Commercial, Embedded Avionics

Antonov Avionics Contract Positions Esterline for Commercial Growth

By Woodrow Bellamy III | July 14, 2016
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Left to Right: Esterline CMC Electronics Avionics Systems President Michel Potvin and Antonov Company President Oleksandr Kotsiuba sign avionics agreement
Left to Right: Esterline CMC Electronics Avionics Systems President Michel Potvin and Antonov Company President Oleksandr Kotsiuba sign avionics agreement. Photo: Avionics Magazine

[Avionics Magazine 07-14-2016] Executives from Esterline CMC Electronics and Ukrainian cargo airline Antonov Airlines joined Canadian Minister of International Trade Chrystia Freeland on the third day of the 2016 Farnborough Airshow to announce a major new partnership. Under a recently announced contract, Esterline will be supplying Antonov Airlines with a combination of forwardfit and retrofit fully integrated avionics cockpits over the next four to five years. The contract is also significant for Esterline because it opens the door for the Canadian manufacturer to start pursuing more opportunities to revamp legacy Antonov cockpits with next generation avionics technology.

During the signing event, Avionics Magazine learned that Esterline will be supplying its its CMA-9000 Flight Management System (FMS), CMA-5024 GPS Sensor and MFD-2068 Multi-Function Display (MFD) in a dual configuration for the upgrade of seven AN-124 aircraft. The second contract, which has major implications for Esterline as an Antonov supplier moving forward, will see the Canadian manufacturer provide a package that includes dual CMA-9000 FMS’ and five MFD-3068 MFDs for a total of 60 new production AN-148/158/178 aircraft.

Kristof Vierin, vice president of sales for Esterline CMC Electronics avionics systems, said that technicians at Esterline’s Montreal and Belgium facilities will perform the integration. The Belgium facility came under control of Esterline CMC Electronics last year when the company acquired Barco’s aerospace and defense division, which Vierin was previously a part of.

“This is an enabler for the huge fleet of Antonovs out there in the market today, which at some point might need a cockpit upgrade. Through this first contract with Antonov, we’re hoping this opens the door for further collaboration, and together we will pursue opportunities for the current in-service legacy fleet of Antonov aircraft,” Vierin told Avionics Magazine. “What is also key, is that all of the deliveries will be EASA- and FAA-certified, so, in the end, Antonov is obtaining a certified avionics suite which will make the aircraft well suited for flying in western airspace.”

The avionics package Esterline is supplying to Antonov, will also feature an autopilot system from a third-party supplier that has not yet been announced, according to Vierin.

Navigation-wise, the 5024 GPS receiver will be Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS)-enabled and also features Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) functionality, giving the fleet of Antonov aircraft the ability to fly Localizer Performance with Vertical guidance (LPV) Category 1 (CAT 1) approaches. Vierin said the receiver is also positioned for growth toward Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS) functionality with its built-in Very High Frequency (VHF) data broadcast receiver.

While the CMA-9000 is a well known FMS and has been in service for several years now, one of the newer aspects of the package that Esterline will provide for Antonov are the multi-function displays, which also came under Esterline control as part of its previous Barco acquisition.

“It’s a smart display, featuring a Modular Open System Architecture (MOSART) built to the ARINC 653 standard with Design Assurance Level A (DAL A). In those displays we’re providing the application software, and MOSART allows ourselves and our customers to run certified applications on different design assurance levels on one smart display in different 653 partitions,” said Vierin.

Vierin said the integration work on both contracts has already begun, and the company will deliver the first units for the Antonov 124 contract by the end of 2016. Initial deliveries for the 148/158/178 aircraft are targeted toward the end of 2017, and will be spread out over about four to five years.

“This is a major breakthrough for us in the commercial air transportation market,” said Vierin.

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