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News > ESC awards contract for lightened instrument landing system
Andersen adds revamped instrument landing system capabilities
Members of the 36th Communications Squadron and civilian contractors use a crane to erect an instrument landing system at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, in 2009. Officials at the Electronic Systems Center issued a contract award Aug. 12, 2011, for a deployable instrument landing system to provide a leaner system that will be more easily transportable and require less personnel to set up. (Courtesy photo)
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ESC awards contract for lightened instrument landing system

Posted 8/19/2011   Updated 8/19/2011 Email story   Print story


by Patty Welsh
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

8/19/2011 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- Officials at the Electronic Systems Center issued an $8.8 million contract award to Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Network Systems Division, on Aug. 12 to provide the U.S. Air Force a deployable precision approach landing capability to support contingency operations or humanitarian missions across the globe.

The fixed price contract is for the Deployable Instrument Landing System, or D-ILS, which will provide guidance to aircraft on final approach during low visibility or low ceiling weather conditions.

The D-ILS will have the ability to convert a bare forward-operating base into a precision-approach-capable operating airfield, can augment an existing airfield or be used at damaged airfields for conducting humanitarian operations.

"I think the D-ILS is going to become an important asset for the Air Force," said Matthew MacGregor, D-ILS program manager, "There will always be a need to support contingency operations and, if weather situations continue to ravage the world, the ability to assist in humanitarian operations will become very important."

While fixed-based instrument landing systems are a time-tested solution, they are large structures that need to be transported on multiple aircraft and require installation of concrete, electronics and cabling.

The new D-ILS will be able to be transported on one C-130 aircraft and set up in 120 man-hours, which basically equates to two personnel being able to complete the task in about a week.

"It was critical to the user community that the system have the ability to be set up and maintained by a small number of people," said Mr. MacGregor.

The contract is for 34 systems with a five-year period of performance. If all the potential options on the contract are exercised, the value could increase to almost $58 million.

Production is anticipated to happen around the middle of 2013 with initial operating capability slated for early fiscal year 2014.

"We're glad to get this effort started," said Col. Jimmie Schuman, Aerospace Management Systems Division director. "My team is looking forward to getting the system developed, tested and fielded as quickly as possible."

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