Airborne Retrofit & Modernization Highlights – 8/14/17 Edition

by Matthew Beres, Airborne Retrofit & Modernization Analyst, Forecast International.

KC-10 Refueling Mission
Source: U.S. Navy

This blog post briefly highlights recent Airborne Retrofit & Modernization news.  The Retrofit and Modernization market forecast provides comprehensive coverage of major airframe, propulsion, electronics, and armament programs for military, commercial, and civil aircraft markets. These programs are broken down into their major component categories, including a detailed quantitative data set, buttressed by greater qualitative economic updates and analyses.  More in-depth news can be found in Forecast’s E-Market Alert. To the minute R&M news can also be found via the Forecast R&M twitter account, @MBeresFI.


KRET Countermeasures

KRET delivered a new podded electronic countermeasures system for the Su-30SM, to be followed by 14 more systems.

AWACS Digital Cockpit

The French Air Force’s four E-3F AWACS are to receive a new digital cockpit upgrade/ 

Typhoon Brimstone Firing

Eurofighter Typhoon completed live firing of the Brimstone missile.

KC-10 MRO and Refueling

Rockwell Collins was awarded a repair contract for 59 USAF KC-10 aircraft. Contract will support the repair of over 500 parts and 4,000 annual repairs.

Three USAF KC-10s have refueled five C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, during operation Talisman Sabre.

Commercial Upgrades

UH-1 Refurbishment

PAC International completed maintenance and exterior refurbishment of the first of two UH-1H rotorcraft, for the Michigan State Police.

A380 All-Economy

Malaysia Airlines plans to retrofit six unwanted A380 aircraft into all-economy layouts.

ATR Capacitor Retrofit

ATR is planning a retrofit program to mitigate capacitor issues in the aircraft’s number one static inverter, which has caused cabin smoke problems. This is a temporary solution while a complete redesign is underway.

Black Hawk Firebombing

Kaan Air Australia, Sikorsky, and StarFlight Australia have signed a AUD63 million agreement to refurbish 10 UH-60 Black Hawks, with options for an additional 10 aircraft. The aircraft will be used for aerial firebombing.


Vector Aerospace and Robertson Fuel Systems have successfully flight tested their Crash-Resistant Fuel Tank (CRFT) on an Airbus AS350 helicopter. The retrofittable upgrade will be able to withstand impact without leakage, thus preventing post-crash fires. The upgrade will serve as a direct replacement for all AS350 models, and the EC130 B4.

King Air 350 Retrofits

Innovative Solutions has partnered with Blackhawk Modifications to distribute and install a NextGen Flight Deck and its Integrated Turboprop Autothrottle for the King Air 200 and 350 platforms.

Blackhawk Modifications has completed flight testing of its XP67A engine upgrade program for the King Air 350. The company is also starting a new program with Metal Innovations to refurbish Cessna Caravans.

Hartzell Propeller and Raisbeck Engineering are collaborating on new structural composite swept blade props for the Beechcraft King Air 350 turboprop.

Daher plans to offer a G1000 NXi Flight Deck Retrofit for G1000-equipped TBM 700, 850 and 900 aircraft.



Saab 340s

Silver Airways selected Saab to provide repair and exchange services on a flight-hour basis for its 21 Saab 340s under four-year parts exchange program (PEP).

A320 Support

Moldavian Fly One signed a CAMO support agreement with FL Technics, for its A320 fleet.

The MRO Storm

Storm Aviation announced the launch of light base maintenance services at its headquarter facilities at London-Stansted airport. The UK Part-145 and Part-147 approved organization will provide base maintenance services.

787 Support

Israel’s EL AL Airlines and Lufthansa Technik have signed a 15-year Total Component Support contract for 16 787s.

Safe Fuel

The B&E Group has acquired Safe Fuel Systems, an MRO provider of fuel, hydraulic, pneumatic and power generation components located in Hialeah, Florida.

First European MRO Alliance MRO Member

Airbus has selected Sabena technics for its new Airbus MRO Alliance, the first MRO member to join the Alliance in Europe.

Magnetic Parts Training

Magnetic MRO entered into a joint venture with Crestline Investors to operate as Magnetic Parts Trading. The new company will focus on acquisitions of narrowbody aircraft.

Nile Air

Nile Air renewed its contract with AJW for A320 support, doubling the number of covered aircraft.

New Phillipine MRO Base

Lufthansa Technik Philippines is building a second MRO base in  Cebu, Clark or Davao.

BAT Expanding

Batam Aero Technic (BAT) is planning a $250 million Indonesian facility expansion. Its third hangar will be ready by the end of 2018, while hangars 1 and 2 will be converted for solely widebody work. Plans also call for an ATR APU and propeller shop, and a paint shop for narrowbodies. A dedicated engine MRO center will be operational by 2020. Fourth and fifth hangars will also be ready by 2020.

Forecast International’s Airborne Retrofit & Modernization Forecast provides operators in the military and commercial aviation sectors with the information they need to maximize their current investments rather than expand their fleets, a trend that is opening up multiple opportunities for the expansion of retrofit and modernization programs. It offers a one-stop service for tracking the status of commercial and military R&M programs in progress worldwide, and pinpoints key developments in the aviation industry that will impact the market in the future.