Rockwell Collins completes USAF KC-10 tanker cockpit upgrade

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Rockwell Collins completes USAF KC-10 tanker cockpit upgrade
Rockwell Collins has completed the 59th and final U.S. Air Force KC-10 cockpit upgrade with its Flight2 integrated avionics system. The upgrade was part of a six-year contract to bring the Air Force KC-10 fleet into compliance with new CNS/ATM mandates for accessing global airspace.
A KC-10 Extender from the 305th Air Mobility Wing flies over the Atlantic Ocean March 18, 2016
(Credit: U.S. Air National Guard/Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht)
With our new avionics onboard, KC-10 pilots enjoy situational awareness and communications improvements as well as more direct routing and reduced fuel consumption,” said Dave Schreck, vice president and general manager of Airborne Solutions at Rockwell Collins. “The completion of this program adds to our long history of successful, low-risk CNS/ATM upgrades to keep Air Force aircraft in service longer.

Over the course of the KC-10 upgrade program, Rockwell Collins maintained the required FAA and military aircraft certifications and performed flights tests for the Air Force with reserve KC-10 pilots and contract crews. As the prime contractor, the company performed dual certification and flight testing to reduce costs and improve scheduling time.

In 2011, Rockwell Collins was awarded the contract to upgrade the KC-10 to meet CNS/ATM requirements.

The KC-10 CNS/ATM program includes the integration of a new Flight Management System (FMS) with military flight planning (including tanker-unique patterns), new Inertial Navigation Units (INU) integrated with the existing analog autopilot. The upgrade will provide full CNS/ATM capability for Required Navigation Performance (RNP), Area Navigation (RNAV), Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) and Air Operations Center (AOC) functionality. With the award of the KC-10 CNS/ATM program, Rockwell Collins will develop, manufacture, integrate and install a fully compliant CNS/ATM solution to meet current and future airspace mandates.