|U.S. Air Force C-130H Hercules aircraft. Photo: Wikimedia
[Avionics Today 12-14-2015] The U.S. Air Force has awarded Raytheon a $29.6 million contract to install MXF-626K Very High Frequency (VHF) communications systems on 178 C-130H Hercules aircraft. The upgrade ensures C-130 radios comply with newly adopted European Air Traffic Management requirements by providing 8.33 kilohertz (kHz) channel spacing in the range of 118 to 137 megahertz (MHz).
The MXF-626K is a VHF tactical communications system that provides air-to-air and air-to-ground line-of-sight Single Channel Ground and Air Radio System (SINCGARS), Air Traffic Control (ATC) and maritime band operations in single channel and frequency hopping modes to more than 400 C-130H and C-130J aircraft. The MXF-626K is a designed-as-a-form, fit, and functional replacement for the ARC-186 radio presently onboard C-130H aircraft.
The U.S. Air Force awarded Raytheon two previous contracts to upgrade the C-130H1, the ski-equipped LC-130 used in Arctic and Antarctic missions, and other variants of the C-130H with MXF-626K radios for 8.33 kHz channel spacing.