F-16 Getting New Cockpit Management System in Upgrade Program

By Nick Zazulia | November 20, 2018
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Photo from File

American F-16 Fighting Falcons are getting a new cockpit management unit (CMU) from Avalex as part of the U.S. Air Force’s mobile user objective system (MUOS) program to upgrade the so-called Viper.

The ACM9454V CMU will serve as a backup control panel for communications, identification and “other future growth avionics systems,” according to an Air Force spokesman. One of the major benefits of the CMU is consolidating several formerly analog cockpit controls in the Viper into a centralized digital controller. It will command and control various transponders and receivers as well as display those systems’ status. The CMU is a commercial off-the-shelf solution, which cuts down on cost and development time for the Air Force, Avalex said.

Avalex CMU

Avalex’s ACM9454V cockpit management system, which is being installed in U.S. F-16s. (Avalex)

The MUOS is supposed to provide a ten-fold increase in real-time, digital SATCOM capabilities for all variants of the F-16, according to Avalex.

Other components required under the MUOS program include a sixth-generation Rockwell Collins AN/ARC-210 radio, which will be controlled by the Avalex CMU, a new low-noise amplifier and a new high-power amplifier, according to the Air Force.

Avalex’s award is for $354,000 and it runs from September of this year through February 2019.

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