In order to maintain an aging KC-135 fleet, in 1999 Air Mobility Command developed a new "block 30" program to perform additional modifications to the airplanes at the same time they get Pacer CRAG modifications. Some additional modifications under the block 30 program include enhanced ground proximity warning system, which uses aircraft position and a digital terrain database to provide look-ahead awareness to the aircrew. The Reduced Vertical Separation Minima, which equips the fleet to operate in reduced vertical separation airspace. This includes an additional digital air data computer, new digital altimeters and digital airspeed indicators. The navigation and safety modification installs a flight data recorder, cockpit voice recorder and emergency locator transmitter. This initiative brings a large package of modifications together, essentially into a single modification, termed the block 30 airplane. This program is very important because it reduces the amount of time that each aircraft is unavailable to the KC-135 fleet. One advantage to block 30 is that it simplifies aircrew and maintenance training because maintainers and operators can be trained on several modifications at one time and place. Another advantage is that it simplifies technical order production because there can be one technical order change that accounts for all of the modifications.
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