Tornado contract lands BAE Systems $70 million

BAE Systems has been awarded $70 million to provide 128 radar map display subsystems for UK Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 ground attack aircraft.

BAE Systems Platform Solutions has been awarded a $70 million contract to provide 128 radar map display subsystems for UK Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 ground attack aircraft.

The company’s Avionic Systems business unit will supply the equipment to BAE Systems Customer Support & Solutions of Warton, UK, prime contractor and aircraft platform integrator for the Tornado Advanced Radar/Map Display Information System (TARDIS).

The award follows the UK Defence Logistics Organisation’s recent award of a Tornado GR4 cockpit upgrade contract, valued at about $150 million, to Customer Support & Solutions.

Rochester-based Avionic Systems will develop the system’s Radar Map Display Processor at its facility in Edinburgh. The processor’s display head is reportedly designed around a 12.8-inch active-matrix liquid-crystal display that is produced using patented fabrication capabilities developed by Avionic Systems. TARDIS will replace obsolete radar projected map display and digital scan converter systems currently used in the Tornado’s rear cockpit.

‘The system provides the latest in radar processing, graphics, and map generation software and represents a significant technological advance for the Royal Air Force Tornado fleet,’ said Sue Wood, managing director of BAE Systems Avionic Systems. ‘Trials carried out to date on prototype units have been very well received by the RAF user community.’

As TARDIS prime contractor, BAE Systems Customer Support & Solutions will complete system development, conduct flight trials, and modify the 140-strong GR4 fleet to receive the new displays. Installations will begin this summer to meet an aircraft in-service date of August 2006.

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