Wings Magazine

Esterline wins contract for A310 Polaris fleet upgrade

Jan. 10, 2013, Montreal - Esterline CMC Electronics' (CMC) has recently been awarded a contract by Public Works and Government Services Canada for the avionics upgrade of the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) fleet of five Airbus CC-150 (A310) Polaris aircraft.

January 10, 2013
Carey Fredericks

This program entails an upgrade of the legacy avionics equipment with CMC's latest generation CMA-9000 Flight Management Systems (FMS) with vertical navigation functionality and high-performance Global Positioning System Wide Area Augmentation System (GPS WAAS) sensors. The upgrade adds the capability for the fleet to operate in polar regions via software functionality in the CMA-9000 FMS and an upgrade of the legacy aircraft avionics.

Under the contract, Future Air Navigation (FANS-1) functionality will be added to the five aircraft. The FANS-1 functionality includes Airline Operational Communication (AOC) and Controller-Pilot Datalink Communications (CPDLC) functions via the CMA-9000 FMS in association with newly installed communication avionics.

The polar capability allows tanker refueling operations throughout Canada's North. The CMA-9000's large navigation database capability offers flexible global operations. It enables the aircraft to make the most efficient use of airspace as systems are modernized over the next 20 years. The fleet will comply with the forecasted Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards for the Communication, Navigation, Surveillance and Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) system.

CMC will perform software development, system engineering design, certification package development, installation kit production and project management. CMC will obtain three Supplemental Type Certifications (STCs) for FMS/GPS, polar navigation and FANS-1 upgrades, respectively. Flight testing is currently in progress, with entry into service planned for 2013.


This is the first certification of an upgraded flight management system on the Airbus A310-300 aircraft. Once certified, the upgrade can be offered to other Airbus A310 and A300 aircraft flying globally. The DND FMS configuration shares a common core with the Esterline CMC Electronics’ FMS that has been certified for the Sukhoi SuperJet 100.