Just before the show, the Irish Air Corps signed up for a €12.5 million ($14.9 million) modernisation for its two CN-235MP aircraft with the EADS Casa-designed Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS).
“We’re doing a mid-life update of our mission equipment and replacing the primary sensors, the airborne radar and forward-looking infrared (Flir) optical systems,” said Col Paul Fry, commanding officer of the corps’ 101 Squadron, which operates the twin-turboprop transport.
The upgrade will see the existing Litton radar and Flir Systems’ optical system replaced by the Telephonics APS-143C(V)3 radar and a new Flir Systems Star Safire 3 IR/optical sensor.
The quantity of information, and the range from which it can be gathered, will increase. Additionally, added Col Fry, EADS Casa will install a new tactical data management system with datalinking via Satcom HF radio. The new kit would allow all systems to be controlled from either of the two onboard workstations, improving flexibility.
The first Irish CN-235 will travel to Spain early in 2007 to be outfitted, returning by year-end. The second aircraft will follow in first quarter 2008.
Since the type’s introduction into Irish service in 1994 they have accumulated 20,000 hours – some 950 hours a year for each aircraft – mainly due to their typical missions being six-hour fishery protection or EEZ patrols.
Source: Flight Daily News