Navy bolsters its electronics test systems

Lockheed Martin wins another deal to support CASS for the Navy and six allied countries.

While transitioning toward an upgraded, electronic system, the Navy is continuing to invest in its Consolidated Automated Support System, which it uses to test the electronics systems on aircraft, surface ships and submarines.

The service has awarded Lockheed Martin, a longtime vendor for CASS, a $214.5 million contract for up to 400 CASS stations and 150 reconfigurable transportable CASS stations for the Navy and the governments of Australia, Finland, Kuwait, Malaysia, Italy, and Spain, according to a contract announcement from the Defense Department.

CASS, versions of which have been in use both at sea and ashore since the early 1990s, provides support for all Navy electronics, including computers, instruments, flight controls, radio-frequency devices, electro-optical devices such as infrared and laser devices, and visual systems. There are 713 CASS stations used for Naval aviation, with other systems used by Naval Sea Systems Command activities and nine foreign countries, the Navy has said.

The Navy is in the process of replacing CASS with eCASS, for electronic Consolidated Automated Support System, which is in low-rate initial production and is expected to be fielded starting in 2017. Lockheed also is a contractor for eCASS, having delivered the first 36 of the systems to the Navy early in 2015.

The Navy plans to deploy up to 341 eCASS stations, covering on all of the fleet’s aircraft carriers and at its Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Depots. The system has a smaller footprint that CASS and runs faster, though it is compatible with the legacy equipment. It supports more than 750 avionics and electronics components,  including new systems such as the F-35 joint strike fighter.

Work under the most recent CASS contract is expected to be completed by April 2023.