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GENERAL DYNAMICS CORPORATION RESUMES DELIVERIES OF ITS ADVANCED CRUISE MISSILE TO U.S. AIR FORCE

          GENERAL DYNAMICS CORPORATION RESUMES DELIVERIES
          OF ITS ADVANCED CRUISE MISSILE TO U.S. AIR FORCE
    SAN DIEGO, Nov. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- General Dynamics Convair Division announced today that it had resumed deliveries of its stealthy AGM-129A Advanced Cruise Missile (ACM) to the U.S. Air Force.
    Although deliveries were halted in April, General Dynamics and the Air Force worked as a team to satisfactorily resolve design and maintainability issues identified during a year of operational fielding by the Strategic Air Command (SAC).  Enhancements have been introduced to the system to correct concerns.
    "This was a great example of how teamwork, cooperation, and communication between General Dynamics and many different Air Force organizations helped improve the ACM system," B. J. Kuchta, Convair Division vice president and ACM program director, said.
    According to Kuchta, the Air Force began accepting ACMs from General Dynamics last week.  Prior to resumption of deliveries, design and maintainability enhancements were incorporated in four specific areas -- environmental sealing; fuel leaks and odors, wing deploy actuators; and the final processes and procedures used to quality check the missile.
    Convair teams visited K. I. Sawyer AFB, Michigan, to get firsthand knowledge of the concerns SAC maintenance personnel were encountering with the missile receipt process and handling.  K. I. Sawyer AFB missile maintenance personnel then visited San Diego to highlight areas in the missile build and inspection process that differed with Air Force maintenance procedures.  The result was a better understanding and correction of all elements of the system process.
    Kuchta said, "We are confident that the improvements and positive changes we made to our processes, procedures and hardware will result in a higher quality and better maintainable product in the field."
    The ACM is a vital part of the U.S. Strategic Modernization Program.  Operationally, the ACM utilizes stealth technologies, and advanced navigational concepts to fly extended ranges from B-52H strategic bombers.  Full-scale development of the ACM began at Convair in 1983 and first flight was achieved in 1985.
    Since 1985, Convair has been implementing factory enhancements to its facility here to increase productivity and ACM vehicle quality. These include advanced robotics, automated composites production, and a paperless factory system.
    The Air Force plans to procure 1,000 Advanced Cruise Missiles, and currently has existing contracts with Convair for the production of 420 ACMs.
    -0-                        11/4/91
    /CONTACT:  Jack F. Isabel of General Dynamics Corporation, 619-547-9003/
    (GD) CO:  General Dynamics Corporation ST:  California IN:  ARO SU:  CON SB -- DC018 -- 0783 11/04/91 13:45 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 4, 1991
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