Entering Final Approach

Members of the 853rd Electronic Systems Group at Hanscom AFB, Mass., anticipate releasing the solicitation for a deployable instrument landing system in May, awarding the contract in June, and fielding the new capability in 2013. This D-ILS is envisioned to provide the same capability that the existing larger fixed-base systems that guide aircraft on final landing approach in low visibility and low ceiling weather conditions. But it designed to be much more transportable—fitting into a single C-130 transport as opposed to multiple airlifters—and much easier to maintain in theater. Col. Jimmie Schuman, 853rd ELSG commander, said D-ILS will allow airmen to convert a bare base into an operating airfield, augment an existing airfield, or temporarily restore landing capabilities at damaged airfields during humanitarian operations. (Hanscom report by Patty Welsh)