Reduces Costs, Improves Availability
Airbus is to provide a digital services focus for maintenance of the Air Refueling Boom System (ARBS) on the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport (A330 MRTT) fleet, the company announced on 28 January.
Based on the company’s SmartForce suite of digital services, the contract aims to support the operator in reducing maintenance costs and improving fleet availability by optimizing fault diagnosis and troubleshooting tasks for the ARBS, based on data analytics applications. The central data system (CDS) plays a key role, allowing operators to draw on the flight data recorded by the mission recording system, and providing information on issues registered during flight, with recommended remedial maintenance actions.
The CDS is a joint development built upon a successful long-standing collaboration between Airbus, the Australian government and the Australian KC-30A Through Life Support (TLS) provider, Northrop Grumman Australia, in sharing data and defining the architecture of the system. Future proposed development of the capability will allow operators applying this technology to their fleet to be able to extend the ARBS analytics to entire aircraft-level diagnostics.
“Since the launch of SmartForce in 2018, Airbus is fully committed to support the digital initiatives of our customers. Working collaboratively with them, we have signed five agreements for the co-development of new services and technologies,” commented Stephan Miegel, Head of Military Aircraft Services at Airbus Defence and Space.
Jake Adams, Northrop Grumman Australia KC-30A Programme Manager, added “The introduction of the [CDS] has provided significant benefits in terms of increased availability of the ARBS. The recent agreement between Airbus and Northrop Grumman Australia ensures that the RAAF continues to benefit from this capability, as well as providing the opportunity for ongoing collaboration and sharing of data and analytics to enhance the ARBS capability.”
Gp Capt Scott Parry, OC Heavy Air Lift Systems Programme Office, stated “The [CDS] delivers a significant capability benefit for the KC-30A aircraft and demonstrates the strong commitment within the KC-30A enterprise to innovation and improvement.”