Multi-Fleet Air Traffic Management Avionics Project

Project Summary

The Government of Canada is upgrading a number of Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) air navigation, management, and control system capabilities. To support these upgrades, the Multi-Fleet Air Traffic Management (MFATMA) project will ensure that aircraft avionics systems remain compliant with changing air traffic regulations, both civilian and military, around the world, and that RCAF fleets can continue to operate safely, and in close coordination with allies.

The MFATMA project will implement the avionics capability requirements in two groups.

Group 1 consists of avionics capability requirements that are ready for implementation. This includes five fleets:

Group 2 consists of avionics capability requirements that need definition work prior to implementation. This includes nine fleets:

This project will also upgrade training devices and simulators for the CC-130J Hercules, CP-140 Aurora, CH-148 Cyclone, and CH-147F Chinook fleets to maintain RCAF training proficiency.

Project Phases

Currently in Phase:

1. Identification

1. Identification

  • The MFATMA project completed the Identification Phase in June 2017.
2. Options analysis

2. Options analysis

  • The MFATMA project entered the Options Analysis phase on June 13, 2017.
3. Definition

3. Definition

  • The MFATMA project received Project Approval on November 20, 2020, along with expenditure authority for the implementation phase for Group 1, and expenditure authority for the definition phase for Group 2.
4. Implementation

4. Implementation

  • Start implementation:
    • Group 1: November 20, 2020
    • Group 2: 2022
  • Initial operational capability: 2024
  • Full operational capability: 2027
5. Close-out

5. Close-out

  • 2027

Learn more about the defence procurement process.

Additional information

Project updates

Project updates

Upgrades are underway for the CC177 Globemaster, CP140 Aurora, CC144 Challenger (model 604 only) and CC150 Polaris fleets through existing procurement arrangements. Definition work for all Group 2 fleets is ongoing. Some new contracts are expected to be awarded starting in mid to-late 2021.

Benefiting Canadian industry

Benefiting Canadian industry

The Industrial Regional Benefits/Industrial Technological Benefits (IRB/ITB) Policies apply to many of the procurements included in the MFATMA project. Economic benefits will be leveraged through existing IRB/ITB obligations and by adhering to PSPC regulations regarding the award of contracts associated with materiel and services.

Technical information

Technical information

The MFATMA project will upgrade avionics capabilities, dependent on individual fleet requirements, including communication, navigation, surveillance, military interoperability and safety of flight, specifically:

  • Communication
    • Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications (Future Air Navigation System) (CPDLC (FANS)) – provides safety-critical text message communications as an alternative to voice communications between the Air Traffic Controller (ATC) and pilot through a data link.
  • Navigation
    • Performance Based Navigation (PBN) – uses Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) as the primary navigation system for increased flight accuracy, reduced obstacle clearance, and improved runway alignment.
  • Surveillance
    • Mode S Transponder – Automatically transmits aircraft altitude, radar, and identification data to civil ground-based ATC for improved situational awareness.
    • Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) Out – automatically transmits aircraft position determined by satellite navigation systems to civil ground-based ATC and other aircraft for improved situational awareness.
    • Traffic Collision Avoidance (TCAS) II version 7.1 – monitors airspace and warns pilots of presence of other aircraft which may present a threat of mid-air collision.
    • Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Contract (ADS-C) – provides data information exchange between ATC and aircraft via data link for surveillance and route monitoring where other surveillance sources are not available (e.g. oceanic flights).
  • Military Interoperability
    • Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) Mode 5 Transponder – transmits encrypted identification of military aircraft. The current IFF Mode 4 version is being upgraded to Mode 5 format for increased information exchange and security.
    • IFF Mode 5 Interrogator – interrogates and deciphers encrypted identification of military aircraft. The current IFF Mode 4 version is being upgraded to Mode 5 format for increased information exchange and security.
  • Safety of Flight
    • Flight Recorder Systems
      • Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) – records radio transmissions and all sounds in the aircraft cockpit.
      • Flight Data Recorder (FDR) – records the aircraft parameters (e.g. altitude, airspeed, heading, flight controls positions, etc.)
      • Data Link Recorder (DLR) – records all digital messages received and transmitted by the aircraft via data link communications.
      • Airborne Image Recorder System (AIRS) – uses a camera to capture images of various flight instrument readings throughout flight as well as flight-crew and machine interfacing.
    • Recorder Independent Power Supply (RIPS) – provides alternate power source to flight recorders should the primary power source fail.
    • Underwater Acoustic Beacon (UAB) – provides an audio locator signal to locate the aircraft when submerged in water following a crash.
    • Terrain Awareness Warning System (TAWS) – provides warnings to pilots when the aircraft is potentially too close to terrain or ground below using 3D databases.
    • Training Devices and Simulators – provides enhanced learning and retention of flying operation, aircraft maintenance skills and qualifications by focusing on the training of a specific task or group of tasks.
Project costs

Project costs

The cost of the project is:

  • The project is currently valued at $608 million including taxes.
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