Saturday, October 1, 2005
Joint STARS Upgrade
Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems recently completed the Block 20 upgrades to the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) aircraft, all of which are assigned to the Georgia Air National Guard's 116th Air Control Wing in Warner Robins, Ga. The entire E-8C fleet now has the same open systems configuration, allowing less costly future hardware and software upgrades. The configuration provides a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) computing and signal processing architecture to an aircraft designed for airborne ground surveillance, targeting and battle management. From 2001 to earlier this year, all production Joint STARS aircraft were delivered in the Block 20 configuration. Visit www.northropgrumman.com.
Green Hills Software's security evaluation plan for its Integrity-178B real-time operating system has been accepted by the U.S. National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP), a collaboration between the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Security Agency (NSA). This event sets the stage for further evaluations, culminating in an approval in a year to 18 months. Green Hills is shooting for the high evaluation assurance level (EAL) of 6+, using software already approved to DO-178B, Level A, for safety. Integrity-178B is the only real-time operating system listed on NIAP's register of products in evaluation as having a security target and plan approved, and the only operating system accepted to be evaluated at such a high assurance level, asserts Mike Wolf, general manager of advanced products. The certification was initiated by the U.S. Air Force Research Lab to improve security for future programs, such as the F/A-22, F-35 and Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems unmanned air vehicle. The software was designed to comply with NSA's multiple independent levels of security (MILS) architecture. Visit www.ghs.com.
The joint tactical radio system (JTRS) and multifunction information distribution system (MIDS) will be the dominant systems in the U.S. airborne communications market over the next 10 years, according to a report by Forecast International Inc., titled "The Market for U.S. Military Airborne Communications Systems." MIDS, which is being used in Afghanistan to transmit real-time reconnaissance/targeting data, is estimated to be worth $1.168 billion over the forecast period. This will benefit Data Link Solutions, a joint venture between Rockwell Collins and BAE Systems, and ViaSat Inc., both major suppliers of MIDS terminals. JTRS, representing a $782.1-million market over the next 10 years, is expected to replace all radios used by the U.S. military, according to the study. Forecast International predicts more than 4,000 combat/trainer aircraft will be produced through 2014, of which 1,171 will be U.S.-built fighters. Add transport aircraft, helicopters and special mission aircraft, and the total number of new military manned aircraft over 10 years reaches 11,000, says the study, which adds that the unmanned air vehicle market "could add roughly 5,000 more platforms." Visit www.forecast1.com
Bournemouth Aviation Ltd., Bournemouth, UK, recently has installed and flown the first Skycam flight deck door monitoring system on an Airbus A330. The 4-inch display allows pilots to see outside the cockpit and view the cabin and cargo holds. Skycam is combined with a solid state recorder used to record air rage incidents and cargo handling disputes. The Bournemouth product already has been installed on the A320, the Boeing 737 and 757, the BAE146/Avro RJ and Bombardier CRJ. Visit www.bac.uk.com.
To support its embedded test and development work for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Aversan, Scarborough, Ontario, has selected Aonix Software, San Diego, to provide its ObjectAda Raven Ada95 environment and AdaCAST test tools. Ada95 is certifiable to DO-178B, Level A. Aversan is working on the verification of the JSF's power and thermal management system. Visit www.aonix.com and www.aversan.com.
The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) recently released a bullish report indicating that new orders and shipments of aircraft and parts in the United States have "increased significantly" in the first half of 2005 and that if the pace continues, this year will be the best for the aerospace industry in more than a decade. The industry logged $98.9 billion in net new orders through June and expects to reach $197.7 billion by the end of the year. That compares to $164.9 billion in 2004. The backlog of unfilled orders also showed an increase. More AIA statistics are available at www.aia-aerospace.org/stats/aero_stats/aero_stats.cfm.
First for Kenya Airways
Kenya Airways has become the first airline to subscribe to the International Air Transport Association's (IATA's) new Web-based flight data analysis service. The carrier will have 16 of its 20 Boeing aircraft equipped with quick access recorders (QARs), which will send raw flight data to IATA's Ottawa-based service center for processing and analysis. The results will then be sent to a secure Web-enabled database that is accessible only to Kenya Airways. The service puts the carrier in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)-mandated 2005 standards. To establish its service, IATA has tapped the expertise of Ottawa-based Flightscape. Visit www.iata.org and www.flightscape.com.
JSF EW Tested
BAE Systems has completed the first flight tests of its electronic warfare (EW) system for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. At Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, a surrogate aircraft, the T-39 Sabreliner business jet, was used for tests that had the onboard EW digital receiver system collecting simulated radio frequency threats from ground-based emitters. "Just 44 months into a 10-year development and demonstration program, all major components of the F-35 EW system have now been in the air," according to Dan Gobel, BAE Systems' JSF business area director. The flight test data is being processed through direction finding algorithms and is to be subsequently processed through geolocation algorithms to correlate study performance with predicted data. Visit www.baesystems.com.
Michigan-based Kalitta Air has contracted navAero Inc., Chicago, to supply electronic flight bags (EFBs) for installation in its fleet of Boeing 747 aircraft. Utilizing an Intel Pentium M processor, the t-Bag C22 Class 2 EFB will run Jeppesen EFB software, terminal chart viewer and document browser, among other applications. Visit www.navaero.com.
The Malaysian low-cost carrier, AirAsia, has selected the FlightVu cockpit door surveillance system (CDSS) for installation outside the cockpit doors of the airline's seven Boeing 737-300 aircraft. AD Aerospace Ltd., Manchester, UK, produced the flush-mounted cameras, and Aircraft Engineering and Installation Services Inc., Orlando, Fla., performed the design engineering and possesses a supplemental type certificate (STC) for installation. Visit www.ad-aero.com and www.aei.aero.
The U.S. Air Force has granted safety-of-flight certification to the modernized F-16 AN/APG-68 programmable signal radar processor developed by CPU Technology Inc., Pleasanton, Calif. The processor upgrade also has completed Mil-Std environmental qualification, as well as ground test requirements in preparation for flight tests, to verify integration and production worthiness for the U.S Air Force and other F-16 operators. Visit www.cputech.com.
The U.S. Army has awarded Longbow Limited Liability Co., a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, a $17.6-million contract to begin work on the fire control radar (FCR) electronics unit for the Apache Longbow Block 3 modernization program. The FCR is designed to enable the Apache Longbow to search, detect, locate, classify, prioritize and engage moving and stationary targets in adverse weather conditions. It leverages technology developed for the canceled Comanche helicopter program. The FCR, which can be retrofitted on Block 2 helicopters, provides improved power ratios and capacity for processor growth. Visit www.lockheedmartin.com and www.northropgrumman.com.
BAE Systems' vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) unmanned air vehicle (UAV) recently made its first flight. The company is proposing the UAV to the U.S. Marine Corps, Special Forces, Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Forestry Service, among other agencies, as a surveillance vehicle. The flight of the ducted fan IAV2 took place at BAE Systems' Southern California flight test center. The UAV currently is undergoing payload integration. The first flight was conducted with a simulated payload of about 20 pounds (9 kg). Visit www.baesystems.com.
Link 16 on the B-2
A demonstration verifying that Link 16 communications can be successfully exchanged between the B-2 stealth bomber and various aircraft, ships, ground vehicles and other platforms was conducted in early August in Northrop Grumman's B-2 systems engineering laboratory in Palmdale, Calif. Performed jointly by Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Air Force, it follows a 2004 demonstration of Link 16 use on the B-2. Through a virtual test network, the Northrop lab was connected to the 82nd Communications Support Squadron at Langley AFB, Va., and the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) at Fort Huachuca, Ariz. Following JITC certification of Link 16 on the B-2, the system will be tested on B-2 operational aircraft in late 2005. Installation of Link 16, a data link and standard used by the U.S. Department of Defense on secure networks, represents one in a series of upgrades for the B-2 and is to enhance the bombers' performance in the network centric warfare environment. Northrop Grumman and the Air Force also plan enhancements to the stealth bomber's communications, radar and weapons systems. Visit www.northropgrumman.com.
The U.S. Navy recently took delivery of the first production MH-60R antisubmarine and surface attack helicopter at Sikorsky Aircraft's Stratford, Conn., facility. Replacing the Navy's SH-60B and SH-60F aircraft, the MH-60R includes Lockheed Martin's digital common cockpit avionics suite, also in the Navy's MH-60S. Lockheed Martin supplies the Link 16 data link hardware and software, as well as upgraded AN/ARC-210 radios. The Navy is expected to order 254 SH-60Rs through 2015. Visit www.sikorsky.com.
Navy King Airs
Rockwell Collins' Pro Line 21 integrated avionics system has been selected to upgrade the U.S. Navy's fleet of nearly 40 UC-12 King Air aircraft. L-3 Communications is the prime contractor for the upgrade program, and ARINC Engineering Services is serving as the program's purchasing and installation agency. The avionics package includes three 10-by-8-inch liquid crystal displays; Collins' FMS-3000 flight management system; GPS-4000A GPS navigation sensor; Pro Line 21 communication, navigation and surveillance sensor suite; TWR-850 turbulence detection weather radar; dual AHS-3000 attitude heading reference systems; dual automatic flight control systems; and dual ADS-3000 air data systems. Visit www.rockwellcollins.com.
Hamburg Flight Data
The German charter carrier Hamburg International recently ordered Wireless GroundLink and AirFASE, produced by Teledyne Controls, Los Angeles. Wireless Ground Link will allow the operator to record flight data and transmit it to its flight safety department without media handling. AirFASE is a flight data analysis and reporting tool developed jointly by Teledyne and Airbus. Visit www.teledyne.com.
Emteq Aerospace, Muskego, Wis., has received Air Transport Canada approval of its supplemental type certificate for the Sandel terrain awareness warning system (TAWS) installation in the Raytheon/Beech 1900C/D. Visit www.emteq.com.
Tornado Radar Warning
EADS Deutschland GmbH has awarded Saab Avitronics a production order worth about $133 million (1 billion Swedish kronors) for radar warning equipment for the German Tornado combat aircraft. It is to be part of a fleetwide upgrade program. Deliveries are to run from 2006 to 2009. Visit www.saabavitronics.com.
Boeing Commercial Airplane Co. has awarded a long-term contract to Drager Aerospace, Lubeck, Germany, to supply passenger service units (PSUs) for the new B787 Dreamliner. These include emergency oxygen, personal lighting, ventilation and signs. The contract's value is expected to reach $200 million. Visit www.cobham.com.
EADS Defence Electronics has received a ?260-million ($322-million) contract to supply electronic core components for the EuroDASS (Defense Aids Subsystems) self-protection system on the Eurofighter. The components are for the 236 aircraft of Eurofighter Tranche 2. EADS collaborates on the EuroDASS program with Selex, in the UK; Elettronica, in Italy; and Indra, in Spain. It consist of an integrated radar warning system, radar jammer and missile warning system, which are controlled by a central processor. Visit www.eads.com.
Three new countries have become part of Eurocontrol's central flow management unit by installing the Enhanced Tactical Flow Management System (ETFMS) in their main control centers. The system, provided by Comsoft in Karlsruhe, Germany, will be delivered to Romania for its Bucharest center, Greece for its Athens center, and Norway for its Stavanger site. The company announced that Malta also plans to incorporate ETFMS by the end of this year. These installations add to a European-wide air traffic flow management network that now covers 18 countries. Visit www.comsoft.de.
Lufthansa Systems' Lido flight management system database has been certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). EASA's approval allows the company's more than 110 airline customers to apply to their aviation authorities to use new precision area navigation (P-RNAV) procedures in an airport's terminal airspace. These approach and departure procedures use a total corridor width of 2 miles.
In other news, Qantas Airways has signed a 10-year agreement to use Lufthansa Systems' Lido flight planning system, which includes the Lido Operations Center (OC) and Lido Briefing solutions. Lido OC calculates optimum flight paths, and forwards navigational and weather data to the carrier. Visit www.lhsystems.com and www.qantas.com.
German airline Hapagfly will install Rockwell Collins' programmable audio video entertainment system (PAVES) on 10 new Boeing 737-800 aircraft, with an option for another 10 aircraft. Deliveries are to begin in January 2006. Visit www.rockwellcollins.com.
DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH, Germany's air traffic services provider, plans to equip the control tower in Berlin Tempelhof airport with Schmid Telecom's ICS 200/60 voice communications system. Visit www.schmid-telecom.com.
Executive Aircraft Completions LLC (EAC), Tulsa, Okla., has acquired AVHAR Services Inc., San Antonio, Texas, a company that specializes in avionics and electrical engineering and certification. Randy Harper, founder of AVHAR, will remain to manage the San Antonio facility. Visit www.eac-yp.com.
Ilyushin 114 Displays
Uzbekistan-based Tashkent Aircraft Production Corp. has contracted Barco to supply avionics displays and control display units for installation in 10 new Ilyushin 114-100 turboprop civil aircraft. Each aircraft cockpit will have five 6-by-8-inch multifunction displays and two control display units. Visit wwww.barco.com.
Rockwell Collins recently announced it repurchased 4 million shares, or about 2.3 percent of its outstanding common stock. This represents a continuation of a share repurchase program that has been in place for three years. Visit www.rockwellcollins.com.
Lockheed Martin has successfully conducted a "power on" test of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter's (JSF's) circuits, electronic components and wiring. (See JSF targeting story on page 22.) Visit www.lockheedmartin.com.
Northrop Grumman has delivered to the U.S. Marine Corps 17 "plug and play" Litening AT (advanced targeting) pods. The pods use a standard data link and video/data recorder to transmit data to ground- and air-based users. The technology can be adapted to existing capabilities without aircraft modifications. Visit www.northropgrumman.com.