CMC Electronics Delivers Innovative Cockpit Modernization Solutions
Mar 15, 2010

Esterline CMC Electronics designs and ­produces leading technology electronics products for the commercial and military aviation markets. CMC’s focus is on delivering innovative cockpit systems integration and avionics solutions to its customers worldwide. (

CMC was selected recently by Patria, Finland, to perform a glass cockpit upgrade of the fleet of BAE Systems Hawk Mk66 advanced jet trainers for the Finnish Air Force. The Finnish Air Force purchased 18 ex-Swiss Air Force Hawk Mk66 aircraft in 2007 to add to their fleet of Hawk Mk51s.

CMC was selected to supply its integrated glass Cockpit 4000 for the avionics upgrade of Hawk Mk51 trainers for the Finnish Air Force in January 2007. The final deliveries have recently been made for this program. On completion of this new contract, the Finnish Air Force will have a fleet of 26 upgraded Hawks, consisting of 18 Mk66 and 8 Mk51 advanced trainers.

The Hawk provides basic and advanced training for pilots destined for the F-18C and F-18D equipped front-line squadrons. The contract covers the adaptation of CMC’s’ Cockpit 4000 integrated avionics suite for the Hawk M66 trainer aircraft. The upgrade aims to further increase the quality of flight training, by improving the Hawk jet trainers’ training efficiency and extending the training that is currently carried out on Hawk aircraft.

Lowering Training Costs while Improving Training Efficiency
Jean-Michel Comtois, CMC’s Vice President, Marketing and Sales, Government and Public Affairs, stated: “Our integrated glass Cockpit 4000 avionics suite is designed specifically to lower training costs while offering superior training capabilities and, if required, to provide an operational weapons delivery role. By utilizing CMC’s advanced cockpit avionics, fast jet pilot training, from basic to advanced level, can be performed using a single training platform, resulting in significant savings.”

The Patria upgrade core avionics comprise CMC’s powerful open-architecture mission computer, a  wide field of view SparrowHawk Head-Up Display (HUD) and Up  Front Control Panel, two 5x7 inch Multifunction Displays (one in each cockpit), and a HUD repeater for the rear seat instructor in each aircraft. The avionics suite features mature and proven operational flight programs that integrate the aircraft sensors, radios and weapons systems to provide a wide range of navigation and mission requirements. CMC’s standardized avionics solution minimizes the integration effort required for aircraft installation – a key factor in reducing costs for customers.

CMC also has received initial orders recently from Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) to supply its Cockpit 4000 ­Integrated Avionics Suite for 24 T-6C trainer aircraft for the Royal Moroccan Air Force. Morocco is the first customer to purchase HBC’s newly introduced T-6C trainer, which is an improved version of the T-6A.

Advanced Cockpit Avionics
The Cockpit 4000 encompasses the full suite of primary flight, engine and navigation displays, and was certified by the FAA as installed on the T-6B trainer aircraft for the U.S. Navy. It comprises new-technology equipment that integrates CMC’s key product lines, such as flight management ­systems, global positioning systems, head-up displays, navigation and mission processors, multi-function displays and control panels.

Distinguishing it from the T-6B, the new T-6C features a hard point wing to allow for external fuel tanks.  The T-6C will replace the Government of Morocco’s current T-34 basic trainer and Cessna T-37 jet trainers, reducing fuel requirements by 66 percent.

The T-6B is based on the successful Beechcraft T-6A, already in service as the U.S. military’s Joint Primary Aircraft Training System (JPATS) aircraft, and is also the primary trainer for the NATO Flying Training Canada and the Hellenic Air Force of Greece.

Through the introduction of the CMC advanced avionics upgrade, the T-6B aircraft retains all of the inherent training and flying characteristics that have made the T-6A the most successful primary trainer in the world, while introducing a state-of-the-art open architecture advanced avionics suite that mirrors the systems and capabilities of today’s front-line military aircraft.

© FrontLine Defence 2010