The U.S. Navy wants new avionics test and measurement systems. Under the terms of a $109-million award, the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in Lakehurst, New Jersey will buy 41 electronic consolidated automated support systems (eCASS) from Lockheed Martin. This test and measurement equipment helps soldiers and Marines troubleshoot and repair aviation electronics while at sea.
Avionics, the electronics used in aircraft, support essential navigation and communications functions. With military aircraft, avionics typically include electro-optical, infrared, and other types of sensors for airborne radar, weapons systems, and heads-up displays. Military avionics also need to support electronic warfare systems, digital and satellite communications, and inertial and terrain-based navigation
Avionics and the eCASS System
Lockheed Martin’s versatile eCASS system features an architecture that’s based on the company’s LM-STAR® platform. Configurable to multi-mission needs, LM-STAR® provides radio frequency, electro optical, electronic warfare, digital and navigation/communication support. This automated test system is also used by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of avionics to develop test program sets (TPS).
Importantly, eCASS technology is compatible with the U.S. Navy’s legacy CASS test equipment, which was first deployed in the 1990s. This backward-compatibility protects and preserves the Navy’s investment in more than 550 TPS for 750 avionics components. Over the course of a program like the F-35 Lightning II, standardizing avionics troubleshooting and repairs can provide a savings of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Lockheed Martin’s recent award isn’t the first from the U.S> Navy for eCASS avionics test and measurement systems. In January 2014, the defense contractor won a $103 million contract for 36 units. A year later, in January 2015, the company won a separate $78.5 million order to provide 29 eCASS systems. Under its latest award, Lockheed Martin will deliver 41 more eCASS systems by December 2021.