2017 Air, Space and Cyber Conference 18 September 2017 (Day 1) Report
MONS Correspondent Marty Kauchak files end-of-the-day report from the US Air Force (USAF) Association-sponsored Air, Space and Cyber Conference at National Harbor, MD/USA. UTC Aerospace Systems is quickly expanding its presence in US Air Force programmes. In one instance, the company is scheduled to complete delivery of new boltless wheels and carbon brakes in, “the fourth quarter of this calendar year,” as part of a fleet retrofit of its 475 F-15 Eagle aircraft, according to Al Killeffer, Corporate Spokesperson. After successful completion of expanded test points, UTC Aerospace Systems received a letter of installation approval this February from the aircraft manufacturer, Boeing Defense, Space & Security, granting factory approval for the new wheels and brakes to be installed on all current models of the F-15 aircraft.
Delegates at this conference will get a glimpse of another key segment of the company’s product line. In an adjacent aviation product space, UTC Aerospace Systems will have multiple subscale models of current sensors that are fielded or in the process of being fielding, on display: SYERS (Senior Year Electro-optic Reconnaissance System); MS (multi-spectral)-177 and DB-110/MS-110 pod.
During a MONS walkabout the UTC booth with Rich Sterchele, Manager for Business Development and Capture at the company, some intricacies of contemporary sensor systems were discussed. First, is the movement from dual band (DB) to multi-spectral (MS) system technology, as seen in the step-up from the firm’s DB-110 to the MS-110 family of sensors, meeting military customers’ requirements. With multispectral imagery, data is collected simultaneously from three or more spectral regions or bands. Within UTC’s MS sensor family, two MS-177 systems remain on schedule for delivery to the US Air Force by end of this year. Further, the follow-on MS-177A will have 10 multi-spectral bands, better supporting maritime and ground missions. Full operational capability for the “A” model is late 2019. Of little surprise, UTC is in discussion with US Navy about the feasibility of MS-177A selectively being added to the service’s aircraft.
Spokesperson Killeffer also emphasised: “In addition, a full-scale model of our Tactical Synthetic Aperture Radar system that is under development and due to field in 2019, is also at the show.” Selex ES, then a Finmeccanica company (today Leonardo), is UTC’s industry partner for this programme.
Back in its legacy product space, UTC Aerospace Systems is also displaying its TASE Imaging Systems. Killeffer pointed out, “The TASE product line has over 250,000 operational hours and is a leading source of real time intelligence to the warfighter and first responders. Our payloads collect full motion video utilising multiple sensors in support of intelligence operations. These systems provide solutions to complex tactical situations through the use of high definition and unique imaging solutions. When size, weight and power are priorities, TASE Imaging Systems is the leader in creating sound solutions in demanding environments.”