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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