Integrating legacy military aircraft in a highly collaborative ATM environment, at lower cost and with reduced technical impact, requires the judicious selection of one of the following approaches:
- equipage exemptions and special handling by ATC;
- re-use or adaptation of military avionics to sustain civil requirements (dual use);
- supplementary ground support (e.g.multilink);
- equip “as civil”.
Accommodation of military aircraft not compliant with ATM/CNS requirements based on equipage exemptions is hardly compatible with automation and may result in delays, re-routing and higher ATC workload.
Equipage exemptions and derogations may be required in some cases but must be justified by compelling technical or military imperative reasons and only used as last resort.
Military actors will face integration challenges, resulting from higher levels of automation and ATM modernisation, based on interoperability and technology convergence approaches that take advantage of the performance based nature of civil ATM/CNS requirements.
Some past studies quantified the potential impact of the European Single European Sky Research (SESAR) programme upon military in the range of several billions of euros if retrofit based on civil equipment was the approach for military aircraft compliance with civil requirements.
Retrofits may seem a more immediate compliance option but sound technical assessments and cost-benefit analysis may dictate a different approach.
The so-called dual use CNS approach is an affordable option to adapt military avionics to emerging concepts, such as trajectory management, performance-based navigation (PBN) and advanced surveillance.