ADi News2017-03-09 19:44:14
Just over a year after Rockwell Collins’ Remote Vision System (RVS) aided in the Boeing KC-46A tanker’s successful first refueling test flight, the U.S. Air Force has awarded Boeing its third low-rate initial production aircraft lot. The order includes 15 KC-46A aircraft as part of an overall plan to replace the Air Force’s tanker fleet. First deliveries of the KC-46A will begin later this year.
Rockwell Collins provides significant content on the KC-46A, including the innovative RVS, which combines 2D and 3D vision technologies in both visible and long-wave infrared spectrums, allowing the boom operator to safely refuel military aircraft in any weather and time of day, including “lights out” operations.
“The cutting-edge technology developed for the RVS defies anything that’s previously been used for airborne refueling,” said Dave Schreck, vice president and general manager, Airborne Solutions for Rockwell Collins. “This technology resulted from the hard work and innovative spirit of dedicated, professional teams from Rockwell Collins, Boeing and the Air Force. It also wasn’t just the RVS. This productive, collaborative environment applies to the numerous systems we’re providing on the KC-46A.”
In addition to the RVS, Rockwell Collins provides the following for the KC-46A tanker:
- Integrated display system featuring four 15.1-inch diagonal liquid crystal displays, built on proven technology from the Boeing 787 program, delivering significantly higher levels of reliability and safety. Each display provides two independently controlled display windows, for a total of eight, that accommodate multiple display functions on a single screen.
- A Tactical Situational Awareness System (TSAS) processor built on a Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC)-certified system. The TSAS provides situational awareness to the crew, routing cues to avoid imminent threats in the area, and awareness of friendly entities.
- Signal data concentrator network, a DO-178B and DO-254 certified system that forms the avionics network on the aircraft. It uses the ARINC 664 standard for fast translation and sharing of aircraft system information between components.
- State-of-the-art communications, navigation, surveillance, networking, and flight control systems.
Boeing’s KC-46A is a multirole tanker that can refuel all allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures, as well as having the ability to carry passengers, cargo and patients. Overall, Boeing plans to build 179 KC-46A aircraft for the Air Force.