Lockheed begins production of Navy’s automated aircraft test system
- By Defense Systems Staff
- Jan 22, 2014
The Navy has awarded a $103 million contract to Lockheed Martin for new electronic Consolidated Automated Support System (eCASS) stations and related support equipment.
The contract authorizes two low-rate initial production options of the eCASS, which is designed to repair and troubleshoot problems with aircraft at sea or ashore more efficiently. The system will support all current aircraft in the Navy’s fleet and will be capable of being updated to newer weapons systems such as the F-35 Lightning II.
The next-generation test system was originally contracted in 2009. The first eCASS station is expected to be delivered by November 2014.
The eCASS is to replace the existing CASS test equipment that has been used since the early 1990s. The CASS station is the Navy’s standard automatic test equipment used to test aircraft radar and communications functionality, according to Naval Air Systems Command.
The eCASS is expected to result in an annual cost avoidance of $1 billion by repairing aircraft assemblies at operational locations, which would circumvent repair at higher levels of maintenance or by original equipment manufacturers, according to an announcement by Lockheed Martin.
“eCASS runs 20 percent faster, is even more reliable, and is highly compatible with legacy CASS stations,” said Randy Core, director of Enterprise Test Solutions at Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training. “This speed and reliability will ultimately help the Navy increase aircraft availability.”