ATK Provides Quick Response to 11 Air National Guard Units Flying RC-26B Aircraft in Support of Katrina Missions
The RC-26B is Aircraft of Choice for Night Missions *Modernization Plan Key to Future Success
Sep 16, 2005
Minneapolis, September 16, 2005 – Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK), the Mission System Integrator for the RC-26B Air National Guard Aircraft, has provided critical systems support on a continuous basis in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. The Air National Guard has been flying 10-12 hour missions daily on an average of six of their eleven aircraft. The RC-26B has been one of two preferred aircraft platforms to provide night mission support and ATK Integrated Systems is the System Integrator for both. The unique capability of the RC-26B mission system has been instrumental in the success of search and rescue and law enforcement support missions.
ATK’s operation at Meacham Airport in Ft. Worth, Texas has provided continuous quick reaction support to the units. ATK technicians and engineers meet the aircraft when they arrive to install hardware and software modifications on the aircraft as rapidly as possible. The aircraft are often back en route to the Katrina disaster area within hours.
Eleven Air National Guard units from eleven States have the responsibility to fly missions utilizing the RC-26B aircraft. The eleven units are from the State of Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, West Virginia, New York, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Arizona, California and Washington.
The RC-26B normally supports counter-drug operations at the request of federal, state and local law enforcement officials. After the Sept. 11 attacks, the mission expanded to provide a wide array of additional activities, such as counter-narcotics activities overseas, presidential support and humanitarian missions. "Nobody is better equipped to roll into that and tie in with law enforcement than us," said Major Joe Lewis, National Guard Bureau counter-drug aviation branch chief.
Although the current Mission System has performed well and provides a critical support function in the Katrina disaster site, the Air National Guard is planning a modernization plan for their existing eleven aircraft. The modernization plan includes improvements in the electro-optical and infrared sensors, mission operator and pilot situational awareness, high-resolution digital imagery, improved video and communications data transfer and avionics upgrades. By implementing these improvements the Air National Guard will be able to greatly improve their mission effectiveness on missions where minutes can make the difference between life and death.
ATK is a $3.1 billion advanced weapon and space systems company employing approximately 14,500 people in 23 states. News and information can be found on the Internet at www.atk.com.
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