Auburn Hills, MI., USA, September 13, 2007 - Dassault Systèmes (DS) (Nasdaq: DASTY; Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA), a world leader in 3D and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions, today announced that DELMIA modeling and simulation have helped Lockheed Martin, Ft. Worth, Texas, avoid between $75 million and $100 million in F-35 Lightning II program costs.
Simulations are being conducted in the Ship/Air Integration Lab (SAIL) at Lockheed Martin. The estimated cost avoidance is significantly more than the anticipated full-rate production cost of one F-35 aircraft, according to Lockheed Martin officials associated with the company’s F-35 Basing & Ship Suitability facility. In addition, Lockheed Martin reports an estimated 15-to-1 payback on its SAIL investment. SAIL combines virtual reality and optical motion capture to help ready the F-35 for service aboard aircraft carriers. The F-35 Lightning II is the first supersonic “stealth” strike fighter capable of evading radar detection. It is in final development and entering initial production in Fort Worth.
SAIL was developed to supplement physical mockups, and in some cases replace them. Lockheed Martin officials say it is a hard sell for them when people who have spent their lives working with physical prototypes cannot touch one. To deal with this, the company linked motion capture to the latest virtual reality technology. Aircraft carrier flight deck simulations include catapult launches, ensuring operation of the arresting cables and tailhooks during retrievals, tie-downs, mounting armaments on the aircraft, servicing weapons, and reaching access panels when aircraft tails hang off the edge of the flight deck, over the ocean.
When DELMIA simulations are conducted, engineers find out that a lot of things they recommended will work well and at times, a few are found that will not. The sooner changes are made, the less they cost, which is the justification for SAIL. SAIL’s gains come from its unique ability to combine virtual reality and motion-capture into Immersive Engineering. The result is that complex engineering information is presented more understandably than ever before. SAIL simulations are lifelike, life-sized and panoramic with 3D stereographics and enhanced kinematics. Thanks to DELMIA’s open-software architecture, all the SAIL software and hardware is commercially available off-the-shelf; nothing was custom-built. Integration was done with the DELMIA tools module.