Curtiss-Wright to provide data acquisition system for Korean 5th generation fighter aircraft testing


Flight test instrumentation supplier Curtiss-Wright has won a contract to provide the data acquisition system for the flight-test campaigns of Korea Aerospace’s 5th generation fighter jet.

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) is developing the Korean Fighter eXperimental (KF-X) multirole fighter aircraft as part of a US$15.3bn project, which calls for the building of about 120 twin-engine combat jets. Seoul aims to deploy the new planes from the mid-2020s to replace its fleet of ageing F-4s and F-5s.

Several KF-X prototypes are under construction and the first flight is expected in 2022.

Under the contract, Curtiss-Wright will provide KAI with a complete flight test instrumentation (FTI) system to gather and process data from the aircraft during test flights.

The data acquisition system (DAS) will use Curtiss-Wright’s compact and high speed Axon data acquisition unit (DAU). In addition the system will use KAM-500 DAUs, NSW-12GT-1 12-Port Gigabit airborne network switches, TTS-9800-2 tri-band transmitter, nEUP-2000-1 engineering unit processor, ANT-00800T-1 L/S-band antenna, LDP-050-AB-1 airborne-rugged 5-in diagonal display and GPS-FLR-100-1 active GPS splitter.

Shipments of the DAS to KAI in Sacheon-City, Gyeongnam are expected to begin in August 2020 and are scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.

Lynn Bamford, Curtiss-Wright’s president of defense and power segments said, “This contract represents the largest win to date for our industry-leading Axon data acquisition system technology, as well as the first 5th generation fighter jet deployment for Axon.”

According to Curtiss-Wright, the Axon range offers low size, weight and power with market-leading features, data acquisition and thermal performance. Axon uses a high-speed serial backplane enabling 1Gbps dedicated link per module and can be used in miniature “Axonite” housings to be located remotely from the main data acquisition chassis by up to 10m.

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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