KC-390 aircraft

Curtiss-Wright Controls has received a contract from Embraer Defense and Security for delivery of rugged data acquisition systems for installation on the Brazilian Air Force’s (FAB) KC-390 military transport aircraft.

Awarded as part of a new long-term agreement (LTA) with Embraer, the $4m contract covers supply of Acra KAM-500 data acquisition products and specialist flight test Ethernet switches by Curtiss-Wright Controls Avionics & Electronics (CWC-AE) division.

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Systems supplied under the LTA, which is expected to have an estimated lifetime value of $30m, will be primarily employed to acquire data required for the aircraft’s flight test programme.

Curtiss-Wright Controls president Tom Quinly said the contract covers all of the aircraft’s flight test instrumentation requirements and future programmes, and also enables the company to unify the KC-390’s data acquisition and database structures across multiple platforms and teams.

KC390 represents the largest single networked system to have been configured to date with the Acra KAM-500, featuring 46 chassis and 14 network switches.

”These efforts enable Embraer to save time and cost, by reducing training, data conversion and operational requirements,” Quinly added.

”The result will be many long-term benefits that can be maximised over many years across numerous diverse programs.”

The systems will also collect data that is scheduled to be used across the company for the enhancement of computer models or to troubleshoot any issues that might arise during the programme, as the company’s data acquisition requirements go beyond the mandatory flight certification parameters.

Equipped with a fully Ethernet networked Flight Test Instrumentation system, KC390 represents the largest single networked system to have been configured to date with the Acra KAM-500, featuring 46 chassis and 14 network switches.

Deliveries commenced in the fourth quarter of 2012 and are anticipated to continue in accordance with the flight test programmes covered under the LTA over the next five years.

Embraer is currently manufacturing 28 KC-390 aircraft, as part of a $1.3bn contract awarded by FAB in April 2009, to help replace its existing 22 C-130E/Hs and KC-130 aircraft fleet.

Image: An impression of the Brazilian Air Force’s KC-390 aircraft during its flight.

Defence Technology