The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) plans on entering its fleet of upgraded C-130T Hercules military transport aircraft into service by 2021, the military unit said Thursday.
(Twenty C-130T Hercules aircraft are scheduled to receive Avionics Obsolescence Upgrades beginning in 2016. Photo, courtesy of NAVAIR.)
The upgrades are scheduled as part of NAVAIR's Avionics Obsolescence Upgrades (AOU) program.
Among the upgrades will be a new Terrain Avoidance Warning and Traffic Collision Avoidance System, updated communications radios and new Electronic Situation Indicators and Electronic Flight Instruments. Prior to incorporating the upgrades, the Air Vehicle Modification and Instrumentation branch will test and evaluate the new systems beginning in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014.
According to NAVAIR, the newly modified C-130Ts will be among the first aircraft to comply with the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE), a program launched by the Department of Defense (DoD) in 2008 to develop guidelines that establish a common computing architecture to support portable capability-specific software applications across all DoD avionics systems.
“[FACE] is quite possibly the most important innovation in naval aviation since computers were first incorporated into airplanes,” said Capt. Tracy Barkhimer, program manager for the Air Combat Electronics Program Office (PMA-209). “This will truly pave the way for the future.”