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Connecting Skies Bridging Continents

LOCKHEED MARTIN CONDUCTS FIRST FLIGHT IN U-2 AVIONICS

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) delivered twin solid rocket booster segments to Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The boosters will help power NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket for the Artemis II mission and are the first element of the SLS rocket to be stacked on the mobile launch platform in preparation. The boosters will provide 7.2 million pounds of thrust at launch.


The successful first flight tested the new advanced capabilities aboard the U-2 as part of the ATR contract, including:

An updated avionics suite (communications, navigation, display, etc.) that modernizes the U-2’s onboard systems to readily accept and use new technology.


A new mission computer designed to the U.S. Air Force’s open mission systems (OMS) standard that enables the U-2 to integrate with systems across air, space, sea, land and cyber domains at disparate security levels.

New modern cockpit displays to make pilot tasks easier, while enhancing presentation of the data the aircraft collects to enable faster, better-informed decisions.


During this mission the aircraft successfully performed a low-altitude functional check flight to integrate new avionics, cabling and software.


“The successful first flight of the U-2 Avionics Tech Refresh is a significant moment in our journey to rapidly and affordably field new capabilities,” said Sean Thatcher, U-2 Avionics Tech Refresh program manager at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works. 


“Leveraging the platform’s open architecture, we’re expediting these capabilities needed for the future Joint All-Domain Operations battlespace.”


The ATR first flight marks a milestone in the U-2’s modernization efforts and its path to be the first fully OMS-compliant fleet. Further testing will solidify a mature software baseline before mission systems are introduced to ensure both functionality and interoperability to meet operational needs.


The U-2 ATR contract was awarded by the U.S. Air Force in 2020 and valued at $50 million.

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