Fri, Apr 23, 2010
ARINC To Start Upgrades Under Air Force Block 45 Program
As the Air Force gets ready to evaluate bids for a tanker to
replace the KC-135, the existing aircraft are still flying daily,
and need to be kept as up-to-date as possible. ARINC Engineering
Services, LLC announced Wednesday it has contracted with Rockwell
Collins to perform the initial installations of the Block 45
avionics upgrade on the U.S. Air Force's tanker fleet.
The installations will begin in early 2011 with two prototype
EMD (Engineering and Manufacturing Development) airframes.
Many of the KC-135 aircraft date from the 1960s, and all are
expected to receive Block 45 upgrades over time. The upgrades
include a new autopilot/flight director, radar altimeters, removal
of 21 analog instruments, and a modern large-format color digital
engine instrument display in the cockpit.
ARINC will perform the work at its aircraft modification
facility near Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City. ARINC
currently operates the largest commercial hangar in the area and
has facility expansion plans in the works for current and projected
"ARINC is proud to partner again with Rockwell Collins on vital
systems upgrade work for the KC-135 aircraft," stated Jeffery D.
Willis, Engineering Director, ARINC Aircraft Integration &
Modification Defense Programs. "We already have a strong work
portfolio with Rockwell Collins, including Block 35 GATM
installations for "Open Skies" surveillance aircraft, and Block 40
Circuit Breaker Replacements using kits fabricated at our own
Phil Jasper, Vice President and General Manager of Mobility and
Rotary Wing Solutions for Rockwell Collins, stated "The Block 45
upgrade continues Rockwell Collins' role in transforming the KC-135
by replacing obsolete components with the latest digital avionics
for increased safety, efficiency and reliability. 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 for the Air Force on time and on budget."
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