Boeing Frontiers
December 2002/January 2003
Volume 01, Issue 08
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Rollin' on the river

Weapons targeted at new Enterprise Capability Center for Integrated Defense Systems


Jerry Tannehill Nestled on the west bank of the Missouri River, in St. Charles, Mo., northwest of St. Louis, is a unique Boeing facility that is the home of Weapons Programs.

It's been known as a center of excellence and a program management center. Now, Boeing has identified it as one of several Enterprise Capabilities Centers (ECCs) under the new Integrated Defense Systems business unit. Each ECC possesses a strategic capability that several business units share to achieve program goals.

Weapons Programs employees at St. Charles are uniquely able to assemble allup, or complete, missiles, including warheads and fuel for missile engines. The Weapons Programs ECC shares its munitions assembly area across Boeing programs that require that capability. Some programs, like Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) and Brimstone, an anti-armor, air-to-surface missile developed with MBDA of Europe, do not require this kind of assembly. But Boeing assembles both U.S. Navy and Air Force missiles in the facility, as it will the Small Diameter Bomb should it win a production contract.

Because of increased demand from the U.S. Department of Defense, a new facility for JDAM production will open at St. Charles in January 2003. The JDAM program obtained more than $1 billion in orders from October 2001 through September 2002. Recently, the Standoff Land Attack Missile-Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) program was able to increase orders over the small numbers that the U.S. Navy was ordering each year. Boeing also received the first international order for SLAM-ER in 2002.

New programs, such as Small Diameter Bomb, also are planned to transition out of Phantom Works and into the ECC.

Common technology framework

An Enterprise Capabilities Center (this is a new term for the Boeing IDS organization) offers a unique capacity to support programs across nine customer-facing business units—Army Systems, Air Force Systems, Naval Systems, NASA Systems, Missile Defense Systems, Homeland Security and Services, Space and Intelligence Systems, Launch and Satellite Systems and Aerospace Support. An ECC can help drive integration by providing the framework for common technologies and bringing together business units, Phantom Works and Business Development to share resources and develop common architectures. Each ECC is responsible for program execution for the business units that require its capabilities.

In addition to the Weapons Programs ECC, Integrated Defense Systems has established ECCs for Unmanned Systems and Tactical Aircraft, Satellites, Battle Management Command and Control, and Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance.

Within the Weapons ECC are programs that report to different IDS business units: Army Systems, Naval Systems and Air Force Systems. These business units manage the programs under their respective annual operating plans. There are also Phantom Works projects still in development in the areas of precision-guided munitions, standoff strike, land combat and critical subsystems.

Management of the Weapons ECC is the responsibility of Air Force Systems under George Muellner, senior vice president of Air Force Systems for Integrated Defense Systems. Mike Marks, vice president and general manager of U.S. Air Force Fighters, Bombers and Weapons, has responsibility for leadership of the ECC.

Besides program management and advanced engineering, functional support for the other support areas comes from St. Louis. These employees are shared resources, and the functional leads in St. Louis assign them to the ECC.

Resource sharing occurs not just with the St. Louis site, but within the ECC as well. Boeing applies critical technology, Lean manufacturing techniques and lessons learned across ECC programs, regardless of business unit.

For example, the Harpoon program, in developing the Harpoon Block II missile, has incorporated the inertial navigation system and global positioning system guidance unit developed for the JDAM. And JDAM served as the surrogate test platform for the Conventional Air-Launched Cruise Missile anti-jam module.

Although these programs belong to different IDS business units, the ECC works across business unit lines to share technology.

ECCs also share engineers across programs as needed to solve problems that others encounter.

IDS Supplier Management and Procurement also has fostered quality and lowered costs across ECC programs by using common suppliers.


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