Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $103-million contract by the US Navy to produce automated test systems designed to increase aircraft mission readiness. The award authorizes two low-rate initial production options for the first 36 electronic Consolidated Automated Support System (eCASS) stations and associated support equipment. The US Navy and US Marines employ eCASS test systems to troubleshoot and repair aircraft assemblies both at sea or ashore.

“eCASS will be the workhorse for avionics repair across the Naval Aviation Enterprise,” says Chris Giggey, deputy program manager for automatic test systems of the US 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.”

The new eCASS test systems are meant to replace CASS test systems currently in use and originally fielded in the early 1990s. Randy Core, director of enterprise test solutions at Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training, explains the benefits of the eCASS equipment: “eCASS runs 20% faster, is even more reliable, and is highly compatible with legacy CASS stations. This speed and reliability will ultimately help the Navy increase aircraft availability.” The first eCASS test station is scheduled for delivery in November 2014.

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