Lockheed Martin has selected GE Aviation to supply the open systems avionics solution for the Block 7.0 communications/navigation/identification for the C-130J flight deck avionics system. The contract has an estimated value of more than $30 million over the life of the program, excluding production. It involves more than 230 aircraft operated by the U.S. Air Force and other international air forces.
Off the back of its 2001 contract to modernize the U.S. Air Force’s C-130, Boeing is offering its avionics modernization program (AMP) as a scalable architecture kit to extend the service life of the ubiquitous military transport. According to the company, more than 700 aging C-130s that could benefit from the upgrade are still in service.
Production of the Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules has been assured for many years to come, thanks to the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command (SOC). The unit has ordered a new version, designated HC/MC-130J, to replace its existing fleet of HC-130s and MC-130s used for combat search and rescue and special forces operations. Last week, Lockheed Martin received a contract for the first six aircraft, with another eight to follow soon.
The future of the U.S. Air Force C-5 Galaxy airlifter fleet has finally been settled, after years of debate about its unreliability and the cost of fixes. All 111 aircraft will benefit from the avionics modernization program (AMP), which replaces obsolete navigation, communication and cockpit instrumentation and provides a digital architecture backbone.
Two U.S. Air Force C-130Hs are now being flight-tested at Edwards AFB with the Boeing avionics modernization program (AMP) upgrade. This program has been much delayed by procurement policy changes and cost overruns. But Boeing told AIN that test flights are going well, with no changes needed to the first software release. A third and last flight-test aircraft will join the program next year.
Marking a major change in defense acquisition policy, the Indian Air Force has agreed to buy six Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules through U.S. foreign military sales. The agreement was signed on January 31 and is worth around $1 billion.
The Airbus A400M is not just a military airlifter, according to Peter Scoffham, vice president of customer marketing for Airbus Military, speaking at the 2007 Military Airlift in London. It is also well-suited to the transport of humanitarian aid, which, he said, is one reason Malaysia has chosen the aircraft for its fleet.
The Pentagon’s aging aircraft concerns won’t go away. About 60 percent of the U.S. Air Force’s 440 F-15A/B/C/D interceptors have been cleared to resume flying after inspections for structural fatigue of the forward fuselage longerons. But cracks have been found in some airplanes, and the remaining 40 percent of the fleet could need repairs.
Lockheed Martin is demonstrating the versatility of the U.S. Navy’s Seahawk helicopter, for which the company installs and integrates the avionics equipment, as well as the sensor systems. On delivery of the airframe from Sikorsky, Lockheed Martin undertakes the extensive equipment installation that over the years has been progressively updated.
Four European engine exhibitors at Dubai–Rolls-Royce, Safran, MTU and ITP–are fighting to recover an engine program that has run into serious problems during testing, forcing major delays to the Airbus Military A400M transport currently being campaigned as the answer to medium uplift requirements in the UAE and other Gulf states.