Boeing announced Wednesday that it has received a five-year, $216 million contract from the Air Force to upgrade the avionics on the service’s KC-10 tanker fleet. Under the terms of the deal, the company will install new communication, navigation, surveillance, and air traffic management (CNS/ATM) gear on all 59 KC-10s by 2015. “This upgrade is critical to the Air Force for pilots’ safety, mission effectiveness, and lower operational costs,” said Mike Harris, Boeing’s vice president of weapon systems modernization. With the new systems, the KC-10s will comply with evolving Federal Aviation Administration and International Civil Aviation Organization standards for military aircraft to be able to operate both in congested civil as well as military airspace. The first KC-10 will be modified and undergo flight testing in 2012, according to the company.
Air Force Global Strike Command has finished collecting a second round of test samples looking for hazardous chemicals at its three intercontinental ballistic missile bases and plans to expand testing to Vandenberg Space Force Base early next year, officials said Dec. 1.