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HARRIS AWARDED $1.6 BILLION CONTRACT; FAA SELECTS HARRIS CORPORATION TO UPGRADE NATION'S AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL VOICE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM

 HARRIS AWARDED $1.6 BILLION CONTRACT;
 FAA SELECTS HARRIS CORPORATION TO UPGRADE
 NATION'S AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL VOICE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM
 MELBOURNE, Fla., Dec. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- In a major step toward upgrading the nation's air traffic control system, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has selected Harris Corporation (NYSE: HRS) to complete a $1.6 billion project to modernize the system's critical voice communications network.
 At an announcement today in Washington, D.C., FAA officials said they selected Harris' Air Traffic Control Systems Division over rival American Telephone & Telegraph to begin final development, production and integration of the state-of-the-art Voice Switching and Control System (VSCS). The division is part of Harris' Electronic Systems Sector.
 Initially, Harris will install the next-generation systems at the FAA's 22 Air Route Traffic Control Centers and three other facilities during the next four years. The FAA also has the option to nearly double the number of installed systems to serve other sites as well.
 The advanced VSCS is an integral part of the FAA's National Airspace System/Capital Investment Plan (NAS/CIP), which is designed to automate and update the nation's entire air traffic control system and enable it to handle the nation's needs well into the next century. The Harris-designed VSCS will provide complete voice communications between pilots and controllers at the FAA's enroute control centers, which handle domestic flights once they are beyond local air traffic control tower tracking space. The centers play a critical role in monitoring and directing more than 5,800 flights each hour.
 "VSCS represents a quantum leap in technology, coupled with extremely high reliability. The system will greatly enhance the communications that are essential to the nation's air traffic control system," said Dr. Allen Henry, president of Harris' Electronic Systems Sector.
 VSCS is a highly reliable, fully tested, software-driven communications system using Harris Digital Telephone Systems' 20-20 telecommunication switches, Tandem Computers, Inc. computers, and Magnavox Electronic Systems Company displays. Highlights of the system include:
 -- Easy-to-use color touch-screen displays with icons for
 simple and fast controller operation.
 -- A sophisticated fiber-optic and digital switching system
 based on Harris Digital Telephone Systems' 20-20 switch that
 ensures clear communications and reduces the time it takes
 for controllers to connect calls to a fraction of a second.
 -- Redundant processors with automatic trouble-shooting to
 ensure continuous operation.
 -- The capability to handle more than 2,800 calls per minute.
 -- Flexibility to expand during peak periods to handle up to
 430 controller positions or to shrink to less than 50
 controller positions covering the same air space during
 off-peak hours.
 Harris' Air Traffic Control Division began developing the prototype system after being selected by the FAA to participate in a design competition against AT&T in 1986. Harris and the FAA then conducted rigorous testing of the company's system to ensure that it met stringent agency standards.
 "Harris utilized the most advanced communications technology to develop VSCS," explained Dave Halley, deputy general manager of the division. "We developed a custom system that is flexible enough to handle the needs of the FAA and air traffic controllers today and well into the 21st century."
 Harris has been selected to play key roles on several other significant FAA projects during the past five years including the Meteorologist Weather Processor, Weather Message Switching Center, National Airspace Data Interchange Network, and Terminal Doppler Weather Radar system. With the awarding of VSCS, Harris has won all five of the advanced systems contracts it has pursued with the FAA.
 As a result of its recent successes, the company plans to market its advanced air traffic control systems to the worldwide aviation marketplace. "Countries throughout the world are looking to upgrade their own air traffic control systems. The advanced technology used in VSCS and our other systems can be customized to meet their needs," Halley explained.
 Harris Air Traffic Control Systems Division is part of Harris Electronic Systems Sector, which conducts advanced research studies, develops state-of-the-art prototypes and produces custom communications and information processing equipment and systems for government and commercial organizations.
 Harris Corporation, with worldwide sales of more than $3 billion, is focused on four major businesses; electronic systems, communications, semiconductors, and Lanier Worldwide office equipment.
 -0- 12/31/91
 /CONTACT: Jim Burke of Harris Corp., 407-727-9126; Laura Tankersley of Harris ESS, 407-727-5868; or FAA Public Affairs Office Washington, DC, 202-267-8521/
 (HRS) CO: Harris Corporation; Federal Aviation Administration ST: Florida, District of Columbia IN: TLS CPR ARO SU: CON


JJ-AK -- FL007 -- 5963 12/31/91 17:32 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 31, 1991
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