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Mon, Oct 12, 2009

Rockwell Collins Selected For KC-135 Block 45 Upgrade Program

Flight Deck Upgrade For Legacy Tanker Fleet

The U.S. Air Force has selected Rockwell Collins for the Engineering, Manufacturing and Development (EMD) phase of the KC-135 Block 45 cockpit upgrade program. Under the contract, Rockwell Collins will modernize the KC-135 refueling tankers flight deck with the latest generation autopilot, flight director, radar altimeter and electronic engine instrument display. Two prototype aircraft will be modified during the EMD phase to establish the production baseline for 415 additional KC-135 aircraft expected to receive the Block 45 upgrade. 
"The Block 45 upgrade continues Rockwell Collins' role in transforming the KC-135 by replacing obsolete components with the latest digital avionics technology for increased safety, efficiency and reliability," said Phil Jasper, vice president and general manager of Mobility and Rotary Wing Solutions for Rockwell Collins.  "As the prime contractor for the KC-135 Global Air Traffic Management (GATM) program we've had a very successful history of delivering these upgrades on time and on budget, which played an important role in winning this latest contract."

Rockwell Collins is providing the technology that ensures the KC-135 meets current and future Communication/Navigation/Surveillance and Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) requirements, allowing it to operate in commercial airspace throughout the world. Rockwell Collins has modified and delivered more than 300 GATM equipped KC-135 aircraft to date.

The Block 45 upgrade builds on this success by providing increased safety with a state-of-the-art autopilot system. The autopilot flight director system and upgrades to the flight management software provide the user with vertical navigation capabilities, increasing the already robust KC-135 navigational capabilities. The contract also calls for replacing the aging analog engine instruments with a large format color electronic engine instrument display.



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