Rockwell Collins has completed the installation of new avionics on the US Air Force’s (USAF) KC-10 aerial refuelling tanker aircraft fleet.
The installation of the Flight2 integrated avionics system was carried out under a six-year contract to bring the KC-10 fleet into compliance with new communications, navigation, surveillance and air traffic management systems (CNS/ATM) mandates for accessing global airspace.
The Flight2 suite of communications, navigation and surveillance equipment is said to integrate new-generation avionics with sensors, radios, autopilot and aircraft systems.
It also has advanced displays and integrated military and civil flight management operations.
The latest cockpit upgrade is the 59th and final update made on the aircraft, Rockwell stated.
Rockwell Collins Airborne Solutions vice-president and general manager Dave Schreck said: “With our new avionics onboard, KC-10 pilots enjoy situational awareness and communications improvements as well as more direct routeing and reduced fuel consumption.
“The completion of this programme adds to our long history of successful, low-risk CNS/ATM upgrades to keep airforce aircraft in service longer.”
During the KC-10 upgrade programme, Rockwell maintained the required FAA and military aircraft certifications and performed flights tests for the Air Force with reserve KC-10 pilots and contract crews.
The company said dual certification and flight testing were also performed to reduce costs and improve scheduling time.
The Flight2 integrated avionics system is already installed on more than 900 fixed-wing aircraft, including the KC-135, KC-10, C-130 P-3, C-2A, E-2C, and E-3.
Image: The USAF KC-10 tanker. Photo: courtesy of Rockwell Collins.