BAE Systems Regional Aircraft has obtained European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approval to upgrade all previous TCAS 7.0 installations on Boeing 737s and Boeing 757s to the new TCAS 7.1 standard, and has won business from three airlines.
For retrofit aircraft this new standard is mandatory from 1 December 2015 for all aircraft flying in European airspace.
The TCAS 7.1 (Traffic Collision and Avoidance System) approvals for BAE Systems cover all models of the Boeing 737 from the Classic (Series 300-500) to the New Generation variants (Series 600-900) and also all models of the Boeing 757 (Series 200/300 and Boeing 757PF).
This new development builds on the EASA approvals granted last year for TCAS 7.1 upgrades to the BAe 146/Avro RJ regional jet and which has resulted in Swiss and TNT Airways S.A purchasing the modification covering their combined fleets of 36 aircraft.
We have always intended to offer this upgrade solution to third party aircraft types as part of our business development strategy and the Boeing 737/757 approvals are the first concrete steps in that direction.
We have so far received orders covering upgrades for 60 Boeing 737/757 airliners. The two latest customers to select the BAE Systems upgrade solution are Spanish carrier Alba Star for its Boeing 737 Classic fleet and Swedish/UK freight carrier West Atlantic for its three Boeing 737-300Fs.
Graham Smith, Head of Business Development for BAE Systems Regional Aircraft stated that because of its early approach to this upgrade requirement, the business is ‘ahead of the game’ in offering this solution to airlines.
He added:”We are now seeing real interest from potential customers across the length and breadth of Europe and we have multiple quotations issued covering potentially several hundred aircraft upgrades. Significantly, these customers also include in their fleets other Boeing aircraft types as well as Airbus A320 family aircraft and also some regional aircraft types. We are confident that we will be able to engineer solutions on to all these different aircraft and obtain EASA approvals.”
TCAS 7.1 is the latest standard of this anti collision software system and introduces two primary changes to the software logic to further improve safety in situations where two aircraft are either ascending or descending simultaneously, or to improve pilot responses when they are required to adjust vertical speed.
Depending on the standard of TCAS fitted to aircraft the upgrade can either be accommodated by a replacement of the existing TCAS II computer or through a software upgrade.
Significantly, installation upgrades managed by BAE Systems for airline customers have involved both software and hardware variants and also have covered equipment manufactured by the three prime TCAS contractors – ACSS, Honeywell and Rockwell Collins.
Source: BAE Systems PLC (LSE: BAES.L)
Date: Apr 3, 2014