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.