Thales Developing Deploy-able Air Traffic Control Instrument Landing for Air Force


Thales Traffic Control Instrument

To improve air traffic in more difficult conditions, experts at Thales Defense and Security Inc. are working on developing three Deployable Aircraft Instrument Landing Systems (D-ILS). Thales Defense is working on this project under a $14.1 million order with Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Hanscom Air Force Base.

The Air Force had already awarded the contract to Thales in 2015, totaling at $18.4 million. That project entailed creating two D-ILS prototypes instead. The modified amount of $14.1 million also called for a modification in what the Air Force expects. Thales is to provide a system that performs as well as existing Category 1 fixed-based systems in difficult conditions including natural disasters, low visibility, and low-ceiling weather circumstances.

The project is scheduled for completion in mid-2017.  By then, all the equipment will be delivered by one C-130 aircraft.

Once assembled, the D-ILS will be tested to ensure it works accurately to guide airplanes and helicopters in all types of environments. Each system out of the three will create a path depending on whatever the location of the aircraft is to the final touchdown on the landing surface. If any configuration is needed, the D-ILS comes with the ability to be adjusted from remote locations. Overall, the D-ILS is expected to be more reliable than the Precision Approach Radar (PAR) Systems that the Air Force currently uses for hard-to-navigate environments.

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