Rockwell Collins has completed the new required navigation performance-area navigation (RNP-RNAV) upgrade for the US Army's CH-47F Chinook helicopters.
The upgrade for the helicopters equipped with the company's common avionics architecture system was recently fielded with the Minnesota and Iowa National Guard, as well as the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade at Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii, US.
Rockwell Collins Airborne Solutions vice-president and general manager Troy Brunk said: "RNP-RNAV provides tactical helicopters with full civil airspace interoperability under current flight rules.
"It eliminates the need to obtain waivers or be limited to non-preferred routing, while ensuring timely and efficient mission planning and execution.
"Our seamless integration of RNP-RNAV capabilities with the Chinook's combat-proven tactical flight and performance management system exemplifies how Rockwell Collins is a leader in bringing open system architecture solutions to our military customers through software-only upgrades."
Initially fielded in 2014, the RNP-RNAV capability enables Chinook users to operate in and around civil airspace with safety benefits that were earlier afforded only to commercial aircraft.
Specifically, the RNP software allows the user to comply with civil flight rules while operating in the continental US, Europe and other areas of the world where traffic jam is being addressed by the latest communication, navigation, surveillance and air traffic management rules.
The RNP is a type of performance-based navigation that helps an aircraft to fly a specific path between two 3D-defined points in space.
The RNAV is a method of instrument flight rules navigation that enables an aircraft to select any course within a network of navigation beacons.It also conserves flight distance, reduces congestion, and allow flights into airports without beacons.
Manufactured by Boeing, the CH-47F Chinook is an upgraded version of the D model and is used for military, humanitarian, disaster relief and search and rescue operations, as well as fire-fighting missions.
Image: A US Army CH-47F Chinook helicopter at the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum on Ford Island, Hawaii, US. Photo: courtesy of Russell K Dodson.