Neal Rothback ATFLIR Lead Engineer
The Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infrared (ATFLIR) Critical Design Review (CDR) was held at Raytheon Systems Company, El Segundo, CA, from 19-22 October 1998. The attendees included Navy, Boeing, Raytheon, Marconi Electronic Systems, Advanced Conversion Technology (ACT), and Fairchild Controls Integrated Program Team (IPT) members. The IPT members from industry provided a detailed presentation of the ATFLIR Hardware and Software Build One designs. The CDR was the culmination of an aggressive six-month design phase with government involvement in the IPT that began at the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) in April 1998.
The ATFLIR is a complex system, that spans the entire spectrum of technical disciplines. The performance of the IPT during the short design phase is indicative of its ability to successfully negotiate numerous complex technical challenges. The IPT continued the use of "expert" teams, which were utilized at the PDR to examine the substantive technical issues. This highly focused teaming arrangement allowed for the resolution of many issues by utilizing a small forum of knowledgeable people who could interact in a collaborative manner.
Provisional approval was granted by the CDR Design Review Board pending completion of E/F Noise and Vibration data analysis, and satisfactory closure of the two Priority I Requests for Action (RFAs).
Events in the future are the delivery of an ATFLIR Mass Model and C/D aircraft adapter at the end of January 1999. These deliveries will allow Developmental Test (DT)-IIA flight tests to commence with aircraft envelope and loads testing. An E/F aircraft adapter and ATFLIR Shape Pod will arrive before August 1999, allowing for propulsion and weapon separation flight-testing. The first ATFLIR Engineering Development Model (EDM) will be delivered to Boeing for laboratory integration testing in July 1999. DT-IIB will commence with the delivery of EDM #5 containing Build 2.1 software to the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, CA in November 1999. OT-IIA will begin in April 2000 with full functionality software (Build 4.0). DT-IIB and OT-IIA results will support a planned Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP)-1 decision in June 2000.