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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 243-96
April 26, 1996

GPS AND FDR IMPLEMENTATION PLANS ANNOUNCED

Secretary of Defense William J. Perry today directed the services to installthe Global Positioning System in all passenger-carrying aircraft by fiscal year2000 and Flight Data Recorders by FY 1999.

Both the Navy and Air Force will have interim GPS capability installed in theirdistinguished visitor, operational support airlift, troop transport and otherpassenger aircraft by the end of FY 96. This interim GPS equipment will beflight rated, but not integral to the existing complement of aircraft avionicsequipment. This will affect 2,857 Air Force and Navy aircraft.

The Army will equip all 268 of its fixed-wing aircraft with GPS equipment thatis integrated into their existing cockpit systems by FY 1999 and the remainingpassenger carrying fleet -- 2,809 helicopters by FY 2000.

Under this accelerated plan, the Navy will complete installation of integratedGPS navigation equipment in its executive and passenger-carrying aircraft by FY1999 and the Air Force by FY 2000. The Air Force will install Flight DataRecorder systems in its DV aircraft by FY 1997 and the Navy in its executiveand passenger-carrying aircraft by FY 1998. The Army will continue to developits requirements for future FDR installation in its fixed-wingpassenger-carrying fleet. The cost of this accelerated installation will be$335 million above what the services have already budgeted for theseupgrades.

Today's decision includes direction to the Under Secretary of Defense(Comptroller) to identify, to the extent possible, FY 1996 and FY 1997 fundingfor the upgrades. Any residual funding required will be provided by theservices along with the FY 1998-2003 Program Objective Memorandumsubmissions.

The integrated GPS equipment will provide enhanced situational awareness toaircrews as well as enroute and terminal approach capability. The FDRs willcollect information on aircraft systems which would be used for normalmaintenance functions, as well as reconstructing a sequence of events in caseof an accident.

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