, industry and academia to close the gap on multi-domain operations,” said Steve Froelich, director of Operational Command & Control, Lockheed Martin C4ISR. “We’re working to advance methodologies in open architectures, predictive analytics, automation, battlefield sensing, pattern recognition and adaptive learning.”

In real time, commanders can then stitch together sensor data from all of these different platforms to create a single holistic picture of the battlefield. This allows them to detect and counter adversaries with Precision Fire systems before they become threats. 

“Timely and effective mission planning is essential in shaping the battle of the future. This means designing systems predicated on open architectures and using agile development processes that embrace change,” said Renee Pasman, director of Mission Systems Roadmaps, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works®. “By leveraging Lockheed Martin’s expertise in open systems architecture, we are able to rapidly and affordably integrate software onto legacy, new and future platforms, like the F-35 and JSTARS Recap programs.”

“The victory in future conflict will go to the leader who can command and control
his forces to create multiple dilemmas from multiple domains.” 

- U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein, March 2, 2017

Technology-to-Warfighting – The tools of combat capability

As threats continue to advance, our men and women in uniform must have the world’s most advanced technology to ensure their safety and mission effectiveness. From space assets like GPS IIIAdvanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) and Spaced Based Infrared System (SBIRS) to air platforms like the F-35A and its onboard advanced sensors, targeting pods and weapons – a technological edge is key.

“We look at the air, space and cyber domain holistically,” said Norm Malnak, vice president of F-35 Mission Systems. “In addition to innovating new technologies, we’re also focused on integrating existing solutions across domains, services and coalition allies, into a common operating picture that will vastly improve situational awareness – and ensure the right information is always available when and where it matters most.” 

The integrated and fused sensor suite on the F-35, for example, allows pilots to see a single integrated picture of the battlespace and automatically share that data with other pilots on the network using the most modern datalinks. These datalinks allow the F-35 to share data with other strike aircraft as well as other airborne, surface and ground-based platforms required to perform assigned missions.

The F-35’s sensor – known as the Electro-Optical Targeting System – is the first sensor to combine forward-looking infrared and infrared search and track to maximize targeting capability. Other electro-optical sensors that enable pilots to detect, identify and designate multiple targets at significant stand-off ranges include Sniper Advanced Targeting PodLegion Pod and INFIRNO.

Once targets are identified, warfighters can deploy a number of weapons systems to prosecute threats. The Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM®), and its extended range version JASSM-ER, are armed with a blast-penetrating warhead that can be used in all weather conditions. JASSM can be released from a variety of aircraft. JASSM-ER is fully compatible with B-1B aircraft and currently being integrated on the B-52, F-15E and F-16.

“We’re advancing the next generation of integrated sensors, targeting systems and munitions using innovative engineering, state-of-the-art manufacturing processes and high capacity production facilities,” said Paul Lemmo, vice president of Fire Control/Special Operations Forces Contractor Logistics Support Services at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “This helps us meet the growing demands of our customers.”

“Our adversaries are modernizing faster than we are, and it’s up to the U.S. Air Force to drive innovation so that they are surprised by just how powerful we are, how ready we are, for any fight, anytime, anywhere.”

- U.S. Air Force Secretary Heather A. Wilson, Aug. 9, 2017

Developing Airmen – The heart of combat capability

The heart of combat capability – and the Air Force’s greatest strength – is the airmen.

Pilots can be ready now with solutions like the T-50A, and live, virtual and constructive training solutions. The T-50A delivers the performance and capabilities needed to prepare pilots to fly, fight and win with 5th Generation fighter aircraft. Operating from a 5th Generation cockpit, the T-50A handles similar to the F-16, F-22 and F-35; creating better pilots by enabling them to focus their airmanship skills on the mission.

“This is a new era in military aviation. The F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II, the world’s only 5th Generation fighters, have advanced capabilities that have never been available before. Advanced pilot training is the key to taking advantage of them,” said Mark Ward, Lockheed Martin T-50A lead test pilot.

The F-35 for example, has the most advanced, comprehensive and effective simulation and training program. More than 490 F-35 pilots and 4,500 maintainers have qualified through the F-35 Training System, and seven partner nations have personnel in training. In the complex, multi-role tactical scenarios the F-35 was designed to fulfill, the F-35 Full Mission Simulator realistically represents the aerodynamic characteristics of the aircraft, and precisely models the aircraft’s sensor fusion and weapons employment capabilities. 

In the future, training will be fully immersive – students will train with interactive multimedia and augmented reality technology, and training devices will be available 24/7, inside and outside the classroom. 

Supporting the U.S. Air Force for the Next 70 Years

“Because the men of American aviation, civilian and military, set air supremacy as their goal, the United States possesses a commanding lead in its ability to produce and perform.”

- Dwight Eisenhower, first gathering of the Air Force Association, Sept. 15, 1947

Lockheed Martin has worked hand-in-hand with the U.S. Air Force in developing innovative solutions to meet its most challenging aviation requirements. Today, we do so with an understanding that readiness, innovation and affordability are crucial factors on the path to air supremacy – and we’re prepared to meet these challenges for the next 70 years.

Systems like the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), which the U.S. Air Force recently tested off a B1-B, the integration of Aegis and the F-35, and F-22 and F-35 interoperability as demonstrated at the recent Red Flag exercise, bring a new level of capability to both the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy.

The future relies on increased focus on lifecycle sustainment solutions to ensure our warfighters are ready to support the mission – whenever and wherever they’re needed.

“Sustainment encompasses innovations in training solutions, big data and predictive analytics, and driving efficiencies to deliver global readiness and response,” said Bruce Litchfield, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Sustainment Operations vice president. “By serving as the integrator for hundreds of suppliers around the world, and driving efficiencies thanks to data-driven diagnostics and maintenance, we are always finding innovative ways to deliver more readiness at less cost. Doing so means more capability to meet our nation’s security needs.”