The U.S. Navy has awarded Lockheed Martin a $103 million contract for new automated test systems to increase aircraft mission readiness.
The contract authorizes two low rate initial production options for the first 36 electronic Consolidated Automated Support System (eCASS) stations and associated support equipment. Sailors and Marines will use eCASS to troubleshoot and repair aircraft assemblies at sea or ashore, allowing them to return equipment to readiness status quickly and efficiently.
"eCASS will be the workhorse for avionics repair across the Naval Aviation Enterprise," said Chris Giggey, deputy program manager for Automatic Test Systems, of the U.S. Navy's Naval Air Systems Command's Aviation Support Equipment Program Office (PMA-260). "This system provides us with capabilities critical to support of naval aircraft and gives us the ability to launch combat-ready aircraft from carriers anytime and anywhere in support of the nation."
eCASS will replace the current CASS test equipment originally fielded in the early 1990s. CASS is the Navy's standard automatic test equipment family supporting electronics on naval aircraft.
"eCASS runs 20 percent faster, is even more reliable, and is highly compatible with legacy CASS stations," said Randy Core, director of Enterprise Test Solutions at Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training. "This speed and reliability will ultimately help the Navy increase aircraft availability."
The first eCASS station will be delivered in November 2014. eCASS will support all the aircraft in the Navy's fleet and is extendable to new weapons systems, including the F-35 Lightning II.