First Flight of Tornado Production Aircraft with ASSTA 3.0
(Source: Cassidian; issued Feb. 10, 2012)
The first upgraded Tornado production aircraft during its first flight. Initial deliveries to the Luftwaffe are planned for mid-year, and service life will be extended beyond 2025. (Cassidian photo)
-- Capability enhancement trials fully on schedule
-- Delivery to German Air Force planned mid-2012
-- Tornados remain in service until beyond 2025

Cassidian has reached an important milestone in the delivery of the latest capability standard ASSTA 3.0 (Avionics System Software Tornado Ada) for the German Air Force fleet of Tornado combat aircraft.

The first ASSTA 3.0 production aircraft performed its functional maiden flight at Cassidian’s Manching site on 8 February. Over the next few months, a concerted effort will be made to finalise and certify the ASSTA 3.0 software. The first Tornados upgraded will then be delivered to the German Air Force in mid-2012 as planned.

Besides the installation of MIDS (Multifunctional Information Distribution System / Link 16), the ASSTA 3.0 standard includes a state-of-the-art radio device, a digital video and voice recorder (DVDR), and the integrated Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition (LJDAM) which can be guided to its target by means of satellite navigation or by laser.

While activities for ASSTA 3.0 are ongoing, the development of version 3.1 has already begun. This involves replacing the old monochrome TV/tabs with colour displays (L/RNHDD) and integrating the MIDS Basic Package with full Mission Control/Situation display and the video images from the Light Designator Pod and the Recce Light Pod.

On behalf of Panavia GmbH, Cassidian is responsible for the project management, development, manufacture and installation of the combat efficiency improvements for the German Tornados in close cooperation with Alenia Aeronautica in Italy and BAE Systems in the UK.

As an industrial partner in the trinational Tornado programme, Cassidian was in charge of developing and manufacturing all of the Tornado’s centre fuselage sections, and was also responsible for the avionics, the communication system, the flight control computer and the aircraft’s entire computer system.

Cassidian, an EADS company, is a worldwide leader in global security solutions and systems, providing Lead Systems Integration and value-added products and services to civil and military customers around the globe. In 2010, Cassidian – with around 28,000 employees – achieved revenues of EUR 5.9 billion. EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2010, the Group – comprising Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of EUR 45.8 billion and employed a workforce of more than 121,000.


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