Virgin Orbit performs LauncherOne aircraft flight tests

The carrier aircraft for Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne system has performed a series of test flights in preparation for upcoming flights with the rocket attached.

The flights of the company’s Boeing 747 aircraft, nicknamed ‘Cosmic Girl,’ were the first since the company installed a pylon on the plane’s left wing that will be used to carry the LauncherOne rocket on future flights of the air-launch system.

The company disclosed few details about the test flights, but flight tracking services such as Flightradar24 list three flights of the aircraft in recent days, most recently, taking off from the Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, California. The flights ranged in duration from one and a half to three and a half hours in airspace over the Mojave Desert and over the Pacific Ocean off the California coast.

The company installed the pylon about a month ago, attached to a point on the wing between the fuselage and the inner engine designed to ferry a fifth, non-operational engine. Those test flights went ‘extremely well,’ according to a company official, calling it a ‘big milestone’ as the company.

If successful, those tests would clear the way for a first orbital launch attempt by LauncherOne “by the end of the year,” Ericson said.

 

NASA to launch advanced laser to measure Earth’s changing Ice

Next month, NASA will launch into space the most advanced laser instrument of its kind, beginning a mission to measure – in unprecedented detail – changes in the heights of Earth’s polar ice.

NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) will measure the average annual elevation change of land ice covering Greenland and Antarctica to within the width of a pencil, capturing 60,000 measurements every second.  

“The new observational technologies of ICESat-2 – a top recommendation of the scientific community in NASA’s first Earth science decadal survey – will advance our knowledge of how the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica contribute to sea level rise,” said Michael Freilich, director of the Earth Science Division in NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

ICESat-2 will extend and improve upon NASA's 15-year record of monitoring the change in polar ice heights, which started in 2003 with the first ICESat mission and continued in 2009 with NASA’s Operation IceBridge, an airborne research campaign that kept track of the accelerating rate of change.

ICESat-2 represents a major technological leap in our ability to measure changes in ice height. Its Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) measures height by timing how long it takes individual light photons to travel from the spacecraft to Earth and back.

“ATLAS required us to develop new technologies to get the measurements needed by scientists to advance the research,” said Doug McLennan, ICESat-2 project manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “That meant we had to engineer a satellite instrument that not only will collect incredibly precise data, but also will collect more than 250 times as many height measurements as its predecessor.”

ATLAS will fire 10,000 times each second, sending hundreds of trillions of photons to the ground in six beams of green light. The roundtrip of individual laser photons from ICESat-2 to Earth’s surface and back is timed to the billionth of a second to precisely measure elevation.

With so many photons returning from multiple beams, ICESat-2 will get a much more detailed view of the ice surface than its predecessor, ICESat. In fact, if the two satellites were flown over a football field, ICESat would take only two measurements – one in each end zone – whereas ICESat-2 would collect 130 measurements between each end zone.

As it circles Earth from pole to pole, ICESat-2 will measure ice heights along the same path in the polar regions four times a year, providing seasonal and annual monitoring of ice elevation changes.

Hundreds of billions of tons of land ice melt or flow into the oceans annually, contributing to sea level rise worldwide. In recent years, contributions of melt from the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica alone have raised global sea level by more than a millimeter a year, accounting for approximately one-third of observed sea level rise, and the rate is increasing.

ICESat-2 data documenting the ongoing height change of ice sheets will help researchers narrow the range of uncertainty in forecasts of future sea level rise and connect those changes to climate drivers.

ICESat-2 also will make the most precise polar-wide measurements to date of sea ice freeboard, which is the height of sea ice above the adjacent sea surface. This measurement is used to determine the thickness and volume of sea ice. Satellites routinely measure the area covered by sea ice and have observed an Arctic sea ice area decline of about 40 percent since 1980, but precise, region-wide sea ice thickness measurements will improve our understanding of the drivers of sea ice retreat and loss.

Although floating sea ice does not change sea level when it melts, its loss has different consequences. The bright Arctic ice cap reflects the Sun’s heat back into space. When that ice melts away, the dark water below absorbs that heat. This alters wind and ocean circulation patterns, potentially affecting Earth’s global weather and climate.

Beyond the poles, ICESat-2 will measure the height of ocean and land surfaces, including forests. ATLAS is designed to measure both the tops of trees and the ground below, which – combined with existing datasets on forest extent – will help researchers estimate the amount of carbon stored in the world’s forests. Researchers also will investigate the height data collected on ocean waves, reservoir levels, and urban areas.

Potential data users have been working with ICESat-2 scientists to connect the mission science to societal needs. For example, ICESat-2 measurements of snow and river heights could help local governments plan for floods and droughts. Forest height maps, showing tree density and structure, could improve computer models that firefighters use to forecast wildfire behavior. Sea ice thickness measurements could be integrated into forecasts the U.S. Navy issues for navigation and sea ice conditions.

“Because ICESat-2 will provide measurements of unprecedented precision with global coverage, it will yield not only new insight into the polar regions, but also unanticipated findings across the globe,” said Thorsten Markus, an ICESat-2 project scientist at Goddard. “The capacity and opportunity for true exploration is immense.”

 

Lockheed Martin, FMM deliver combat ships to US Navy

Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) delivered the future USS Sioux City, Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 11, and future USS Wichita, LCS 13, to the US Navy.

LCS 11 is the sixth Freedom-variant LCS designed and built by the Lockheed Martin-led industry team and will be commissioned at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, on Nov. 17. LCS 11 will be the first combat ship ever commissioned at the Naval Academy.

LCS 13 is the seventh Freedom-variant LCS designed and built by the Lockheed Martin-led industry team, and will be commissioned this winter.

"We look forward to the day the future USS Sioux City and USS Wichita join the fleet. LCS is a highly affordable, increasingly lethal and versatile ship," said Joe DePietro, vice president of Lockheed Martin's Small Combatants and Ship Systems. "LCS is a growing component in the U.S. Navy surface force, designed to fulfill critical missions around the world now and in the future."

LCS 11 and LCS 13 will be homeported at Naval Station Mayport, Florida, alongside USS Milwaukee (LCS 5), USS Detroit (LCS 7) and USS Little Rock (LCS 9).

"Today's important milestone was made possible by the investment and improvements made to our serial production line, which allowed us to realize our vision for a highly capable and efficient shipyard," said Jan Allman, FMM president and CEO. "Fincantieri Marinette Marine's shipbuilders are proud to deliver these proven warships, and we look forward to working with Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Navy to continue building these highly capable ships for the fleet."

With the delivery of LCS 11 and 13, Team Freedom has delivered seven Littoral Combat Ships to the US Navy. Seven ships are in various stages of production and test at Fincantieri Marinette Marine.

Lockheed Martin's Freedom-variant LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship, designed to support focused-missions in the areas of mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare. The Freedom-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals.

 

Airbus to provide E-NPKI system for secure communications

The NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency has awarded Airbus the Enterprise NATO Public Key Infrastructure (E-NPKI) contract to design, implement and deliver a new framework of services for the management of public key certificates. The purpose is to improve secure communications among NATO organizations as well as between NATO and other organizations and countries.

The new E-NPKI system will provide accredited certificate services on NATO networks up to secret level. Full service support including a test facility and training will take place across more than 70 NATO sites. The contract includes setting up a dedicated E-NPKI Service Desk that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It will ensure system availability, incident and configuration management as well as certificate and digital identity card management.

The capability delivered through this three-year firm fixed price contract will be incorporated into NCIA’s service catalogue and will enable NATO nations to procure the NATO approved service. 

The purpose of a public key infrastructure (PKI) is to facilitate the secure electronic transfer of information between people and entities, utilizing techniques of asymmetric cryptography. It enables security services, such as confidentiality, integrity, non repudiation, and authentication, by applying rigid processes of registration and issuance of digital certificates that bind public keys with respective identities of entities such as: people, services, devices and organizations.

An effective PKI is a combination of hardware and software products along with policies and procedures able to manage the life cycle of digital certificates including creation, storage, distribution, and revocation.

The E-NPKI project, together with the IT Modernization Project and the NATO Communications Infrastructure Project, are part of the wider IT modernization program named Polaris, which aims to transform NATO's static IT infrastructure into a homogeneous enterprise.

Airbus was awarded the NATO Communications Infrastructure Project few months ago. This new contract strengthens Airbus’s position as a NATO supplier for communication systems and services.

 

Head of Saudi Arabia’s defense industry talks Vision 2030

In spring 2016, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman unveiled a plan to reduce the country’s dependence on oil and to diversify the economy. The goal of Saudi Vision 2030, as that plan is known, is to make Saudi Arabia ‘the heart of the Arab and Islamic worlds, the investment powerhouse, and the hub connecting three continents.’

Among the sectors central to that vision is military. Taking cues from other countries in the region, Saudi Arabia stood up a single umbrella organization to lead its efforts in defense development and expertise: the Saudi Arabian Military Industries. Defense News spoke to CEO Andreas Schwer in an exclusive interview about the goals of SAMI, and what it could mean for global defense partnership and cooperation.

When the Vision 2030 program was established and defined by his royal highness, it became apparent right from the beginning that the defense industry would play a major role to achieve these global targets. So the defense industry, set up, is one of the major tasks of the Vision 2030 program. They established a team to define how this kind of defense industry should be set up. They were looking to comparable countries who are undergoing this kind of process — countries like Turkey, South Korea, South Africa or some Western countries. They have tried to learn the lessons out of that process.

 

Romania to deploy anti-ship missiles to protect Black Sea coast

The Romanian government has approved a decision to spend at least €137 million (US $159 million), excluding the value-added tax, on the purchase of anti-ship missiles that are to be deployed to the country’s Black Sea coast.

The Cabinet approved the planned acquisition along with other programs of strategic importance developed by the Defense Ministry, the government said in a statement.

Romanian Defense Minister Mihai Fifor has said he planned to award the contract by the end of the year.

According to a local news site, the potential bidders for the contract, which is scheduled to be financed between 2018-2023, could comprise one American and three European manufacturers. These include Boeing, offering its Harpoon missiles; MBDA, with the Exocet MM40 Block 3 systems; Kongsberg, offering its Naval Strike Missile; and Saab, with the RBS-15 Mk3 systems, produced in cooperation with Diehl BGT Defense.

Last February, Bucharest inked a letter of agreement with the US government to purchase the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System and Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems. The Romanian Cabinet is also pursuing plans to acquire Patriot air and missile defense systems after it signed an agreement last November.

 

MAEL to open component maintenance center in Northampton

Monarch Aircraft Engineering (MAEL), the leading independent MRO provider, is to open a new component maintenance center in Northampton in September 2018.

The new Center, in which MAEL has invested approximately £2 million, is being located in Northampton as that is mid-way between its Luton and Birmingham base maintenance facilities, and on the motorway network within four hours’ drive of all of its UK line maintenance stations.

Around 20 people will work at the new Component Maintenance Centre, with 10 new jobs being created. Lee Burgess, MAEL’s Head of Maintenance, will lead the Centre.

The Centre will have a wide range of capabilities, including:

Composite Repairs – repairs to an ISO class 9 standard, with composite oven supporting required repairs to both interior and exterior components

Welding – dedicated welding bay and flexible work space for support of larger weld repairs including techniques such as flame spraying 

Machining – vertical and horizontal milling machines, multiple lathes, and a range of other equipment to support repairs, part fabrication and tooling development

Cadmium Plating – trained operators supporting industry plating standards for base materials and applications, including PANTA process for composite repairs

Bearing Spinning – standard bearing removals and installation, including capabilities on high spec components such as V2500 Engine Mounts

Spraying – a spray booth large enough to facilitate a 787 elevator, with separate drying room catering for interior and exterior painting finishes

Heat Treatment – ovens compliant to industry standard for standard heat treatment and detail fabrication requirements

Therapeutic Oxygen cylinders – re-charging of breathing oxygen

Emergency batteries – re-charging of emergency power packs and batteries

Hardness Testing – material proof testing facilities

Aircraft Tooling - repairs and calibration services

Since becoming an independent MRO provider in October 2017, MAEL has announced a wide range of new agreements with airlines, which, in addition to Thomas Cook, include Virgin Atlantic Airways, China Airlines, Wizz Air, Icelandair and La Compagnie.

MAEL has permanent year-round stations at nine airports across the UK where it provides line maintenance support including all levels of maintenance on Airbus, Boeing, Embraer and Bombardier aircraft types.

 

SR Technics signs MRO agreement with Eurowings

SR Technics, is pleased to announce that it has signed a major engine maintenance, repair & overhaul agreement with Eurowings, the Lufthansa Group’s low-cost airline. The two-year agreement was signed at the end of June 2018 and covers part of the airline’s CFM56-5B fleet.

Cooperation with Eurowings began in January of this year and in order to meet the demands of the carrier’s large engine shop visit demands, SR Technics provided single engine shop visit offers to customize its services. This, combined with slots that met the carrier’s planning needs and SR Technics’ continuous support, was key to clinching the two-year contract.

All work under the new agreement will be completed at SR Technics Zurich Airport facility and covers engine maintenance, repair and overhaul solutions, including airfoils repairs in SR Technics’ Cork, Ireland facility, and the full parts and material management for more than 30 engines. As Eurowings is a major player among Europe’s low-cost carriers, there is plenty of room for synergies with other areas of SR Technics moving forward.

“We are delighted to have won Eurowings as a customer,” says Michael Sattler, Chief Commercial Officer at SR Technics. “This clearly reflects on our excellent relationship with Eurowings, and our ability to adapt to challenging scheduling requirements and offer flexible solutions.”

Michael Knitter, Chief Operations Officer of Eurowings states, “Optimal technical support for our aircraft is an essential prerequisite for the success of Eurowings. As currently the fastest growing airline in Europe, we rely only on the best service providers. We are proud to be able to rely also on SR Technics for this.”

 

Magnetic MRO unveils RFID to manage inventories between all facilities

Magnetic MRO, has launched another unmanned RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) Tool Control system, resulting in two advanced Tool Gates and one RFID Kiosk in total throughout its facilities in Tallinn, Estonia. The project is designed and upgraded for fully automated inventory transactions, supported by CribMaster’s latest software, so that all hangars can communicate with each other without any manual input.

“We are proud to be one of the few pioneers in the market who has this advanced inventory management system in-house, providing cost- and time-effective results both for our customers and organization itself,” says Maksim Kolesnik, Magnetic MRO Facility & Tooling Manager. “Following the new system launch, we have officially become the first company in this entire region who can provide the desired efficiency during our diverse operations.”

Upgrading its RFID systems to an advanced level, Magnetic MRO is now able to provide full quality control for calibration servicing and testing, as well as ultimate convenience for issuing tools and equipment accompanied by easy returning options. System also allows employees to assign the relevant tools to respective task cards in order to improve preparation period and optimize operational safety and control. 

Magnetic MRO is also preparing to launch CribMaster Mobile to improve the user experience and avoid unnecessary time consumption arising from obligatory desktop interactions.  

 

Etihad celebrates Emirati Women’s Day

Etihad Aviation Group is recently marked the 2018 Emirati Women’s Day by hosting several events at its Abu Dhabi headquarters and releasing a video series that focuses on women in aviation.

The special events took place at Etihad included circle discussions allowing Etihad’s female employees to share their unique stories. A photography exhibition featuring portraits of pioneering female leaders from a range of UAE working environments, including aviation, was also being displayed at the headquarters.

Ibrahim Nassir, Chief Human Resources & Organizational Development Officer, said, “At Etihad, we understand the importance of a diverse workforce and value the significant contribution made by the women in our organization. More than half of our UAE National workforce are women, who work in diverse roles across the business including pilots, aircraft engineers and technicians.”

Amina Taher, Vice President Corporate Affairs, said, “It is our responsibility to empower women to achieve success across all areas of our business. We are proud of the contributions made by the Emirati women at Etihad and strive to support their career growth and development. We encourage mentoring and training to ensure our talent is nurtured and developed, and this is proudly showcased throughout the video series which is launched today.”

To celebrate Emirati Women’s Day, there were books about famous Emirati women available for staff to read in the new reading corner and community library at its headquarters, courtesy of Jarir Bookstore. Etihad employees also enjoyed coffee while reading, thanks to Nespresso.

Emirati Women’s Day is held every year to mark the creation of the UAE General Women’s Union in 1975. The occasion is dedicated to celebrating the achievements of Emirati women and is testament to the progress that has been made towards gender balance in the UAE.

 

Female Emirati air traffic controller helps in growing aviation industry

In a field that is behind the times when it comes to gender equality, Nouf Al Afifi is a shining example of the role women can play in helping to grow the aviation industry.

Becoming one of the first and only Emirati women air-traffic controllers when she passed the General Civil Aviation Authority's extended training program in 2011, Ms. Al Afifi and has been working at the Sheikh Zayed Air Navigation Centre ever since.

The center is the busiest and most advanced air traffic control facility in the Middle East. It handles more than 2,200 air traffic movements per day for the eight international airports in the UAE, as well as aircraft crossing UAE air space.

“My passion for aviation started at a very young age and while preparing to interview for the National Cadet Pilot Program I read about air traffic control, and, I guess, I found my dream job,” said Al Afifi.

But, while the 28-year-old is thriving in a job that’s frequently described as one of the most hectic in aviation, she remains a minority in a field that is still largely dominated by men.

“When I first started training, I faced issues with those who did not want to see women pursue non-traditional and challenging careers,” said Al Afifi, who is now a supervisor at the center.

“Many pilots, regardless of nationality, were not used to female air-traffic controllers so I had to become stricter and show them that I am able to do my job.

“I worked in an office filled with men and managed to win their respect and appreciation.”

Out of the 130,000 pilots who are employed globally, just 4,000 are women, which means they make up just 3 per cent of the workforce. The board of the International Air Transport Association is also almost exclusively male.

But with the aviation industry suffering a shortage of people entering into training as it continues to see strong growth, schools, such as Sharjah International Airport's Alpha Aviation Academy, are looking to attract more women to fill the shortage.

The Saudi Academy of Civil Aviation is also running a women's air traffic control course as part of a program to create more jobs for Saudi women.

Part of the problem has been that girls being are fed images of women as cabin crew and men as pilots and controllers. While Ms Al Afifi’s immediate families were supportive of her career choices, some of her friends and relatives said that being an air traffic controller was a job ‘unfit for women’.

"I always reply 'why would any man be a better fit for this job?'" she said.

 

NCAT introduces new flight training courses

CAE and Abu Dhabi Aviation Training Centre (ADATC) have recently received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for Part 142 training on a new Embraer ERJ 145 full-flight simulator (FFS). The certification enables the centre to conduct FAA-approved training, testing and certification for type-ratings on that platform. In November 2017, CAE and ADATC announced the introduction of the new ERJ145 pilot training program in the Middle-East, with Falcon Aviation as the launch customer.

“We are glad to receive approval from the FAA for Part 142 training and begin training FAA operators on the new CAE-built Embraer ERJ 145 FFS,” said H.E. Nadir Al Hammadi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Aviation. “We are committed to delivering best-in-class training to our customers.”

“Receiving certification for training is always an important milestone. We’re delighted that our latest Embraer ERJ 145 full-flight simulator is now ready-for- training to support FAA operators,” said Nick Leontidis, CAE’s Group President, Civil Aviation Training Solutions. “We look forward to offering outstanding customer training experiences to operators in collaboration with ADA long into the future.”

CAE and ADA share a relationship that spans over a decade. Together they deliver world-class training, supporting ADA and other regional operators’ training needs through CAE instructor-led training, comprehensive courseware, and innovative training equipment. ADA currently operates four CAE-built FFSs, including the Embraer ERJ145.

CAE, ADATC receives FAA certification for new pilot training program

CAE and Abu Dhabi Aviation Training Centre (ADATC) have recently received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for Part 142 training on a new Embraer ERJ 145 full-flight simulator (FFS). The certification enables the centre to conduct FAA-approved training, testing and certification for type-ratings on that platform. In November 2017, CAE and ADATC announced the introduction of the new ERJ145 pilot training program in the Middle-East, with Falcon Aviation as the launch customer.

“We are glad to receive approval from the FAA for Part 142 training and begin training FAA operators on the new CAE-built Embraer ERJ 145 FFS,” said H.E. Nadir Al Hammadi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Aviation. “We are committed to delivering best-in-class training to our customers.”

“Receiving certification for training is always an important milestone. We’re delighted that our latest Embraer ERJ 145 full-flight simulator is now ready-for- training to support FAA operators,” said Nick Leontidis, CAE’s Group President, Civil Aviation Training Solutions. “We look forward to offering outstanding customer training experiences to operators in collaboration with ADA long into the future.”

CAE and ADA share a relationship that spans over a decade. Together they deliver world-class training, supporting ADA and other regional operators’ training needs through CAE instructor-led training, comprehensive courseware, and innovative training equipment. ADA currently operates four CAE-built FFSs, including the Embraer ERJ145.

ATP Flight School expands with new orders from Textron Aviation

Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. company, announced recently at Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture 2018 that longtime customer ATP Flight School has placed an order for 10 Cessna Skyhawk 172 aircraft — growing the school’s fleet of Skyhawk pistons to nearly 150 — 50 of which Textron Aviation will have delivered new since 2016, further securing the Skyhawk’s reputation as the world’s premier flight trainer.

“Renowned for its proven dependability, superior flight characteristics and modern technology, the Cessna Skyhawk has long been revered as the world’s flight trainer of choice, a testament to Textron Aviation’s expertise and support of training the next generation of pilots,” said Chris Crow, Textron Aviation vice president of piston sales. “As ATP continues to grow its fleet to train the next generation of pilots, this order underscores the relevance of the time-tested Skyhawk platform and ATP’s unwavering confidence in Textron Aviation.”

The 10 ordered Skyhawks feature Garmin G1000 NXi avionics with autopilot technology that complies with the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) recently implemented Technically Advanced Aircraft (TAA) rule. Under this rule, students can exclusively train in the Cessna Skyhawk to complete both their commercial rating and their checkrides for commercial and certified flight instructor (CFI) ratings.

“The success of our students and instructors is paramount," said Justin Dennis, ATP president. "As the largest supplier of pilots to regional airlines, we are proud to continue our investment in our students' careers, providing greater access to reliable aircraft."

In 2017, Textron Aviation delivered 129 Skyhawk aircraft, furthering establishing it as the flight trainer of choice for pilots and flight schools around the world. With more than 44,000 put in to service, the Cessna Skyhawk has trained more pilots than any other platform.

Developing deep understanding of operations, technologies and customers through leadership positions

Thomas A. Kennedy, Ph.D. Chairman of the Board and CEO Raytheon Company

 Dr. Thomas A. Kennedy is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Raytheon Company.

Kennedy joined Raytheon in 1983, starting in engineering on radar development.

During his more than 30 years with the company, he has developed a deep

understanding of the company’s operations, technologies and customers through leadership positions in many different locations and functions.

Before adding the responsibilities of chairman to his position in October 2014, Kennedy became CEO in March 2014, and was elected to Raytheon’s Board of Directors in January 2014. He also serves as chairman of Forcepoint — a Raytheon joint venture established in 2015 to provide defense-grade cybersecurity solutions for the commercial market.

Prior to his current roles, Kennedy was executive vice president and chief operating officer, leading the consolidation of Raytheon’s six businesses to four to enhance productivity, agility and affordability of company operations and increasing international business. Kennedy also provided direct leadership to Raytheon business presidents and enterprise functional leaders including Engineering, Technology and Mission Assurance; Contracts and Supply Chain; Business Development; and Global Business Services.

Previously, Kennedy served as a Raytheon Company vice president and president of the Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) business, overseeing a broad portfolio of weapons, sensors and integration systems spanning multiple mission areas and provided to a range of domestic and international customers.

Before leading IDS, Kennedy served as vice president of Tactical Airborne Systems (TAS) for the Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems business. At TAS, he was responsible for overall strategic direction and operation of the organization. He also served as Mission Systems Integration vice president with responsibility for the UK Ministry of Defense Airborne Stand-Off Radar program.

Prior to joining Raytheon, Kennedy served in the US Air Force where he attained the rank of captain. That service inspired his passion for supporting veterans, military families and STEM-focused educational initiatives that drive diversity. Under Kennedy, Raytheon has established partnerships and initiatives with Student Veterans of America, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Girls Scouts of the USA. He is honorary chairman of MATHCOUNTS®.

Kennedy is chairman of the Aerospace Industries Association’s Board of Governors, where he is advancing the industry’s causes and helping member companies be more competitive in the global marketplace. He also provides leadership as amember of the Business Roundtable, the Rutgers School of Engineering Industry Advisory Board, the UCLA Engineering Dean’s Executive Board and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Presidential CEO Advisory Board.

In 2017, Kennedy was honored with the USS Constitution Museum’s Charles Francis Adams Award for community service, and in 2003, he received the Aviation Week Laureate Award for his achievements on the Active Electronically Scanned Array program. He holds several patents related to radar and electronic warfare systems.

Kennedy earned a doctorate in engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles; and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Rutgers University and the Air Force Institute of Technology, respectively.

This year, Raytheon Company has been selected as the cybersecurity advisor to the Royal Hashemite Court of the Kingdom of Jordan. The company's Intelligence, Information and Services business will provide cyber protection solutions and counsel to help defend critical systems and infrastructure across the Kingdom.

Raytheon will provide the Royal Hashemite Court with cybersecurity services to protect its critical infrastructure systems, including conducting vulnerability assessments, cyber test range services, cyber governance and policy strategy. The Royal aviation fleet will undergo a holistic vulnerability assessment to ensure all integrated systems are hardened and resilient to cyberattacks.

Moreover, Raytheon Company received a $96.1 million contract to produce 250 Miniature Air-Launched Decoys, or MALD® missiles. The US Air Force award occurred just prior to Raytheon marking its 2,000th MALD system delivery, and 10th year of on-time customer deliveries.

The MALD-J decoy is the jammer variant of the basic decoy, and the first ever stand- in jammer to enter production.

The MALD system is an air-launched missile with both decoy and jamming capabilities that can electronically stimulate and then neutralize enemy air defense systems. Raytheon produces the MALD-J jamming variant, and is also developing a system for the US Navy.

The Air Force has completed aircraft integration and the Navy is planning to integrate the missile onto their fleet aircraft.

FAA proposes new engine test for bird ingestion

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed an extra certification test to address the problem of birds flying into aero-engines and causing engine failures during take-off and landings.

The current regulation, 14 CFR 33.76 requires the testing of a turbofan engine’s fan blades to ensure they continue to operate if a bird is sucked into them, but does not cover a bird’s impact inside the engine core.

The new test requirement being proposed by the FAA will mean that to obtain certification, engine manufacturers will have to show that the engine core can operate after “ingesting amedium sized bird while operating at the lower fan speed associated with climb or landing”.

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