Rock­well Collins’ tech­nol­ogy for the KC46A one step closer to en­ter­ing ser­vice


Just over a year af­ter Rock­well Collins’ Re­mote Vi­sion Sys­tem (RVS) aided in the Boe­ing KC-46A tanker’s suc­cess­ful first re­fu­elling test flight, the US Air Force has awarded Boe­ing its third lowrate 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 re­fu­elling,” 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 pro­gramme, de­liv­er­ing sig­nif­i­cantly higher lev­els of re­li­a­bil­ity and safety; a Tac­ti­cal Sit­u­a­tional Aware­ness Sys­tem (TSAS) pro­ces­sor built on a Joint In­ter­op­er­abil­ity Test Com­mand ( JITC)-cer­ti­fied sys­tem, which 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 and state-of-the-art com­mu­ni­ca­tions, nav­i­ga­tion, sur­veil­lance, net­work­ing and flight con­trol sys­tems.

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