Brazilian Air Force P-3 planes will use digital autopilot from BAE Systems

LOS ANGELES, 12 Jan. 2006. EADS-CASA of Spain has awarded BAE Systems a contract to provide digital autopilot systems for the Brazilian Air Force's eight P-3 Orion antisubmarine patrol aircraft.

LOS ANGELES, 12 Jan. 2006. EADS-CASA of Spain has awarded BAE Systems a contract to provide digital autopilot systems for the Brazilian Air Force's eight P-3 Orion antisubmarine patrol aircraft.

The contract will replace the legacy analog autopilot systems as part of an extensive aircraft modification performed by EADS-CASA. The Digital Autopilot System will be integrated with the EADS-CASA Fully Integrated Tactical System.

BAE Systems' P-3 digital autopilot is a dual-redundant system that offers enhanced safety, high system reliability, and lower operating costs. It is lighter, more capable, and more reliable than the legacy analog systems on P-3 aircraft, providing pilots with enhanced modes of operation, including control-wheel steering, navigation steering, a broad range of hold modes, and automatic approach to CAT-I landings.

"The Digital Autopilot System will allow the Brazilian Air Force pilots to perform their missions -- over sea and land -- more efficiently and will enhance their mission capability," said Roger Shuler, P-3 program manager for BAE Systems.

The digital autopilot comprises solid-state rate gyro assemblies, autopilot computers, flight sensors, and autopilot control panels. It provides ARINC 429/MIL-STD-1553 interfaces that are compatible with current and anticipated Global Air Traffic Management requirements. As an off-the-shelf solution, it can be installed as a form-fit-function replacement, or as part of a larger avionics upgrade program.

The system has logged more than 30,000 hours with P-3 fleets worldwide, including those of the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Border Protection Service, the Canadian Department of National Defense, the Royal New Zealand Air Force, and the Royal Australian Air Force.

BAE Systems is an international company engaged in the development, delivery, and support of advanced defense and aerospace systems in the air, on land, at sea, and in space. The company designs, manufactures, and supports military aircraft, combat vehicles, surface ships, submarines, radar, avionics, communications, electronics, and guided weapon systems. For more information, see www.na.baesystems.com.

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