L-3 to begin EP-3E Spiral 3 aircraft production
L-3 Communications announced today that its Platform Integration division has been approved to begin low-rate initial production (LRIP) of the US Navy's EP-3E Spiral 3-configured aircraft, featuring an upgraded intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) mission avionics suite. Under the LRIP program, L-3 will manufacture and install this new capability on three EP-3E aircraft.
The successful completion of developmental testing using the L-3-modified prototype EP-3E Spiral 3-configured aircraft provided the basis for the Navy's LRIP decision. The operational test phase of this project is currently underway, after which a full-rate production decision will be made regarding the modifications of the remaining aircraft in the EP-3E fleet to the Spiral 3 configuration.
"The EP-3E Spiral 3 program continues to demonstrate the importance of using proven and validated technology insertion to stay ahead of threats," said Nick Farah, acting president of L-3 Platform Integration. "This approach ensures the high-demand EP-3E fleet can meet emerging operational needs using innovative network-centric technology that is adaptable to other platforms."
As part of the Spiral 3 modification, L-3 will install state-of-the-art communications intelligence (COMINT) equipment, replacing aging and obsolete sensors and increasing the aircraft's networking capabilities. These modifications improve onboard data analysis and provide real-time tactical intelligence dissemination.
L-3 began design of the Spiral 3 improvements in late 2007, delivering the prototype used for testing in 2010.
L-3 Platform Integration provides complex integration services for military, commercial and OEM customers at its aircraft integration facility in Waco, Texas. Its products and services include avionics and aircraft modernization, flight sciences engineering and certification, MRO, major modifications, VIP interior completion, and serving as prime contractor for the C-27J Joint Cargo Aircraft.
Source: L-3 Communications
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