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Lockheed Martin Ensures Successful Y2k Transition For Local Employees And Worldwide F-16 Fleet

Fort Worth, Texas, January 3rd, 2000 -- An extensive, two-year effort appears to have been successful in heading off Y2K-related problems in computer equipment operated or supported by Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems, the world’s leading producer of fighter aircraft.

Tactical Aircraft Systems’ preparations extended far beyond local plant boundaries, as they included measures to prevent computer-related anomalies with some 3,000 F-16 aircraft located at more than 80 military bases around the world.

As of today, no significant problems had been reported with equipment at the 11,000-employee plant or with any aircraft in the multinational F-16 fleet, according to Jack Guthrie, Y2K program manager at Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems.

Guthrie leads a Fort Worth-based team that began planning for the Y2K transition in early 1998. In addition to checking literally thousands of software and hardware systems at the plant, the team evaluated the readiness of more than 4,800 separate systems directly related to F-16 aircraft. This included not only onboard aircraft systems, but also ground support equipment systems.

The F-16 relies heavily on data processing technology, including its large number of onboard computers and microprocessors for the flight control system, engine controls, navigation and targeting, pilot’s displays, and many other critical functions. And with the large number of aircraft in service, F-16s are flying 24 hours a day at multiple locations around the world.

Members of Guthrie’s team in Lockheed Martin’s Y2K command center began monitoring year-2000 transitions at 4 a.m. Central Standard Time on Friday, December 31, as the first U.S. Air Force F-16 base in Japan reached midnight. Calendar changes were tracked by time zone around-the-clock until Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., entered the new century 22 hours later.

By that time, every model of the F-16 – including aircraft configurations produced from the late 1970s until the present – had proven they were Y2K-ready, Guthrie said.

Thanks to the Lockheed Martin Y2K team’s efforts, air forces in more than 18 countries entered the 2000s without disruptions to their fighter operations. "We did what was necessary to ensure that our customers would have no problems or impacts," Guthrie said.

Besides the team monitoring aircraft, more than 450 local Lockheed Martin employees were on duty during the Y2K transition period on Friday and Saturday, with many assigned to make rounds at the plant checking various types of equipment. Priority was placed on security systems, information technology and the plant’s internal utility services.

The 11,000 local Lockheed Martin employees were able to begin the New Year with no Y2K-related computer problems when they returned to work on Jan. 3

While breathing a sign of relief, members of Guthrie’s team know their work isn’t quite finished. Y2K monitoring will continue at the plant at a reduced level for the next several weeks.

Joe Stout
(817) 763-4086
(817) 980-4986

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