Keysight joins Rohde & Schwarz in providing avionics test station assembly kits to support Air Force aircraft

March 12, 2021
VDATS was designed originally for depot-level testing capabilities, but is suitable for intermediate-level testing under controlled conditions.

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. – U.S. Air Force electronics experts needed a company to assemble a field- and depot-level avionics test and measurement systems. They found a solution from Keysight Technologies Inc. in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Officials of the Air Force Sustainment Center at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., announced a $38.4 million five-year contract to Rohde & Schwarz on Wednesday to provide kits to assemble the Versatile Diagnostic Automatic Test Station (VDATS).

VDATS is the Air Force member of the U.S. military families-of-testers, and is the Air Force's directed and preferred automatic test solution.

The station has a modular open-architecture design and is adaptable to most electronic test and measurement needs. It was designed originally for depot testing capabilities, but is suitable for intermediate-level testing under controlled conditions.

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Keysight joins Rohde & Schwarz USA Inc. in Columbia, Md., in providing VDATS- kits to the Air Force. Rohde & Schwarz won a $9.2 million five-year contract last month to provide VDATS kits.

Today test and measurement experts at the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex (WR-ALC) at Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pa., build the VDATS organically.

The VDATS tester comes in two core configurations: the digital analog (DA)-1 that handles most analog and light digital requirements; and the DA-2 station for enhanced digital testing for advanced avionics testing. It also has a radio-frequency roll-up assembly for standard RF test capability.

These configurations support military aircraft that include the A-10, B-1, B-2, B-52, C-5, C-17, C-130, E-3, E-8C, F-15, F-16, F-22, H-53, H-60, KC-135 MC-4, MQ-9, and UH-1 weapon systems.

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The VDATS design enables modular capability enhancements through mission equipment support sets (MESS) for small applications or roll-up bays for larger applications that are portable.

This preserves the configuration stability of the station while providing flexibility to adapt to a wide variety of workload requirements, which also reduces the proliferation of unique test stations, experts say.

On this contract Keysight will do the work in Warner Robins, Ga., and will be finished by March 2026. For more information contact Keysight Technologies, Rohde & Schwarz USA online at, or the Air Force Sustainment Center at Robins Air Force Base at

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