The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded a contract to Rockwell Collins to support Global Air Traffic Management (GATM) components installed on its KC-135 Stratotanker fleet.

Under the multiple repair contracts, the company will deliver services to maintain the GATM components and includes the integration of a new flight management system, inertial navigation units and military flight planning with tanker-unique patterns.

The GATM components upgrade also involves integration to the existing analogue autopilot, full CNS / ATM capability for required navigation performance (RNP), area navigation (RNAV), control pilot data link communications (CPDLC), and air operations center (AOC) functionality.

The repairs will ensure the fleet remains airborne and comply with Communication, Navigation, Surveillance and Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) mandates. The components were fitted on the tanker fleet two decades ago.

“We’ll continue to deliver results and work to keep the KC-135 fleet mission-ready.”

The company currently provides support for the Flight2 integrated avionics system and communications equipment, which are installed on the KC-135 platform.

Rockwell Collins Service Solutions vice president and general manager Thierry Tosi said: “After many years of partnering with the airforce in developing and delivering our Flight2 capability, we’ll continue to deliver results and work to keep the KC-135 fleet mission-ready.”

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The contract has a base performance period of five years and is valued at nearly $27m.

The relationship between the parties dates back to 1999 when the USAF awarded the GATM upgrade programme to Rockwell Collins.

The programme involved replacement of old avionics equipment that was not in compliance with the new CNS / ATM mandates.