P-8a MMA Celebrates Successful First Year - Southern Maryland Headline News

P-8a MMA Celebrates Successful First Year


NAVAIR’s Maritime Surveillance Program Office has led the P-8A Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA), the Navy’s replacement for the P-3C Orion, through one success after another during its first official year of existence.

“Good planning and outstanding organization as well as an open communication policy with senior Navy leadership and our prime contractor, Boeing, have contributed to this incredibly successful first year,” said Cmdr. Joe Rixey, P-8A MMA integrated product team lead. “P-8A is setting the standard for future acquisition programs.”

One year ago today, John Young, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, awarded the contract for system development and demonstration of the P-8A MMA to the Boeing-led team of CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Smiths Aerospace.

“This team is doing just an awesome job,” said Tony Parasida, vice president of Maritime Systems for Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. “The program is on cost, on schedule and performing better than planned, which is something many programs can’t claim at this point in development.”

Just three months after contract award, the Navy conducted a three-day system requirements review. The meeting concluded successfully with just a few action items that were quickly resolved.

“Boeing and the Navy are following the right principles and practices to ensure successful delivery of this weapon system to the warfighter,” Rixey said.

Last week, NAVAIR announced the MMA System Development and Demonstration Product Team was the first place winner of the NAVAIR Commander’s National Award for Program Management. The Commander’s Award is the highest team award within NAVAIR and recognizes the achievement of teams that have successfully supported the main goals of the command.

The team’s lengthy list of accomplishments includes a successful entry into the low-speed wind tunnel in October 2004 followed by high-speed wind tunnel tests that began in December. The teamwork made it possible to finish the three-month program a full week ahead of schedule, on March 18.

A successful integrated baseline review was held in December 2004 followed by system functional review (SFR) in April 2005. During the SFR, the second major technical review since contract award, the program received approval from a technical review board (TRB) to proceed toward the design phase.

“The MMA team was extremely well prepared,” said Stu Young, chairman of the SFR review board and technical director for the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems division. “The TRB had no reservations about general preparedness to proceed to preliminary design. This team is setting the standard by which others should be judged. Their progress since award is remarkable.”

The team is back in the wind tunnel testing a new wing configuration that was unveiled June 2. The team has made a minor design change to the wing extension from a blended winglet™ to a commercially proven raked or backswept wing tip, to better suit the Navy’s unique mission requirements and increases overall performance for maritime patrol missions.

The next major milestone for the P-8A MMA is preliminary design review (PDR). During PDR, the entire system architecture and initial design of the P-8A will be reviewed. Once PDR is completed, the program will march aggressively toward Critical Design Review slated for early 2007.

“The P-8A MMA government/industry team is well on its way to delivering a highly effective weapon system to the Warfighter by 2013,” Rixey said.

PHOTO: The P-8A MMA recently had a minor design change to its wing extension from a blended winglet™ to a commercially proven raked or backswept wing tip, to better suit the Navy’s unique mission requirements and increases overall performance for maritime patrol missions.

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