By David Pugliese
Rockwell Collins has been selected by Cascade Aerospace to provide a modern weather radar for the Royal Canadian Air Force C-130H fleet. The solution will include WXR-2100 MultiScan as well as new MFD-255 and MFD-268 Multi-Function Displays, according to Rockwell Collins.
The upgrade will provide an enhanced level of weather threat detection to help RCAF pilots perform unique search and rescue missions using the C-130, assisting with the descent into visual flight conditions in order to define coastal boundaries or areas of rugged terrain.
“The RCAF is getting the latest in weather threat detection, all while gaining weight and reliability improvements compared to legacy systems,” Lee Obst, managing director, Rockwell Collins Canada, said in a statement. “As an off-the-shelf, proven solution, it will have a minimal impact on the existing avionics and is an ideal fit for C-130 operators.”
During its role in C-130 missions for the RCAF, the WXR-2100 will use advanced weather radar technology to automatically scan the environment, analyze the hazards, adjust for geographic differences in weather, eliminate ground clutter and provide a simple intuitive presentation of the entire weather threat to the pilots during flight. This hands-off approach reduces overall workload, improves situational awareness and allows for the most efficient operation of the aircraft when deviating flight paths to avoid turbulent weather, Rockwell Collins noted.
Rockwell Collins has also been selected by CAE to provide its Panorama collimated display for the CC-295 full-flight simulator (FFS). CAE will deliver that simulator in support of the RCAF’s Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue program. The Panorama display will be installed on the CAE-built CC-295 FFS, which is part of the comprehensive training program being established to prepare aircrews for their missions in the new Airbus Defence and Space CC-295 aircraft, Rockwell Collins noted. “This is a program that helps save the lives of thousands of Canadians each year and working with CAE and Airbus on training will be a critical component for the RCAF’s success,” said Obst. “The configuration flexibility and enhanced realism of the Panorama display will help better prepare pilots for the new platform.”
The Panorama display is designed for use on simulators requiring a wide field of view, cross-cockpit views and side-by-side training. It supports unobstructed fields of view up to and including 225 degrees horizontal by 60 degrees vertical, making it ideal for critical aircrew training on platforms like the P-8, NH90 helicopter, C-130 and CH-47 Chinook. Rockwell Collins is considered a leader in collimated displays, having fielded over 800 Panorama display systems to a variety of government and commercial customers for more than 25 years.
Davie and Federal Fleet Services reached another milestone with its MV Asterix. In mid-May the supply ship, accompanying Royal Canadian Navy ships, replenished two U.S. Navy vessels at the same time in the North Atlantic. The USN ships were USS Bainbridge and USS Mitscher.
AHS International has recognized the Department of National Defence and Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, for “conducting an extraordinary international effort” to demonstrate flight and shipboard operation of the CH-148 Cyclone maritime helicopter from a Halifax-class frigate. The award cites successful expansion of the flight envelop to Sea State 6 conditions, where waves reached a height of six meters with winds up to 55 knots (100 km/hour).
On May 16, 2018, representatives from the Canadian Maritime Helicopter Project Combined Test Force accepted the Leonardo International Fellowship Award during AHS International’s annual forum. The award recognizes significant contributions to international vertical flight cooperation.
“The combined industry and government flight test team collaborated fully to demonstrate the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter’s anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare missions during some of the roughest winter weather imaginable,” William Falk, Sikorsky CMHP director said in a statement. “Successful demonstration of strict ship/helicopter capability is required before the Canadian government can deploy this helicopter weapon system.”
The CMHP Combined Test Force sailed five times into the waters off Nova Scotia from 2010-2017 during late December to early March when the weather conditions produced the necessary wave heights and winds. In total, the team flew 270 hours and performed approximately 975 landings on the flight decks of HMCS Montréal and HMCS Halifax. The shipboard tests were part of a 10-year, 2,800-hour flight test program that is expected to conclude in early 2019. The Royal Canadian Air Force will take delivery of the last of its 28 Sikorsky designed and built CH-148 Cyclone aircraft by 2021 to replace the CH-124 Sea King helicopter fleet, which retires this year.
The U.S. Department of Defense and Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corp., announced on May 31 that the firm had received a contract for the 11th lot of F135 propulsion systems, powering all three variants of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft.
The latest contract continues to support program affordability initiatives with reduction in propulsion system price, the company and the department noted. The 11th low rate initial production (LRIP) contract will cover 135 engines, as well as program management, engineering support, production support, spare modules, and spare parts. The total award for the Lot 11 propulsion systems is approximately $2 billion U.S.
“Pratt & Whitney and our supply chain remain committed to continual cost reduction for the F135 engine and to providing a superior product at the best value for our U.S. and international customers,” John Wiedemer, vice president, F135 Program, Pratt & Whitney, said in a statement. “Since 2009, we have reduced the production cost of the F135 by more than half and are now pursuing additional affordability initiatives to drive down engine production and sustainment costs even further throughout the F-35’s planned lifecycle.”
To date, Pratt & Whitney has delivered 375 F135 engines. Deliveries of LRIP 11 engines will start this year.
L3 Technologies Canada announced during CANSEC that retired Lt.-Gen. D. Michael Day has been appointed to its Canadian Board, L3 Technologies Canada Group Inc. The board’s mandate is to develop and promote strategic initiatives that advance L3’s competitive position and growth opportunities in Canada and the global marketplace, the firm noted. “I am pleased to welcome Mike to the L3 Technologies Canada Board of Directors,” said Christopher E. Kubasik, L3’s Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President. “As a former Deputy Commander to NATO and Commander of the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command, he has extensive operational and policy knowledge, and will be a great asset to the L3 Technologies team.” W