Guntersville’s Ace Aeronautics, LLC announced this week that it had been awarded fleet expansion to the direct commercial sale contract with The Republic of Austria Federal Ministry of Defense, as of February 1, 2019.
The contract is valued at over $50 million and involves the design, manufacture and installation of a new avionics system for three additional Austrian Black Hawk helicopters. The work will be performed at the company headquarters located in Guntersville, with deliveries beginning in 2021.
The ACE DECK VL-60 upgrade will increase the ability of the Austrian Ministry of Defense to respond to both the fulfillment of the Austrian Armed Forces missions and in the event of an emergency and be able to help the population quickly, whether in the air, on the water or on the ground.
“The addition of three new aircraft to the contract really shows how our relationship with the Austrian government has progressed,” said Ace Aeronautics President and CEO, Darrell Kindley.
Ace Aeronautics will be installing the ACE DECK VL-60 cockpit upgrade to the additional aircraft. The ACE DECK kit offers the proven civil pedigree of the GARMIN® G5000H Integrated Flight Deck and the tactical military grade agility of the Avalex Technologies Cockpit Management Unit (CMU) and Digital Mapping System.
“Ace Aeronautics is pleased to provide the Austrian Armed Forces with the most capable and best value Black Hawk solution available,” said Kindley. “The ACE DECK is the only day/night VFR/IFR, NextGen/Single European Sky compliant solution available on the market today for UH-60A/Ls and S-70s fleet of aircraft.”
The ACE DECK VL-60 features four 12-inch, NVIS compatible, 4K Ultra-HD displays and two touchscreen controllers, offering one of the most
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intuitive pilot-vehicle interfaces (PVI) available on the market, Kindley said. The ACE DECK provides pilots the ability to more efficiently manage and control navigation and communication systems, traffic surveillance systems, augmented reality/street view, flight management systems, electronic entries, and remote audio/intercom systems.
“We are happy to be selected by the Austrian Armed Forces to solve the avionic parts obsolescence problems with their Black Hawk helicopters on our original delivery order, with first delivery set for 2019,” said Kindley. “This Austrian fleet expansion will increase the total quantity of ACE DECK VL-60 equipped Black Hawk Aircraft from nine (9) to twelve (12).”
Ace Aero is based at the Guntersville Airport, where they have been in pretty much continual expansion since announcing that they would be upgrading helicopters at the facility.
They essentially take out the old analog cockpit instrumentation in these aircraft and replace them with an all digital cockpit. They are equipped to do far more work than that, including air frame and powerplant repairs.