Esterline’s CMC Electronics Flight Management System Selected for U.S. Air Force KC-10 Tanker Fleet Upgrade

The KC-10 Tanker Fleet Upgrade Program will involve the installation of dual CMC CMA-9000 FMSs plus multi-function control and display units.


(Montreal, Canada – October 5, 2010) Esterline Corporation (NYSE:ESL www.esterline.com), a leading specialty manufacturer serving aerospace/defense markets, today announced that its Montreal-based CMC Electronics (CMC) subsidiary has been selected by Boeing to supply the Flight Management System (FMS), known as the CMA-9000, for the avionics upgrade of the U.S. Air Force’s KC-10 fleet of 59 tanker jets.

Brad Lawrence, president and CEO of Esterline, said, “With our CMA-9000 FMS already established on military trainer and air transport aircraft, this key program will enable us to further position CMC as a leader for avionics upgrade programs.”

The KC-10 Tanker Fleet Upgrade Program will involve the installation of dual CMC CMA-9000 FMSs plus multi-function control and display units, providing Precision Area Navigation (PRNAV) and FANS1 datalink capability, as well as several tactical functions that enhance the KC-10’s performance.

The KC-10 upgrade will allow the fleet to comply with the forecasted 2015 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards for the Communication, Navigation, Surveillance and Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) system, which permit shared access within both civil and military airspace and enable tanker refueling operations worldwide.

"As air traffic continues to increase, modern CNS/ATM systems become essential for communicating precise flight data and obtaining the most direct routing," said Mike Harris, Boeing vice president of weapon systems modernization. “This upgrade is critical to the Air Force for pilots' safety, mission effectiveness and lower operational costs."

The five-year contract draws on design and development work performed by Boeing Defense, Space & Security and Boeing Commercial Airplanes. The first airplane will be modified and flight tested in 2012. Boeing will complete and deliver the final KC-10 modification in 2015.

CMC’s flight management systems are the solution of choice for a wide range of tanker platforms and the preferred option of military operators such as the British Royal Air Force, the French Armée de l’air and the Royal Netherlands Air Force. The CMA-9000 FMS performs several key rendezvous, orbit and tankering functions. It is well positioned to enable the upgrade of many other older platforms to comply with ICAO standards for flight in civil airspace as well as improve the operators’ efficiency for aerial refueling.

The CMA-9000 is a family of compact FMS variants that is well suited for modern digital cockpits in fixed and rotary wing aircraft for both civil and military applications. It is the next-generation FMS derived from the company’s successful CMA-900 FMS/GPS and CMA-3000 helicopter FMS. The single unit CMA-9000 has civil certified multi-sensor (GPS, INS and DME) navigation capabilities. It conforms to the ARINC-739 multifunction control display unit standard, making it suitable as a display and control unit for other systems such as ACARS, ACMS and Satcom. It also has the capability to act as a radio management unit.

Esterline CMC Electronics (www.cmcelectronics.ca) designs and produces leading technology electronics products for the commercial and military aviation markets. CMC’s focus is on delivering innovative cockpit systems integration and avionics solutions to its customers worldwide. Its principal locations are in Montreal, Quebec; Ottawa, Ontario; and Chicago, Illinois. CMC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Esterline Corporation (NYSE:ESL, www.esterline.com), a specialized aerospace and defense company headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. Esterline employs over 9,000 people worldwide.

We Recommend