Home Local News 185TH KC-135 REFUELERS GET HIGH TECH UPGRADE

185TH KC-135 REFUELERS GET HIGH TECH UPGRADE

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Pilots with the Iowa Air National Guard’s 185th Air Refueling Wing’s fly the unit’s first KC-135 aircraft converted with the newest digital avionics cockpit instruments, known as the Block 45 modification, back to Sioux City, Iowa on August 25, 2017. The new instrument panel replaces the radio altimeter, auto-pilot, digital flight director on the center column of the cockpit. U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot 185th ARW PA/Released

Sioux City’s 185th Air Refueling Wing has started flying its newest KC-135 aircraft which has been upgraded with the latest digital cockpit instruments.

Lt. Col Shawn Streck, 185th Maintenance Commander, says the instrument panel replacement program known as the “block 45” replaces most of the remaining analog gauges in the cockpit of the aging KC-135 with new instrumentation and LCD displays:

OC……civilian counterparts. ;15

The block 45 program replaces the radio altimeter, auto-pilot, digital flight director and other gauges with computer module updates.

Streck says during the next 12 months the 185th expects to have five of its KC-135’s have the new cockpit instruments installed.

That should keep the 1950’s era aircraft viable for years to come.

OC……….want to keep them. ;18

Lt. Colonel Streck says the new technology means the planes will likely be flying long after he retires:

OC……..30 years from now. :18

The mid-air refueler returned to Sioux City after 60 days at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma where the new systems were installed.