Lockheed Martin Wins Another Air Traffic Contract

Lockheed Martin Corp., Bethesda, Md., won a $125 million contract to develop and field the En Route Communications Gate for the Federal Aviation Administration, the agency announced June 11.

The system, which provides a gateway for processing radar data, increases safety margins by reducing system outages and is easier to maintain.

It replaces the Peripheral Adapter Module Replacement Item with modern communications protocols and modular, expandable hardware components.

The system will be installed in 21 Air Route Traffic Control Centers, the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City and the William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City, N.J.

The Seattle control center is the first scheduled to receive the new system, which is expected to be operational in summer 2003. The last site will be equipped in mid-2005.

The old system was fielded as an interim replacement for one that used 1960s technology. The old system has been running for 10 years, far beyond its planned lifetime. Its replacement is a primary component of air traffic control systems.

It serves as the sole gateway, or interface, for data from radar sites to the en route centers. It also is the sole path for exchanging flight plan data from outside sources among the en route centers, and is a primary means to transfer data among systems within the en route centers.

The new En Route Communications Gate will consolidate these functions and other gateways into a single domain communications gateway, allowing all national airspace system domains to communicate seamlessly and securely.

The new system will include some functions of other systems and provide the foundation for new communications, radar and surveillance sources, such as automatic dependent surveillance, which allows pilots and controllers to see the same air traffic.

The En Route Communications Gate also will support external interfaces when it is initially implemented, using off-the-shelf products as much as possible.

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