Rockwell Collins (Hall 4, G10) has confirmed its status as a global avionics supplier with a $55-million initial production option on the USAF C/KC-135 global air traffic management (GATM) programme.

The contract includes the delivery and installation of avionics for 50 of the 560 KC-135 aircraft, with deliveries beginning in December for January 2003 installation.

The project is worth a potential $700 million over its entire life and provides military aircraft with the same capability as the civilian communication/

navigation/surveillance and air traffic management (CNS/ATM) requirement. This is becoming increasingly important as the industry moves toward Free Flight operation.

Flight2 avionics feature an open architecture that provides an upgrade path. The GATM upgrade allows the KC-135 to have unrestricted access to civil airspace by providing required navigation performance to less than 1nm (1.9km), controller/pilot data link communication (CPDLC) and automatic dependent surveillance (ADS).

Greg Churchill, executive vice-president and chief operating officer of Rockwell Collins Government Systems, says: "Our ability to leverage commercial technology for platforms such as the KC-135, combined with our focus on excellence and execution and our long-term relationship with the USAF, have allowed this programme to stay on schedule."

Source: Flight Daily News