Rockwell Collins has been selected by the U.S. Air Force (USAF) to advance communications capabilities for its KC-135R Stratotanker fleet with the implementation of a Real Time Information in the Cockpit (RTIC) system.
This marks the first time that this solution with Link 16 communications will be permanently integrated on legacy tanker aircraft.
“Pilots and boom operators will now be able to view intelligence feeds on the new avionics displays we’re providing as part of their Block 45 upgrade,” said Dave Schreck, vice president and general manager, Airborne Solutions for Rockwell Collins. “With information such as enemy threats, target data, and blue force locations at their fingertips, crews will gain real-time situational awareness to more effectively carry out their missions.”
Rockwell Collins will be responsible for system integration and testing to relay, control, and display information onto the existing avionics and other stand-alone displays. The system to be implemented on the KC-135R leverages the successful Block 40 and Block 45 avionics architectures and many components from the USAF C-130 RTIC program.
Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker is a military aerial refueling aircraft that entered service with the U.S. Air Force (USAF) in 1957. It is one of six military fixed-wing aircraft with over 50 years of continuous service with its original operator.
The KC-135 is to be replaced by the under-development Boeing KC-46 Pegasus tanker.