Embraer selects AdaCore for jet upgrade

March 26, 2012 at 1:27 PM
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SAO PAULO, March 26 (UPI) -- Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer has selected AdaCore's GNAT Pro avionics software as part of its strategy to upgrade Brazilian Air Force AMX combat aircraft.

GNAT Pro, a commercial-grade open source software written in Ada computer programming language, has seen its usage expand from aviation to other means of transport and public and private sector systems.

The software is being used in commercial and defense avionics, air traffic control, railroad systems, financial services and medical devices.

AdaCore said Embraer Defense and Security selected its GNAT Pro Ada development environment as a primary tool set for AMX modernization, which aims to prolong the operational life of the Brazilian air force's 53 AMX jets by 20 years.

The AMX ground-attack aircraft was manufactured by Embraer from 1989-2000.

The aircraft was built until 1999 by AMX International, an Italian-Brazilian joint venture, and is designated the A-1 by the Brazilian air force. Embraer owns 29.7 percent of the joint venture, which has headquarters in Rome and Italian defense aviation company Alenia Aermacchi as a partner.

The partner company produces the jet's center fuselage section and tail fin and front and rear fuselage sections, while Embraer builds wings, elevators, air intakes, landing gear and fuel tanks.

The upgrade will incorporate the most advanced avionics systems, weaponry and sensors. The modernization of the aircraft will achieve the same operational level as the most advanced combat planes available on the market, AdaCore said.

The jet's operational flight program is written in Ada, which is used on flight-critical systems for many commercial and military fly-by-wire aircraft across the world.

"Ada is used when safety, security and high reliability are needed," the company said.

AdaCore President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Dewar said the company has "a proven track record in supporting both general Ada software development as well as a multitude of projects needing to meet the top levels of safety for the DO-178B commercial avionics standard."

Embraer has supplied more than 70 percent of the Brazilian air force fleet and markets its aircraft and defense systems to more than 50 armed forces worldwide.

The aircraft maker has seen its profile rise with competitive pricing on light attack aircraft, including the Super Tucano, and is developing the KC-390 military airlifter and tanker jet with the aim of taking a market share of older rivals from North America, Europe and Russia.

AdaCore is a leading provider of commercial software and has North American headquarters in New York and European headquarters in Paris.

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