- Lockheed Martin’s eCASS automated test equipment will support the F-35C in 2020
- eCASS is designed to enable aircraft to return to operational status quickly and efficiently
Lockheed Martin’s electronic Consolidated Automated Support System (eCASS) will support the F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft carrier variant in 2020 thanks to a recent US Navy (USN) contract.
The USN recently awarded Lockheed Martin a roughly USD58 million contract for full-rate production (FRP) of 26 eCASSs over the next two years. The deal is firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost reimbursable, according to a Pentagon statement.
Laura Frank, Lockheed Martin vice-president of enterprise sustainment solutions, told Jane’s recently that eCASS is designed to be extended to new subsystems. In the case of F-35C, Frank said eCASS will be working on an avionics-focused subsystem in about 18 months.
eCASS maximises aircraft readiness by averting the repair of avionics at the next level of maintenance or sending the parts back to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), according to a Lockheed Martin statement. Sailors use eCASS to troubleshoot and repair aircraft electronics ashore and at sea, enabling them to return aircraft such as the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet and the Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced HawkEye to operational status quickly and efficiently.
Frank said maintainers remove avionics from aircraft scheduled to receive maintenance and connects it to the eCASS station. eCASS, she said, then automatically identifies corrective action necessary to fix the problematic subsystem. Frank said once the maintainer performs the required maintenance, he or she then reconnects the avionics to eCASS, which automatically certifies the avionics and declares that it is ready for use.
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