Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract by the US Navy for new automated test systems to increase aircraft mission readiness.
The $103m task order authorises two low rate initial production options for the first 36 electronic consolidated automated support system (eCASS) stations and associated support equipment.
The US Navy's Naval Air Systems Command's Aviation Support Equipment Program Office (PMA-260) Automatic Test Systems deputy programme manager, Chris Giggey, said that eCASS will be the avionics repair workhorse across the Naval Aviation Enterprise.
"This system provides us with capabilities critical to support of naval aircraft and gives us the ability to launch combat-ready aircraft from carriers anytime and anywhere in support of the nation," Giggey said.
The eCASS enables sailors and marines to troubleshoot and repair aircraft assemblies at sea or ashore and to return equipment to readiness status quickly and efficiently.
Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training, Enterprise Test Solutions director Randy Core said the eCASS runs 20% faster as well as being more reliable and highly compatible with legacy CASS stations.
"This speed and reliability will ultimately help the navy increase aircraft availability," Core added.
eCASS will replace the current CASS test equipment, which is the navy's standard automatic test equipment family, supporting electronics on naval aircraft since early 1990s.
Scheduled to be delivered to the US Navy in November 2014, the first eCASS station will support all the aircraft in the navy's fleet and is also extendable to new weapons systems, including the Lockheed Martin-built F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF).
Image: Technicians working on eCASS at Lockheed's site in Orlando, Florida, US. Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin Corporation.