Tuesday, May 1, 2001
New Displays for DC-9s
Northwest Airlines selected Universal Avionics Systems Corp.’s MFD-640 multifunction display for retrofit in its fleet of 162 DC-9 aircraft. The new color displays will replace RDR-1E and RDR-4A weather radar indicators, and it will display data from Honeywell’s terrain awareness warning system (TAWS). Northwest received the first MFD-640 in early March. Electronic Cable Specialists, Franklin, Wisc., is providing the STC certification and integration kits. Northwest says the MFD retrofit program will continue until March 2005. Visit www.uasc.com and www.ecsdirect.com.
New FMS for Airbus
EADS/Airbus has approved the FMS2 second-generation flight management system (FMS), developed jointly by Thales Avionics and Smiths Aerospace, for A320 and A340 aircraft. The system reportedly has been selected by 70% of Airbus customers and was ordered by 15 airlines. The FMS2 includes an active matrix liquid crystal
The Australian Transport Bureau now requires audible safety alarms to warn pilots about pressurization problems on certain aircraft operating in Australia. The requirement was triggered by a pressurization incident in a Beechcraft Super King Air in June 1999. The alarms will be required in pressurized jet and turboprop aircraft to supplement existing pressurization warning lights. An estimated 300 aircraft in Australia will need to be modified.
Thales Avionics is supplying Continental Airlines with full-format printers for its 34 Boeing 767-200 and 767-400 aircraft. Features in the C12349 A & C series printers include high resolution (300 dpi), multiport facility, parallel processing and large buffer memory (16 Mb). The printers also can be installed in the cabin, since they are in compliance with ARINC 744A and interface with IFE systems from major suppliers. Visit www.sextant.thomson-csf.com.
EGPWS in Japan
The Japanese Construction and Transport Ministry intends to make enhanced ground proximity warning systems (EGPWS) mandatory for passenger aircraft by March 2002. Some Japanese commercial aircraft already have the system, as Boeing has included it as standard equipment in aircraft produced since 1998.
TAWS for the G-III
The Jet Center, Van Nuys, Calif., recently gained the first supplemental type certificate for a terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS) made by Universal Avionics Systems Corp., installed on a Gulfstream III. The installation includes dual UNS-1C flight management systems (FMS), which provides both the control and displays for the TAWS images. The Universal Avionics TAWS alerts pilots to possible ground collision by combining information from on-board sensors with flight path intent information from the FMS. Visit www.uasc.com.
UK Police Upgrade
UK-based, McAlpine Helicopters is to fit an integrated data acquisition recorder (IDAR) to a Eurocopter BK-117 helicopter operated by the Devon and Cornwall Police. McAlpine also will handle all integration and certification responsibilities with support from equipment manufacturer Smiths Aerospace. Certification is expected from the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) by April 2001. The IDAR will perform all flight data and cockpit voice recording functions, meeting ED-55 and ED56A requirements. Visit www.smithsind-aerospace.com.
Eurocopter Chooses Pro Line
Eurocopter plans to make Rockwell Collins Pro Line CNS radios standard on its EC-155 Dauphin, Panther and Super Puma helicopters. The Pro Line CNS package for Eurocopter includes dual VHF radios, VOR/instrument landing system (ILS), automatic direction finder (ADF), distance measuring equipment (DME) and transponder. Collins also will be the first North American vendor to participate in Eurocopter’s "greenloop logistics program," to improve unit delivery and forecasting between the helicopter manufacturer and its vendors. See www.collins.rockwell.com and www.eurocopter.com.
200,000 Ring Laser Gyros
Honeywell recently touted its delivery of the 200,000th ring laser gyro from its Sensor and Guidance Products division in Minneapolis, Minn. It began producing these navigation devices, used for inertial navigation, in 1980. Honeywell began developing ring laser gyros in 1963, and in 1978 it won its first big contract, to deliver gyros for Boeing 767 and 757 aircraft. Visit www.honeywell.com.
Vibro-Meter, a Meggitt Plc company, is supplying vibration signal components to BFGoodrich and accelerometers to Sikorsky Aircraft, as part of the BFGoodrich IMD-HUMS (health and usage monitoring system) chosen for the S-92 helicopter. The company teamed with BFGoodrich in 1995 to supply the vibration monitoring electronics and sensors for the IMD-HUMS system. BFGoodrich and Sikorsky recently completed an agreement that made the IMD-HUMS standard equipment on the S-92–a first for a U.S. helicopter manufacturer. The IMD-HUMS gathers and processes data on aircraft usage and the condition of engine and drive-train components. The U.S. Marine Corps is deploying the IMD-HUMs on the Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion and the U.S. Navy, on the Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk family. It is currently being evaluated for deployment on the U.S. Army’s Sikorsky Black Hawk family. Visit www.meggittavi.com.
SITA and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have established a partnership to provide a global interline electronic-ticketing service. The intent is to streamline the exchange of e-ticket coupon data between participating airlines and third-party agents. SITA and IATA estimate the service will provide a $4-per-ticket savings on domestic flights in the U.S. and an $8-per-ticket savings on international flights. They also foresee e-ticketing reaching a 50% market penetration by 2005. Visit www.sita.int and www.iata.org.
Ultra for Jordan
Jordanian-based Wings of Amman has ordered the UltraQuiet active noise and vibration control system from Ultra Electronics, UK, for retrofit in Dash-8 Series 300 aircraft. The systems, to be totally delivered by mid-2001, are to reduce cabin noise and vibration. The retrofit comprises 48 active tuned vibration attenuators, 96 microphones and an electronic controller. The retrofit permits removal of 52 existing, passive tuned dampers weighing 117 pounds (53 kg). Visit www.ultra-electronics.com.
Air Traffic Control
Make it a Double
Skyguide, Swiss Air Navigation Services Ltd. (formerly Swisscontrol) recently decided to double its order for NiceLog digital voice recording systems for air traffic control centers and airports in Switzerland. Skyguide signed a $500,000 contract with Israel-based Nice Systems Ltd. for the recorders; this follows an original contract for the systems, also worth $500,000. Visit www.nice.com.
Remember when Russia and China were allied during the heart of the Cold War? Well, politics have changed since, but Russia recently proposed that China become "co-owner" of the Russian-developed Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS), according to China Economic Review. Co-ownership status means China could access the system’s most accurate military positioning data. China’s option is to persist with its own satellite positioning system, called Twin Star. Meanwhile, Russia launched three satellites last October, according to the industry newsletter, Global Positioning & Navigation News. And it reportedly is developing a new K-class GLONASS satellite, which offers triple service life.
Hong Kong,Vietnam, Croatia
Air routes between Hong Kong and Vietnam will soon be controlled by new facilities provided by Telephonics. China’s aviation authority has contracted Telephonics to install an area control center, approach control and tower control at Sanya, on Hainan Island, between the Gulf of Tongking and the South China Sea. The control center, scheduled to be operational by this autumn, will have seven control positions.
Meanwhile, Telephonics’ AeroTrac air traffic management system became operational in Croatia recently. Terminal control systems, which include integrated radar processing and display systems, were installed in Split, Pula, Zadar and Dubrovnik. These centers receive flight plan data from Croatia’s capital, Zagreb. See www.telephonics.com.
STCA for Dusseldorf
The Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS) has accepted Lockheed Martin Air Traffic Management’s, Short Term Conflict Alert (STCA) system for use at the Dusseldorf air traffic control center. It is the most recent of six STCA systems accepted by the DFS under existing contracts. Two systems are operational at the Frankfurt center, as are single systems in Bremen, Munich and Langen. The STCA system is an automated "safety net" that separates aircraft within crowded controlled airspace by predicting potential conflicts. It provides a warning alert to air traffic controllers. Visit www.lockheedmartin.com/atm/.
The Finnish Ministry of Trade and Industry and the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. (EADS) have signed a partnership agreement by which EADS will take a 26.8% share in the Finnish technology group Patria Industries Oyj. Patria’s core business includes products and services in aerospace, defense and telecommunications. The company is mainly located in Finland, with some facilities in Sweden.
Lockheed Martin–not the Air Traffic Management division, in Rockville, Md., but the Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems (NE&SS) facility in Syracuse, N.Y.–recently announced its first contract for a commercial radar installation. This division of Lockheed has traditionally produced ground-based radar systems for the military. The $15-million contract comes from Colombia and calls for three primary-secondary surveillance radars and a stand-alone secondary surveillance radar, which is made by Litton. The primary, S-band radar, called the Sky Tracker, derives from NE&SS-Syracuse’s work for the U.S. Marine Corps. and essentially is a fixed-base system adapted from a mobile radar system. Visit www.lockheedmartin.com/syracuse/.
A Home for Isis
BarcoView has landed its first customer for its new 2K by 2K Isis digital display (April 2001, page 26). German-based Gematronik GmbH selected the liquid crystal display (LCD) and the PVS 5600 digital graphics controller for a Doppler weather radar system, to be installed in India. Gematronik builds meteorological radar equipment.
Meanwhile, BarcoView has been working to enhance its Isis display. It introduced at the recent Maastricht ATC Exhibition a fiber-optic link for the LCD. Called "a work in progress," the link allows the processing units to be placed in a room separate from the Isis display; the high-bandwidth RGB (red, green, blue) signal can be transmitted up to 985 feet (300 meters). This permits better maintenance and user comfort. Visit www.barcoview.com.
New Radar in Abu Dhabi
Raytheon Systems Ltd. recently signed a contract to install an off-mounted monopulse secondary surveillance radar (MSSR) at Tarif in Abu Dhabi. The contract was signed with the General Civil Aviation Authority of the United Arab Emirates. The radar is to be installed and operational within 12 months. Visit www.raytheon.com.
German Military Radar
The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. (EADS) received a 7-million euro ($6.16-million) contract from Germany’s procurement agency to supply the company’s first solid-state ASR-E S-band, air traffic control radar for field testing. Pending a positive test outcome, Germany likely will exercise options for 20 radar systems, which would be installed at the country’s military air bases as the initial stage of a modernization program. The ASR-E would control primarily military air traffic, including under adverse weather and dense traffic conditions. Visit www.eads-nv.com.
Data Link for Typhoon
Data Link Solutions has won a contract from the NATO Eurofighter-2000 and Tornado Development, Production and Logistics Management Agency (NETMA), to provide 12 multifunctional information distribution system (MIDS) low-volume terminals for integration of Link 16 capability in Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft. With the contract, NETMA secures the early integration of Link-16 capabilities into the weapon system. The terminals initially will be used for rig testing at the EADS-CASA facility in Madrid, Spain. Production deliveries are expected begin in early 2002.
The Gripen’s HMD
The Saab-BAE Systems Gripen fighter has completed a series of test flights using a Guardian helmet-mounted display system (HMD). These demonstrated the HMD’s compatibility with the aircraft’s advanced avionics and cockpit. The plan is to integrate the system for export launch customer South Africa, which has a requirement for 28 Gripens. The system will be used with the IRIS-T advanced short-range air-to-air missile, which is being adopted as the standard air-to-air combat weapon for Swedish Air Force Gripen fighters. Guardian is produced by Pilkington Optronics, in partnership with Cumulus (a division of Denel) and Kentron of South Africa.
A new venture has been launched to address the need for NATO to have its own advanced all-weather stand-off reconnaissance system for crisis and conflict management. Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain are to implement the new Stand-Off Surveillance and Target Acquisition Radar (SOSTAR) in a joint venture. A new European company, SOSTAR GmbH, will have its headquarters at Dornier GmbH, a corporate unit of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space (EADS) Co. The involved companies are EADS (28 %), Thales (28%), FIAR (28%), Fokker Space (5%) and Indra (11%).
"Europe has considerable gaps in the field of long-range reconnaissance," says Stefan Zoller, CEO of Dornier GmbH and head of the Business Unit Defense Electronics. "Europe’s technical capabilities in the field of reconnaissance radars will now be pooled in SOSTAR GmbH. Cooperation with the U.S. government and industry is possible and desirable in a second step."
ACAS for NATO-AWACS
The NATO-AWACS fleet and the NATO trainer cargo aircraft of the same type (B707 derivative) are to be fitted with an advanced identification and collision warning system. The new systems will be produced by EADS in Munich and Rockwell Collins Deutschland in Heusenstamm. The systems comprise the EADS new-generation IFF transponder (STR2000), which was developed jointly with Thales and the Rockwell Collins airborne collision avoidance system (ACAS) computer (TTR921). Installation and tests will start in mid-year and are expected to be completed by the end of 2001. The contract includes the optional delivery of another 19 systems starting later this year.
Data Link for the USAF
The U.S. Air Force Air Mobility Command (AMC) has contracted ARINC Inc. to provide air/ground data link and voice communications to potentially 900 aircraft: C-5s, C-17s, KC-10s and KC-135s. The AMC will use a combination of HF and Aero-I satellite data links, along with very high frequency data link Mode 2 (VDL-2). The contract also includes use of ARINC’s HF and VHF airport operational control (AOC) voice services. And it is to assist the Air Force in the initial implementation and operation of commercial communications services. Visit www.arinc.com.
Super Hornet Updated
Harris Corp., Melbourne, Fla., recently was awarded several contracts totalling $12.5 million to provide new avionics for the U.S. Navy’s and Marine Corp’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft.
The Boeing Co. awarded Harris a $10.5-million contract to develop the fibre-channel network switch (FCNS) for the Navy aircraft, replacing the old serial multiplex busses. Each aircraft requires dual FCNS to provide a total of 16 input/output channels.
Boeing also contracted Harris to embed a Navy-developed terrain awareness warning system (TAWS) in the F/A-18E/F’s Tactical Airborne Moving Map Capability (TAMMAC) computer. The contract, to outfit both Navy and Marine Corp aircraft, is worth $470.000.
And Raytheon Systems Co. awarded Harris $1.6 million to develop fibre channel network interface controllers (NIC) for the Super Hornet’s active electronically scanned array radar. Visit www.harris.com.
In Defense of ASTOR
Raytheon Systems Ltd. has contracted BAE Information & Electronic Warfare Systems, Nashua, N.H., to deliver five Defensive Aids Group (DAG) integrated systems for the UK’s Airborne Stand-off Radar (ASTOR) program. The contract, worth $30 million, calls for initial deliveries in 2002 for installation on the ASTOR aircraft, a modified Bombardier Global Express. The DAG equipment is based on BAE Systems’ Defensive Aids Subsystem (DAAS), developed for the Nimrod II and includes a defensive system manager, radar warning receiver, missile warning system, techniques generator, towed radar decoy and chaff/flare dispenser. Visit www.baesystems.com.
10,000 Radios Sold
The U.S. Navy recently ordered 124 AN/ARC-210s, pushing the total number of the two-way voice/data communications radios sold over the 10,000 mark. Rockwell Collins has been producing the AN/ARC-210 since 1993. The radios feature embedded Have Quick, Have Quick II and SINCGARS electronic protection wave forms, as well as communications security and the UHF demand access multiple access (DAMA) satellite communications. Visit www.collins.rockwell.com.
Lockheed Martin has awarded contracts worth more than $33 million to BAE Systems for continued production of advanced identification friend or foe (IFF) avionics systems for the F-16. The contracts will support avionics requirements for the upgraded Air Force F-16 block 50/52 aircraft, the Peace Xenia program for Greece, and for other F-16 aircraft. Designated AN/APX-113, the advanced IFF system is a combined interrogator transponder currently employed on fighter and surveillance aircraft of 12 nations. Visit www.baesystems.com.
GenHUMS in Chinook
The Smiths Aerospace GenHUMS (health and usage monitoring system) recently entered operational service on UK Royal Air Force Chinooks. GenHUMS is an integrated cockpit voice and flight data recorder (CVR/FDR) with HUMS, providing a multi-aircraft capable, "single box" system. Two production installation lines are currently in operation at the helicopter base at RAF Odiham, with the full fleet completion expected by early 2002. Visit www.smithsind-aerospace.com.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Smiths Buys Chapman
Smiths Aerospace announced its acquistion of Chapman Avionics of Brisbane, Australia. As a result, Smiths plans to move its Melbourne operations to a new facility at Brisbane Airport, which is large enough to allow for the expansion of Chapman Avionics’ existing capabilities. Smiths formed a relationship with Chapman in 1999 when it selected the repair facility to subcontract for the Smiths Aerospace Australian Military Support Center at Newcastle. See www.smiths-aerospace.com.
UK-based Cobham Plc has acquired the entire issued share capital of Omnipless (Proprietary) Ltd. and its wholly-owned subsidiary Omnipless Antenna Systems (Proprietary) Ltd. South African-based Omnipless designs, produces and sells microwave flat-panel steerable antennas used in mobile satellite communications.
CAE has reached an agreement with BAE Systems North America to purchase BAE Systems FlightSimulation and Training (FS&T), in Tampa, Fla., for $80 million (U.S.). Formerly known as Reflectone Inc., BAE Systems FS&T has established itself in the U.S. defense market by producing transport and helicopter simulation equipment, as well as training and support services for both the commercial and military market.