Boeing supplier partner BAE Systems conducted the demonstration at the SIL in Johnson City, N.Y. The SIL tests the hardware components and software together to ensure their ability to communicate with each other and with the ground-based control system. Testing in the SIL saves time and ensures mission effectiveness prior to flight testing and production.
Boeing received the $70 million QF-16 engineering and manufacturing development contract in March 2010. Initial production of six QF-16 test aircraft is on schedule to begin later this month at Cecil Field near Jacksonville, Fla. The first test flight is scheduled for February.
"We have started QF-16 system integration testing on schedule, after standing up the SIL in 14 months," said Bob Insinna, Boeing QF-16 program manager. "We started with simulations, and now are testing real flight hardware and software to reduce risk when we integrate at the aircraft level. QF-16 is the first target program to use a SIL, so our customer is new to this and thrilled with the capability. It is another way that we bring value to our customer."
The QF-16 production contract, when awarded, will convert up to 126 retired F-16s into QF-16 full-scale aerial targets -- manned and unmanned -- to test newly developed weapons and tactics.
BAE Systems is a major subcontractor to Boeing on the QF-16 program, jointly developing key software and providing the design and development of the Automatic Flight Control Computer and SIL.
BAE Systems is a global defense and security company with approximately 100,000 employees worldwide. The company delivers a full range of products and services for air, land, and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions, and support services. BAE Systems' Electronic Systems sector, headquartered in Nashua, N.H., has operations spanning commercial and defense electronics markets and offers a broad portfolio of mission-critical electronic systems, from flight and engine controls to electronic warfare and night vision systems, surveillance and reconnaissance sensors, secure networked communications equipment, and power and energy management systems.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $32 billion business with 64,000 employees worldwide. Follow us on Twitter: @BoeingDefense.