Esterline Corporation (NYSE:ESL), a leading specialty manufacturer serving aerospace/defense markets, today announced that its Montreal-based CMC Electronics (CMC) subsidiary has been selected by Boeing to supply the Flight Management System (FMS), known as the CMA-9000, for the avionics upgrade of the U.S. Air Force's KC-10 fleet of 59 tanker jets.
Brad Lawrence, president and CEO of Esterline, said, "With our CMA-9000 FMS already established on military trainer and air transport aircraft, this key program will enable us to further position CMC as a leader for avionics upgrade programs."
The KC-10 Tanker Fleet Upgrade Program will involve the installation of dual CMC CMA-9000 FMSs plus multi-function control and display units, providing Precision Area Navigation (PRNAV) and FANS1 datalink capability, as well as several tactical functions that enhance the KC-10's performance.
The KC-10 upgrade will allow the fleet to comply with the forecasted 2015 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards for the Communication, Navigation, Surveillance and Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) system, which permit shared access within both civil and military airspace and enable tanker refueling operations worldwide.
"As air traffic continues to increase, modern CNS/ATM systems become essential for communicating precise flight data and obtaining the most direct routing," said Mike Harris, Boeing vice president of weapon systems modernization. "This upgrade is critical to the Air Force for pilots' safety, mission effectiveness and lower operational costs."
The five-year contract draws on design and development work performed by Boeing Defense, Space & Security and Boeing Commercial Airplanes. The first airplane will be modified and flight tested in 2012. Boeing will complete and deliver the final KC-10 modification in 2015.
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