Airforces no longer confine their operations to the borders of the countries they protect. More and more airforces cross borders for joint exercises with friendly forces from neighboring countries and from others that are far away.
To enable the safe integration of military aircraft into international air routes, a new standard has been set – and more and more aircraft are being upgraded to meet it.
Earlier this week Elbit Systems was awarded a contract by the Israel Ministry of Defense (IMOD), valued at approximately $15 million, for additional upgrades to the Israeli Air Force’s (IAF) C-130H transport aircraft.
The contract will be fulfilled over a two-year period. Elbit Systems will give the C-130H additional capabilities, as a follow-on to a previous IMOD contract signed in 2012. The new capabilities will allow the aircraft to meet the stringent international CNS/ATM (Communications Navigation and Surveillance/Air Traffic Management) standard and operate in commercial airspace.
Gadi Kuperman, business development manager for Elbit’s military airlifter upgrades, said that the upgrade will include improved INS/GPS navigation technology and a very advanced flight management system. “The new systems will bring the C-130H to the new standard that is required when they fly on the international aviation routes,” he said.
“We have identified a big potential market for such upgrades that in the future will be required also on helicopters. In the more distant future at least some elements of the CNS/ATM will be required from fighter aircraft also.”
The demand is steady but it will grow. New aircraft are equipped with the new system on the assembly line, but there are large fleets that need to be adapted.