Cockpit avionics upgrade on Air Force OC-135B Observation Plane provided by ARINC

ANNAPOLIS, Md., 22 Jan. 2011. ARINC Engineering Services, LLC announced it has started installation of new cockpit avionics on the first of two Open Skies OC-135B observation aircraft of the U.S. Air Force.

Posted by John McHale
ANNAPOLIS, Md., 22 Jan. 2011. ARINC Engineering Services, LLC announced it has started installation of new cockpit avionics on the first of two Open Skies OC-135B observation aircraft of the U.S. Air Force.
Under a subcontract from Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, ARINC is installing the Rockwell Collins KC-135 Block 40 Global Air Traffic Management (GATM) navigational upgrade kit, and additional communications systems. The work is being performed at ARINC's Aircraft Modification and Operations Center (AMOC) in Oklahoma City, Okla.
The upgrade work includes most major systems in the OC-135B cockpit, including a new embedded global position/inertial navigation system, multi-function displays, altimeter, VHF data link (VDL) and SATCOM 2000 systems, multi-mode receiver (MMR), communication management unit (CMU), and a digital interphone system.
ARINC's timetable is phased to ensure one of the two U.S. observation aircraft will always be available for service on short notice.
The 34 signatory states to the 2002 Open Skies treaty use observation aircraft in fly-over inspections to verify the status and location of military resources of other signatory states.
The new GATM avionics are required to bring the U.S. planes' navigation systems up to standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
GATM navigation uses multiple satellite technologies (GPS and Galileo) in place of conventional ground-based navigation systems, and it has the potential to provide seamless global navigation in support of all phases of flight. Aircraft equipped with GATM navigation capability meet recent worldwide communications, navigation, and air traffic management (CNS-ATM) mandates.
The Open Skies OC-135B is a highly modified KC-135 airframe equipped with advanced photographic, video, and recording equipment, and accommodations for extra crew members, surveillance specialists, and technicians.
The Open Skies Treaty establishes a program of flights over the territory of participants to enhance mutual understanding and trust. All participants have a direct role in gathering information about the military forces and activities of other nations which concern them.

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