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Friday, January 10, 2014

US Air Force Seeks T-1A Avionics Upgrades

Woodrow Bellamy III 

The U.S. Air Force (USAF) is seeking to upgrade the onboard avionics systems for their T-1A trainer jets to modernize and maintain current capabilities within the National Airspace System, according to a Request for Information posted on Thursday, Jan. 9. 
 
 
T-1A trainer aircraft. Photo, courtesy of U.S. Air Force. 
 
Under the request, the Air Force is looking to replace the ProLine 2/4 avionics suite that is currently installed on their T-1A fleet. Three known systems are experiencing obsolescence and the Pentagon is conducting market research to interface the jets with a modern avionics suite replacement. 
 
T-1A is a commercial derivative aircraft of the Hawker Beechcraft 400A, and is used to train USAF pilots and Combat Systems Officers (CSO). Currently, there are 178 active T-1A aircraft using the ARINC 429 data bus and Rockwell Collins APS-85 autopilot system. 
 
"Solutions should address, at a minimum; obsolete cockpit avionics, rough order of magnitude pricing and delivery schedule/capabilities," reads the request. 
 
Minimum requirements for the replacement system include Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast Out, Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System II (TCAS II) and an Angle of Attack Indication/Display, among other capabilities. 
 
According to the RFI, USAF is looking to use the upgrades to sustain the T-1A through 2035. 

 

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