Author Topic: Boeing's 737 contract will go under cover  (Read 432 times)

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Offline Shaman

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Boeing's 737 contract will go under cover
« on: May 21, 2006, 07:24:05 PM »
Friday, May 19, 2006

Boeing's 737 contract will go under cover
Program that unites company's commercial, military divisions could become model for future


It has been a familiar sight in the Seattle area for years -- 737 jetliner fuselage sections on rail cars.

The fuselage of The Boeing Co.'s most popular jet is manufactured in Wichita, Kan., and taken by train to the Renton plant for final assembly.

But starting late next year, some of those fuselage sections will be hidden from public view during that long train trip. That's because the planes will be for the Navy, and the State Department has strict rules governing military aircraft parts.

The Multimission Maritime Aircraft, or MMA, program is a "hybrid" project, reflecting close cooperation between the Boeing Commercial Airplanes division and the company's military business, according to Tony Parasida, the former MMA program manager who is now the top Boeing executive for the company's Integrated Defense Systems businesses in Washington state.

This has given new meaning to "working together," the Boeing mantra that was born of the 777 program in the early 1990s.

The MMA program could become a model for how Boeing builds tankers for the U.S. Air Force, should it win that competition, Parasida said Thursday during a briefing on Boeing's military programs in the Puget Sound region.

Boeing has said that it is studying if it might be possible to have a dedicated tanker assembly line at its Everett plant, and do any modification work there instead of flying the planes to its military modification center in Wichita. That would make the tankers more affordable for the Air Force.

Boeing won the MMA competition over Lockheed Martin in large measure because the 737s for the Navy will be built in Renton, in a separate building from where the 737 commercial jets are assembled on two moving production lines. The planes will not be flown to Wichita for modification. The Navy essentially gets a more affordable plane because of the infrastructure already in place for the commercial jet.

But this has required a number of controls to meet the requirements of the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations, or ITAR.

Foreign nationals, even those who work for Boeing, will not be allowed to touch or even see the MMA planes during production. That's why the sections will be hidden from view during the long rail trip from Wichita. Boeing has a contract to build five of the 737 submarine hunters for the Navy as part of the initial design and development program that could reach nine planes. The first parts will be made in Wichita this year, Parasida said, with the first completed fuselage arriving in Renton late next year. First flight is in 2008.

The Navy eventually wants to buy 108 jets.

Parasida said Boeing sees a potential overseas market for another 100 to 150 planes.

It means Boeing could build these military 737s long after production has ended for the commercial model. Boeing is looking at replacing its 737 commercial workhorse sometime between 2012 and 2015. The replacement jet could be assembled in Everett.

Employment for the MMA program is nearing its peak of about 1,600, Parasida said.

The production line will mirror the 737 commercial assembly lines, but the rates will be much slower.

During production of the first five Navy planes, as many as 600 commercial jets are likely to roll out of the building next door. Boeing is now building 737 commercial jets at about one a day and the rates are going up.

Boeing will take some of its most experienced 737 mechanics to help on the MMA production line, Parasida said.

The company has a name for the close interaction of commercial and military -- IWA, which is short for Interdivisional Work Authorization.

During his presentation to reporters, Parasida also showed a slide of various IDS programs in the Puget Sound region, including a depiction of a long section of composite fuselage for the 787 Dreamliner.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes has been learning how to make these one-piece composite fuselage barrels at the company's developmental center near Boeing Field. Boeing's partners in Italy, Japan and South Carolina eventually will supply the fuselage and wings of the 787, but Boeing first needed to master the necessary production processes.

The hardware at the developmental center was developed for Boeing military programs -- from a machine that lays down the carbon fiber for the fuselage barrels to a large autoclave where the fuselage barrel is baked.

This equipment would have sat idle had it not been used to test processes for the 787, Parasida said.

But it highlights a key issue in the ongoing battle between the United States and European Union over how much government help -- or subsidies -- Boeing and Airbus receive.

Both sides have filed claims with the World Trade Organization. The United States is demanding that Airbus give up government loans, or launch aid, for up to 33 percent of the development costs for its commercial jetliners.

Europe counters that Boeing's commercial operations, such as the Dreamliner program, benefit from defense programs paid for by the government.

Parasida declined to be drawn into the subsidy debate. But he did say that on the MMA program, Boeing's commercial division has given the company's IDS business more than it has received.

"We gain more than they gain from us," he said.

This is not good news, once again the NWO takes a page out of the Third Reich playbook.  During the 1930's Lufthansa the German civilian aviation company was actually run by Herman Goering as a cover for advancement of military aviation and the development of the Luftwaffe.  This development blurs the line between civil and military aviation.

There a number of important things about the 737 to keep in mind:

1.  It's ubiquitous and cheap.

About 1,250 737s are in the air at any time.
A 737 takes off somewhere in the world every 5 seconds.

Low budget stealth - just another 737 in the crowd.

The link above has photos and descriptions of several of the military versions of the 737.  They even have a dirt runway version.  For those engaged in nefarious activities this is an asset.

2.  The 737 has this:
The Company had faced a fine of up to $47 million over the export without a license of the microchip, which was used in a backup navigation system but was defined as military technology because it could also be used to stabilize and steer guided missiles. The State Department had charged the Company with 94 violations of the Arms Control Act, one for each of the jets exported during the period in question that carried the chip.

3.  The 737 was used as an experimental plane for development of the Electronic Flight Instrument System EFIS.  Starting with the 737-300 series EFIS was installed as standard equipment.  The original NASA test plane for this system was a 737-100.

Technology now exists that could allow a ground crew to override and direct the flight path of a hijacked plane.

Following the Sept. 11 attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center, President George W. Bush called for the creation of a system that would enable air traffic controllers on the ground to assume remote control of the aircraft and direct it to a safe landing at a nearby airport.

The military has employed this capability since the 1950s. Modifying and implementing the technology for use on passenger carrying aircraft in the United States would involve significant capital outlay, research and testing. But from an engineering standpoint, landing an aircraft automatically is a relatively simple matter.

`Autoland` systems have been in wide commercial use in different parts of the world since the 1980s. Auto landings are routinely performed thousands of times a day throughout the world.

4.  A recent version has been outfitted with Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) avionics:

JSF Avionics Flying Laboratory
First flown 26 March 1999, this highly modified 737-200 was modified by Boeing Aerospace Support to accommodate special avionics and instrumentation for development of the JSF.

In a less-than-one-year design and modification program, Boeing Military Programs - Wichita Division fitted a 48-inch nose and radome assembly to the forward pressure bulkhead of the 737-200 aircraft. The elongated nose will house avionics and instrumentation to aid development of the next-generation JSF aircraft. The aircraft also was fitted with several antennas, a heat exchanger and provisions for a supplemental power system.

5.  The newer version the 737-700ER can fly 6,000 miles without stopping to refuel.
Source:  Boeing 737 makes another big leap
Long-range version of popular puddle-jumper can cross oceans in a single, nonstop flight
JOHN GILLIE; The News Tribune
Published: February 12th, 2006 02:30 AM

6.  With a payload of:

737-200C/QC payload 15,545kg (34,270lb), consisting of pallets or containers.

It could be packed with explosives and with the remote flight control system, a 6000 mile range, and fighter plane avionics it could be easily turned into a missile that looks like an ordinary 737.

7.  With the extended range and dirt runway capability it could also be used for long range point to point extraordinary renditions, human trafficking, drug running, and arms running - landing and taking off from low visibility areas and operating on primitive landing strips.  The more times an aircraft has to land to refuel at a commercial airport the higher the likelihood of being spotted.

8.  It's interesting that this announcement comes on the heels of an Air Force general's announcement as head of the CIA.  This could give the term "Air America" a whole new meaning.  Covert ops start right at the airplane factory.

Air America's tenure in Asia began when Civil Air Transport (CAT) crossed the river into Shanghai in 1946. It ended on a rooftop in downtown Saigon in 1975.  First in, last out. That was CAT and Air America in China, Korea and in Southeast Asia. The Air America Association is composed of former employees of CAT, Air America, their families and their affiliates. This is their web site. Its purpose is to capture that experience and present it in historical context. To learn more about CAT and Air America, you can also browse or search the CAT/Air America Archive and Vietnam Archive collections.   

Air America's motto:
"Anything, Anywhere, Anytime - Professionally."

Fits with this term from the first article on this post:
"Multimission Maritime Aircraft, or MMA"
« Last Edit: May 23, 2006, 05:47:11 AM by Shaman »

Offline Shaman

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