Posted by John McHaleNEUILLY-SUR-SEINE, France, 9 March 2011. Thales announced functional enhancements on its TopDeck avionics suite in order to anticipate operators requests, which will contribute to further improving the helicopter's performance. Thales is now enhancing TopDeck's functional content for Sikorsky's new S-76D commercial helicopter with a new software version, which will offer new functionalities such as LPV (localizer performance with vertical guidance), XM Weather (on-screen satellite weather services),FFS (flight following system), and ADS-B out (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, transmission from aircraft to ground stations).Sikorsky customers will be offered these capabilities as options.This new standard involves enhancements to the iFMS 200 flight management system, the TopStar 200 GPS receiver and the Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS) to ensure compatibility with new GPS SBAS (Satellite-Based Augmentation System) precision approaches."With these new functions, the S-76D TopDeck avionics suite is a perfect fit with the operational requirements of Sikorsky's customers," says Yves Joannic, Vice President in charge of Thales's helicopter activities. "And with the Icube-S concept, Thales has shown that an integrated avionics suite can accommodate new functionality and safety features with no impact on the helicopter's intrinsic performance."These enhancements will not increase the weight of the helicopter or have any negative impact on the helicopter payload's capacity, while at the same time increasing pilot safety.Sikorsky's new S-76D helicopter is due to complete certification by the end of 2011.