Volume 03, Issue 11
|Integrated Defense Systems|
The next step in refueling
The newest Boeing aerial refueling tanker/transport, the KC-767A, is undergoing preparations for first flight after making its formal debut. Bathed in lights of the green, white and red of the Italian flag, the aircraft rolled out at the Boeing plant in Wichita, Kan., in late February.
The KC-767A builds on a six-decade tradition of Boeing leadership in air-to-air refueling that would amaze those who first transferred fuel between aircraft in flight using a five-gallon gas can more than 80 years ago.
Italy's air force launched the tanker program with its selection in 2001 of four KC-767s for its tanker/transport modernization, and will take delivery of the rollout aircraft in 2006. The Japan Defense Agency also has ordered three KC-767As, with a fourth expected to be ordered in 2005.
On to the Next Level
This testing, including further flight tests and increasingly powerful tests of the laser, follows major ABL milestones "first light" and first flight in late 2004.
Boeing is the prime contractor and systems integrator of the ABL program. ABL places a megawatt-class, high-energy Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser, Beam and Fire Control, and Battle Management systems on a modified Boeing 747-400 aircraft to detect, track and destroy ballistic missiles in the boost phase of flight. ABL also can pass information on launch site location, target track and predicted impact point to other layers of the global ballistic missile defense system.
Analyzing problems and evaluating possible solutions. Modeling and simulating the behaviors of future system-of-systems environments before they're built. Saving time and money. Demonstrating the benefits of alternative network-centric solutions.
These are just a few of the benefits afforded by the modeling, simulation and analysis disciplines, and one new Integrated Defense Systems organization has set out to do all that and much more.
The Analysis, Modeling and Simulation organization was created late last year to integrate and strengthen the modeling, simulation and analysis capabilities that have been developed throughout the company over the past 35 years. The team is charged with providing the environment, resources and the facilitation for seamless collaboration among the more than 2,500 people in programs and laboratories across Boeing involved in various aspects of modeling, simulation and analysis. In creating AMS, Boeing is taking better advantage of existing capabilities within the company, without having to invest in new facilities or staff.
Masters at their craft
Boeing is focusing more intently than ever on core competencies such as high-end design and systems integration. For the many products and services that do not coincide with its core competencies, the company uses a supply chain that includes smaller, specialized companies that have proven in competition that they are the best in their class.
In light of this, why does a small Boeing facility in El Paso, Texas, continue to be the company's only in-house source for complex electronics? The reason: El Paso's 395 highly skilled employees are recognized masters at their craftbuilding complex electronic components and subsystems for military platforms and programs at competitive cost. Recognized by Industry Week magazine as being one of the top 10 plants in the United States, the site has been designated by Boeing as the company's Strategic Manufacturing Center for electronics assemblies.
Because it matters
More than 80,000 Boeing employees around the world came together in late February to focus on the values that are the foundation of the company.
In small conference rooms, large arenas, outsized tents and auditoriums, Integrated Defense Systems employees, joined by Phantom Works and Shared Services Group teammates colocated at IDS locations, participated in the third IDS Recommitment to Ethics Day.
Employees heard company leaders, independent ethics experts, U.S. Navy Secretary Gordon England and colleagues explain why ethics matters. They discussed the importance of ethics as a competitive discriminator, how Boeing can remain a leader in the field and how everyone's conduct is vital to the overall success of the enterprise. Attendees also learned about the six IDS leadership principles (see box below), what the company is doing to operate within those principles and where improvements can be made.
Making it right
The annual award recognizes state manufacturing enterprises that show excellence in leadership, performance, profitability and workforce relations. Boeing won the award for the large-manufacturer category.
"We are very excited and honored to receive this award," said Geoff Schuler, acting site executive in Huntsville and Missile Defense Systems director of Operations. "It proves that the processes we have in place and the overall quality infrastructure of the site are successful."
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