Martin has joined Northrop Grumman in a competition to provide long-term contractor support of the Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt, which is to be used as a close-air-support/forward-air-control aircraft until at least 2018.

Boeing is also expected to bid on the contract for A-10 system-integration work, which could be worth $500 million over the life of the project. The formal request for proposals is expected in May, and a source-selection decision is due in March 1998.

About 500 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft remain in service.

The Lockheed Martin team is led by the Federal Systems unit, with support from Control Systems and Sanders. Southwest Research Institute is also on team.

Initial tasks will include engineering and manufacturing development of the Common Missile Warning System, Low Altitude Safety and Targeting Enhancements computer upgrades; and adding global-positioning-system (GPS) inertial-navigation systems to the aircraft.

An A-10 has already been fitted with a GPS by the USAF for testing. Flight tests will be carried out from Eglin AFB in Florida.


Source: Flight International