Eyeing Brazil, Boeing Chooses Elbit To Supply Large Displays for F-15, F/A-18

 - March 9, 2012, 4:00 PM
Ted Herman, Boeing Global Strike business development manager, points to a representative large area display (LAD) featured in the company’s Super Hornet Technology Demonstration Trailer. (Photo: Bill Carey)

Boeing has selected Elbit Systems to supply the high-resolution large area display (LAD) for future export versions of the F-15 Eagle and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. The 11- by 19-inch LAD replaces several multifunction displays. It forms part of the F-15 Silent Eagle proposal to Korea, and the Super Hornet proposal for Brazil’s long-running fighter contest. Elbit first unveiled its “CockpitNG” concept of wide-area, centrally located touchscreen displays for fighters, trainers and helicopters at the 2010 Farnborough Airshow. Boeing said that a first flight with a LAD installed on either the F/A-18 or F-15 could take place in 2014 with aircraft deliveries possibly beginning the following year.

In an attempt to boost the Super Hornet’s chances in Brazil, Boeing has linked with Elbit Systems’ Brazilian subsidiary, AEL Sistemas, to do work on the LAD. The two companies signed an MoU to develop advanced avionics capabilities. They said the capabilities gained from work on some of the software and hardware components of the LAD would help establish an advanced cockpit technology center of excellence in Brazil. “Boeing and its tier one supplier-partners are committed to bringing key technologies to Brazil,” said Chris Chadwick, Boeing Military Aircraft president. “At the same time, we’re focused on building long-lasting opportunities for Brazilian industry...as Boeing continues to enhance its tactical fighter aircraft.” The Super Hornet is competing against the Dassault Rafale and the Saab Gripen in Brazil for the 36-aircraft FX2 requirement.

Work conducted in Brazil adds to the growing portfolio of AEL Sistemas, based in Porto Alegre in the country’s southern region. Last September, the Elbit subsidiary formed a joint venture with Embraer Defense and Security known as Harpia Sistemas, to develop technologies for unmanned aircraft systems, avionics and simulators. Additionally, Embraer Defense acquired a 25-percent interest in AEL. Embraer Defense also has selected AEL Sistemas to provide the mission computer, self-protection suite, directional infrared countermeasures and pilots’ head-up display for the new KC-390 military transport.