TCAS Upgrade Enhances Reliability and Safety for C-130 Operators

October 22, 2015

Led by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, European Aviation Safety Agency and International Civil Aviation Organization, world aviation authorities are moving forward with mandates that require operators to upgrade the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) on their aircraft. TCAS Change 7.1 updates are designed to further reduce the risk of midair collisions in the increasingly congested airspace. The retrofit compliance date for Change 7.1 for commercial operators is December 2015.

As a longtime leader in TCAS technologies, Honeywell Aerospace has developed a new-generation TCAS system specifically to meet the needs of military operators. The Honeywell system (MILACAS-XR) in Change 7.0 is already flying on new-production C-130J aircraft, and other military transport and tanker aircraft and now available in Change 7.1 configuration. The MILACAS-XR is designed as form, fit, and function replacement for the legacy Enhanced TCAS (ETCAS) installed on the majority of transport and tanker aircraft around the world minimizing integration effort for each platform. The MILACAS-XR is re-using existing tray, connectors and antenna, so no Group A changes to the aircraft are required.

The Honeywell TCAS Change 7.1 upgrade solution addresses several shortcomings in current-generation TCAS systems. These include improvements to the resolution advisory function that make directions simpler and more intuitive for flight crews.

The MILACAS-XR provides enhanced range active interrogation and takes advantage of ADS-B In for Passive Surveillance functionality, which improves situational awareness and safety in high-density airspace and supports air traffic modernization efforts. As a result, aircraft equipped with the new Honeywell MILACAS-XR Traffic Computer can benefit from an improved detection range of 100+ nautical miles.

The Honeywell solution is a form, fit and function replacement for legacy C-130 ETCAS systems. It offers full compliance with Change 7.1 and provides significant improvements in weight, size and power consumption. For example, the new computer weighs just half as much as the legacy computer. It also offers twice the reliability of the older system.