Posted by Courtney E. Howard
Annapolis, Md., 22 April 2010. ARINC Engineering Services LLC has contracted with Rockwell Collins to perform the initial installations of the Block 45 avionics upgrade on the U.S. Air Force's KC-135 fleet.
The installations will begin in early 2011 with two prototype EMD (Engineering and Manufacturing Development) airframes.
Many of the KC-135 aircraft date from the 1960s, and all are expected to receive Block 45 upgrades over time. The upgrades include a new autopilot/flight director, radar altimeters, removal of 21 analog instruments, and a modern large-format color digital engine instrument display in the cockpit.
ARINC will perform the work at its aircraft modification facility near Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City.
"ARINC is proud to partner again with Rockwell Collins on vital systems upgrade work for the KC-135 aircraft," says Jeffery D. Willis, engineering director, ARINC Aircraft Integration & Modification Defense Programs. "We already have a strong work portfolio with Rockwell Collins, including Block 35 GATM installations for 'Open Skies' surveillance aircraft, and Block 40 Circuit Breaker Replacements using kits fabricated at our own facility."
The Block 45 digital avionics upgrade program for the KC-135 is designed to enhance reliability, maintainability, and supportability. It also fills capability requirements needed to support current and future navigation performance enhancements identified in the 2008 AMC CNS/ATM Roadmap.
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