Rockwell Collins avionics upgrade modernizes cockpit, enables unrestricted global airspace operation

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa. Lockheed Martin engineers needed to bring Hellenic Navy P-3 aircraft into compliance with upcoming mandates for unrestricted global airspace operation. They found their solution at Rockwell Collins, in the company’s Flight2 integrated avionics system. Rockwell Collins’ Flight2 integrated avionics upgrade will convert the flight deck into a large, all-glass cockpit, for easier viewing of critical information on primary and multifunction flight displays and the engine instrument display system, while integrated communications and Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) Mode 5 capabilities will help to ensure mission readiness.

It’s time: Avionics needs to move to multicore processors
It’s time: Avionics needs to move to multicore processors

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa. Lockheed Martin engineers needed to bring Hellenic Navy P-3 aircraft into compliance with upcoming mandates for unrestricted global airspace operation. They found their solution at Rockwell Collins, in the company’s Flight2 integrated avionics system. Rockwell Collins’ Flight2 integrated avionics upgrade will convert the flight deck into a large, all-glass cockpit, for easier viewing of critical information on primary and multifunction flight displays and the engine instrument display system, while integrated communications and Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) Mode 5 capabilities will help to ensure mission readiness.

It’s time: Avionics needs to move to multicore processorsIt’s time: Avionics needs to move to multicore processors

Already installed on 15 Greek C-130s, Flight2 is built on architecture compliant with Communications, Navigation, Surveillance and Air Traffic Management Systems (CNS/ATM), supportable and sustainable to meet current and future aviation mandate requirements. “P-3 pilots will experience a whole new level of flight through greater situational awareness, improved communications capabilities, and useful alerts,” says Dave Schreck, vice president and general manager of Airborne Solutions for Rockwell Collins. “They’ll be able to achieve their missions more effectively to make it home safely.”

In July 2016, The Hellenic Navy, Lockheed Martin, and Hellenic Aerospace Industry (HAI) launched the Hellenic Navy P-3B maritime patrol aircraft modernization and upgrade program. That same month, the first of two Hellenic Navy P-3B Orions were transferred from Elefsis Air Base to HAI’s facilities at Tanagra, Greece, north of Athens. Attending the launch ceremony were leaders representing the Hellenic Defense Ministry, the Hellenic National Defense General Staff, the Hellenic Navy, the Hellenic Air Force, the GDDIA, the US Embassy in Greece, Lockheed Martin and HAI, as well as local authorities.

In February 2016, the U. S. Navy awarded Lockheed Martin Aeronautics a not-to-exceed $141.9 million firm-fixed-price, undefinitized contract to modernize the P-3B aircraft for the government of Greece.

“During the current difficult and critical times for Southeast Europe and the Mediterranean, the reconstitution of the operational capabilities of this program is a defense priority for the Ministry and the Hellenic Armed Forces,” says Dimitris Vitsas, the Alernate Minister of National Defense for Greece. “In addition, the government-to-government agreement between Greece and the United States guarantees absolute transparency, fair and reasonable program cost, the participation of the Hellenic Defense Industry and provides unique operational capabilities for the Hellenic Armed Forces.”

P3 Orion

This contract provides for the reactivation of one Hellenic Navy P-3B aircraft and the procurement of software and hardware kits for the upgrade/modernization for a total of four Hellenic Navy P-3B aircraft. The Mid-Life Upgrade, or MLU, kits will provide an extension of service life by 15,000 flight hours. In addition, this contract provides for phased depot maintenance; a Greece indigenous mission integration and management system; new avionics; and other ancillary hardware and services.

“The selection of P-3B and its upgrade is the most advantageous solution for the country. With the criterion of fulfilling the operational requirements of the Hellenic Navy, the P-3 with the MLU program through the government agreement of Greece and the USA offers the optimal combination of cost-effectiveness,” adds Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis, chief of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff.

“The Hellenic Navy was deprived the services of a maritime patrol aircraft. The launch of the modernization and upgrade works of the P-3B aircraft of the Hellenic Navy covers an operational requirement of vital importance and this is taking place with the largest possible Greek added value,” says Vice Admiral George Giakoumakis, chief of the Hellenic Navy General Staff.

The P-3 Orion is the standard for maritime patrol and reconnaissance, and is used for homeland security, anti-piracy operations, humanitarian relief, search and rescue, intelligence gathering, antisubmarine warfare and, recently, to assist in air traffic control and natural disaster relief support.

In addition to the HAI facilities near Athens, in Schimatari, Greece, work on these P-3Bs will be performed in Marietta, Georgia; Greenville, South Carolina; and Baltimore, Maryland, in the United States.

“With this program, HAI participates at a program of critically important technical and operational value,” says Zacharias Gkikas, chairman of the Board of Directors for HAI. “HAI welcomes the launch of the program. HAI’s management and employees will work effectively together for to deliver the best possible results to the Greek government and the Hellenic Navy.”

Rockwell Collins (NYSE:COL) is a provider of aviation and high-integrity solutions for commercial and military customers around the world, helping pilots safely and reliably navigate to the far corners of the earth; keeping warfighters aware and informed in battle; deliver millions of messages for airlines and airports; and helping passengers stay connected and comfortable throughout their journey with flight deck avionics, cabin electronics, cabin interiors, information management, mission communications, and simulation and training.

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