Virgin Blue first to select new Rockwell satcom in avionics deal

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Australian operator Virgin Blue has selected Rockwell Collins' entire suite of avionics - including a new satcom solution - for its new fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft.

The carrier has a firm order for 50 737s with 25 options, as well as purchase rights for 25 of the same type.

These aircraft will be fitted with Rockwell Collins' 'MultiScan' threat detection system, TTR-2100 traffic avoidance system and GLU-925 multi-mode receiver, in addition to the newest SAT-2200 satcom system, which integrates traditionally separate avionics and cabin functionality into a single unit that provides classic aero services and broadband services.

Rockwell Collins says the SAT-2200 "is designed to maintain communications without pilot intervention during all flight phases while also connecting passengers to broadband services". The system complies with the latest ARINC 781 industry standard for Inmarsat SATCOM capability for classic aeronautical, Swift64 and SwiftBroadband operation, adds the firm.

Virgin Blue is the first airline to select the SAT-2200.

Jeff Standerski, vice president and general manager, air transport systems for Rockwell Collins says: "Rockwell Collins SAT-2200 system meets passengers' connectivity needs during flight and provides countless cockpit communication advantages over previous generations.

Virgin Blue has not announced plans for bringing in-flight connectivity to passengers. However, its international unit, V Australia, intends to offer Inmarsat-supported AeroMobile mobile connectivity in the near future.