Boeing [NYSE: BA] has been awarded a contract to develop and integrate new color displays in existing F/A-18 A/B aircraft for the Canadian Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force. The $40 million contract, funded by the Canadian government, will cover initial development, integration and testing of the new displays.
This collaborative effort, managed by Boeing for Australia and Canada, will replace monochrome crew-station displays with full-color displays that offer greater capability for integrated situational awareness. More compatible with advanced avionics systems, the new displays will solve significant maintenance and obsolescence issues on current displays.
The upgrade program will involve modifying displays on 71 Australian and 80 Canadian F/A-18s and could be worth more than $100 million over its life. Responsible for overall development and integration, Boeing will subcontract with Litton Systems Canada, a Northrop Grumman subsidiary, to design and build the system. Delivery of the first new display suite is expected in 2005.
"This significant program will have long-term impact on the operational capabilities of the aircraft," said Bill Grimsbo, Boeing technical lead on the project.
Boeing Program Manager Paul Niewald said, "This collaboration between Canada and Australia works well because of the similarity of the aircraft. Both customers were looking for a solution to transition to state-of-the-art displays so it was a natural fit."
This upgrade is in addition to current Boeing contracts with Australia and Canada to modernize AFA-18 and CF-18 strike fighters with improved communication and navigation capabilities.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, or IDS, is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $23 billion business. It provides systems solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in launch services.