October 16, 2006 (by Lockheed Martin) - Lockheed Martin has entered into a contract to upgrade and enhance the capabilities of the C-130J transports flown by four international operators. Valued at approximately $110 million.
This enhancement will allow the United Kingdom, Australia, Italy
to benefit from a joint program that represents a significant milestone in international cooperation on a major weapon system.
“This contract clearly demonstrates the tremendous growth capability and global effectiveness of the C-130J program,” said David Haines, Lockheed Martin vice president for C-130 programs. “This Block Upgrade program allows multiple nations to collaboratively acquire enhanced capabilities for their aircraft while sharing the cost of development, design, test and integration. It also allows the operators to set the timeframe to field the increased capabilities.”
This program is designed to provide a value-for-money approach to upgrading aircraft with common components and also provides flexibility, allowing each nation to add national capabilities unique to their operations. As new requirements are placed on operators and operational use of the C 130J grows, this joint program will allow countries to stay at the very forefront of tactical airlift capability.
Known as Block 6.1, the upgrades to the aircraft systems include:
• Communications Navigation Surveillance/Air Traffic Management enhanced Identification Friend or Foe
• A common Flight Management System
• Takeoff and Landing Data update enhancements
• A Terrain Awareness Warning System with both audio and visual cues
• Development of a robust PC-based system called the Data Transfer and Diagnostics System (DTADS) to enhance aircraft diagnostics and health management
• An updated loading ramp and door hydraulics system to support high altitude airdrops
• A Safe/Gunbox /Storage unit on the aircraft.