Thai Aviation Industries (TAI) and Rockwell Collins have just completed a major avionics upgrade for the Royal Thai Air Force’s C-130 Hercules fleet. The upgrade began five years ago and was accomplished in two phases, each covering six aircraft. The program allows the C-130 fleet to meet CNS/ATM (communications, navigation, surveillance/air traffic management) mandates until at least 2020, in turn allowing unrestricted access to global airspace.
Rockwell Collins has been involved in CNS/ATM upgrades to more than 150 Hercules around the world. It was contracted by TAI to design the aircraft installation and to provide the avionics equipment, which is based on the company’s Flight2 system. Elements included in the RTAF upgrade comprise new primary flight displays, flight management system, autopilot and communication radios, plus new navigation/surveillance sensors and systems such as weather radar, traffic collision avoidance system, terrain awareness and warning system, and a digital map.
TAI performed the modification at its main facilities at Takhli air force base, Thailand. The company was created in 2003 to provide the country’s first aviation maintenance center. Its work is primarily focused on the requirements of the RTAF, and it has expanded its expertise to encompass many RTAF types, from F-16 fighters to CT4 basic trainers.