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Aero Precision - Premier C130 Aftermarket Support

C-130 Hercules News

C-130 Hercules News from around the web

  • Casey

    In the wake of a deadly magnitude 6.0 quake which struck eastern Taiwan on Feb. 6 and caused four buildings to collapse in Hualien, Singapore is reportedly sending a crew on a transport aircraft to Taiwan to assist in rescue efforts.  
    Singaporean aviation fans at the Singapore Airshow 2018 spotted C-130 Hercules transport aircraft loaded with relief supplies taking off at 8:08 a.m. this morning at Paya Lebar Air Base.
    According to a Liberty Times report, it was confirmed by the local government of Hualien that C-130 Hercules aircraft carrying rescue staff and essential supplies took off from Singapore this morning and are set to arrive at Hualien Airport at 2:30 p.m., Taipei time, and are expected to unload the supplies by 4:30 p.m.
    However, Taiwan's National Security Council officials declined to confirm the news and remained low key about the matter. 
    According to Hualien government, the cargo includes medical supplies, tents, flashlights, etc. The Assistant Secretary-General of Hualien County, Li Hung-man will greet the rescue crew on behalf of Hualien Mayor Fu Kun-chi.

  • Casey

    Atlanta’s Scientific Research Corp. is getting a $10.98 million Air Force contract.
    This firm-fixed-price contract is for installation and installation and integration of the AN/ALR-69A(V) radar warning receiver system on C-130H aircraft. 
    Work will be performed in Warner Robins, Georgia, the Department of Defense said.
    It’s expected to be complete by Oct. 19, 2022. 
    Five offers were received in a competitive acquisition for the award. 
    Fiscal 2017 procurement funds in the amount of $10,989,711 were being obligated at the time of award. 
    The contract will be managed by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia. 
    The C-130 Hercules primarily performs the tactical portion of the airlift mission, according to the Air Force website. The aircraft is capable of operating from rough, dirt strips and is the prime transport for airdropping troops and equipment into hostile areas. 
    The C-130 operates throughout the U.S. Air Force, serving with Air Mobility Command, Air Force Special Operations Command, Air Combat Command, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Pacific Air Forces, Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve Command.
    Active-duty locations for the C-130 and its variations are Dyess Air Force Base, Texas; Little Rock AFB, Ark.; Ramstein Air Base, Germany; and Yokota AB, Japan. Air Force Reserve locations for assigned C-130 models include Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Georgia. Air National Guard locations for the C-130 and its variations include Savannah IAP (international airport) in Georgia. Read more here.
    Earlier this week, Scientific Research Corp. was named the winning bidder on an $86.7 million contract for the procurement of the Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) engineering, integration and installation aboard new construction ships for the Program Executive Office C4I. Read more here.
    Scientific Research Corp., whose corporate headquarters are located at 2300 Windy Ridge Parkway in Atlanta, was founded in 1988 to provide technology services to the U.S. government, private industry, and international markets. It is focused on a broad range of information, communications, intelligence, electronic warfare, simulation, training, and instrumentation systems. The company has engineering offices located across the United States. 

  • Casey

    Marshall Aerospace and Defense Group has won the contract to support the Swedish Air Force fleet of Lockheed Martin C-130 aircraft, by providing depth maintenance services.
    Försvarets materielverk, the Swedish Armed Forces Defense Materiel Administration, awarded the contract to Marshall.  The renewal of this long-term contract will ensure that Marshall continues to provide support to its longest-standing international C-130 customer until the end of 2021, with an option to extend the contract.
    Since 1974 Marshall has supported the Swedish Armed Forces’ C-130 fleet with an unbroken maintenance program covering all levels of maintenance, engineering support, technical modifications, surge requirement support at base and supply chain services.
    Alistair McPhee, CEO of Marshall Aerospace and Defense Group, commented: “We are proud to have won this contract to support the Swedish Air Force Fleet of C-130 aircraft.  To have supported the Swedish Air Force for over four decades is incredible and I look forward to what we can achieve in the future.”
    Rupert Dix, Managing Director of Military Aerospace, Marshall Aerospace and Defense Group, commented: “The Swedish Air Force has trusted us for over 40 years to support their C-130 fleet and this new contract demonstrates, once again, both the value and service that we are committed to providing our customers”. 
    Image: One of the Swedish C-130 aircraft supported by Marshall Aerospace and Defense Group

  • Casey

    UTC Aerospace Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX), today announced that it recently completed the first of two contracted Lockheed Martin C-130H propeller upgrades for the Air National Guard's 153rd Airlift Wing, based in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The company's next-gen NP2000 propeller system will help the Guard improve operational performance, and reduce maintenance time and cost.
    With its eight composite blades and enhanced electronic control system, the NP2000 offers several benefits to operators compared to legacy systems, including a reduction in vibration and noise; an increase in thrust; and associated fuel savings, depending on operating conditions. Operators can also replace individual blades on-wing without removing the entire propeller system, reducing maintenance time, while increasing the aircraft's availability.
    As an upgrade for the C-130H's legacy mechanical control system from the 1960s, the NP2000 incorporates more electric and more intelligent technologies from UTC Aerospace Systems, including a digital electronic control system that improves speed holding and blade synchronization. These innovations provide greater comfort and safety for the crew as well as valuable fault diagnostics for aircraft maintenance teams.
    "UTC Aerospace Systems is proud to support the Air National Guard by enhancing the performance and reliability of its C-130H aircraft," said Propeller Systems General Manager Jean-Francois Chanut. "For the 153rd Airlift Wing in particular, the NP2000's increased thrust will help the unit in its firefighting missions. We look forward to continuing to work with the Air National Guard to increase operational efficiency through additional upgrades to its C-130H fleet."
    The two C-130H upgrades for the 153rd Airlift Wing are part of a larger UTC Aerospace Systems contract with the Guard which includes an additional 10 LC-130 upgrades for New York's 109th Airlift Wing that are currently underway. The Guard has identified seven wings flying the C-130H that will receive engine and propeller upgrades in the coming years.
    In addition to the C-130H and LC-130, the NP2000 is currently in service on the Northrop Grumman E-2 and C-2, and is planned for use on the Lockheed Martin P-3.
    Through its legacy Hamilton Sundstrand and Ratier-Figeac businesses, UTC Aerospace Systems has been designing, manufacturing and servicing propeller systems for more than 100 years. Its Propeller Systems business has three international sites and currently supplies and services a variety of propeller systems and critical flight control systems across commercial and military platforms around the world. 

  • Casey

    The 374th Airlift Wing was recently name PACAF’s winner of the 2018 Air Force Association Verne Orr Award.
    The Air Force Association (AFA) established the award for the 14th Secretary of the Air Force Verne Orr to highlight mission-oriented accomplishments and achievements by units that made the most effective use of its human resources.
    Hoping to stand out amongst the other competitors, Yokota AB decided to take a unique approach to which unit they decided to nominate. Normally an air force installation will select a single unit who stands out amongst the rest. Yokota members looked at this and thought, ‘why not nominate the whole 374th Airlift Wing? ‘
    “I don’t think it’s normal, usually it’s a smaller unit,” said Major Duy Nguyen 374th Airlift Wing executive officer over wing award and decoration programs. “I figured if we had all the stuff that our wing does collectively, it makes for a much stronger package. You combine together everything, especially with the strategic importance of Yokota, I definitely think it makes us a powerhouse to compete.”
    Beyond the impressive numbers submitted in the actual nomination package, the 374 AW has continually shown why they deserve such a prestigious award.
    In 2017, Yokota AB participated in 17 international exercises with 28 partner nations, hosted a presidential visit, developed a wing smart app that enabled personnel on base to have real time responses and answers and completed a total over hall of it’s ageing C-130H fleet and created a new J model transition training plan for other bases to follow.
    “We have a great team and everybody is dedicated and motivated to contribute and do their best,” Nguyen said. “I think that each member of this base, service members, contractor, civilian employee or spouse truly helps to create innovation and drive a lot of success’s in our wing.”
    According to Nguyen, it seems to boil down to the Airmen of Yokota Air Base who make winning awards like this possible.
    “Everybody is making a contribution along the way,” said Nguyen. “So I think they are all a piece of the Verne Orr Award. Hopefully we can get it at the Air Force level.”
    For now, Yokota will have to wait to see how they stack up against the other MAJCOMs. The AFA, will present the final award during the Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition 2018 this September in Washington, DC.

  • Casey

    Approximately 50 Airmen and two C-130H3 Hercules assigned to the 94th Airlift Wing, Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia, arrived at Monte Real Air Base, Portugal Jan. 29, 2018 to participate in Real Thaw 18, a Portuguese-led exercise.

    The annual two-week exercise includes armed forces from multiple nations to participate in training missions aimed at merging and deploying different platforms toward a major objective, covering a vast range of activities including air-to-air and air-to-ground training, tactical air transport operations, and close air support.

    “It provides a unique training opportunity,” said Maj. Richard Konopczynski, deputy mission commander from the 700th Airlift Squadron at Dobbins. “We get to work with our coalition partners. We have other C-130 units here from different countries, and we get to not only compare our techniques, but also work in a deployed environment.”

    This year’s exercise included 1,500 participants and 35 aircraft from Spain, Denmark, Netherlands, France, Portugal, and the United States.

    The exercise also goes beyond the scope of flying missions to include support roles such as communications, security forces, maintenance, and intelligence. The scenarios will integrate daily realistic interoperability tasks in the air and on the ground between multinational units.

    “We set up a scenario that resembles a very specific situation in the world,” said Lt. Col. Joao Rosa, exercise coordinator and Portuguese air force fighter pilot. “We are simulating that we deployed a NATO force to a country…what we are going to do with all the types of aircraft we have, with all the army forces and navy forces, is to protect that small country.”

    The goal is for participants to know each other on a more personal level to establish rapport and create lasting bonds, said Rosa. The exercise brings everyone together as much as possible, whether it be flying, briefing or working together.

    These relationships have real world consequences with much of the warfighting effort involving a number of allied forces from different countries working together now and in future contingency operations.

    “It’s an opportunity to exercise a lot of our skills, tactics and procedures in a coalition environment,” said Konopczynski.

    Dobbins is participating for the first time in the exercise, which will last from Jan. 29 to Feb. 9, 2018.

  • Casey

    Kristin Hayden and her two young children watched the aircraft bursting through the clear blue sky Friday above the 911th Airlift Wing in Moon.
    The Air Force plane making its final descent on the bright but chilly afternoon carried Capt. Brice Hayden, Ms. Hayden’s husband and the father of 5-year-old Klaire and 1-year-old Justin.
    For Ms. Hayden and the kids, it was the first time in about four months they had seen Capt. Hayden, who was deployed with a C-130 unit in Qatar. Klaire, dressed in a green airman’s uniform just like her dad’s, ran out to meet him and jumped into his arms shortly after he got off the plane.     
    Advertisement   “It’s very emotional, as you can imagine,” Ms. Hayden said. “It’s more emotional seeing the kids’ reaction because they know that daddy’s coming home and he’s on that plane.”
    Friday was a special day at the 911th, not just for the Hayden family and others who were reunited after months apart. It also marked the end of the 911th as a C-130 tactical aircraft unit: two of the wing’s C-130s returned to Pittsburgh for the last time Thursday, and the other two returned Friday. 
    “This is a pretty exciting day for us and it really closes a chapter in this airwing’s history,” said Col. Jeff Van Dootingh, commander of the 911th. “This is our last deployment with the C-130s, and today marks the last time we’ll have one returning from the area of responsibility in central command.”
    The 911th now will assume a new role in the Air Force, becoming a strategic airlift mission with the C-17 Globemaster III, a much larger aircraft that has the capability to carry more cargo and personnel over greater distances.
    Advertisement   Most of the wing’s C-130s will be transferred to Air National Guard or Air Force reserve bases throughout the United States. At least one of them will be retired soon.
    The Air Force began using C-130s in 1954, and the 911th has been flying them since the 1980s, according to Col. Van Dootingh. The four-ship package that returned Thursday and Friday was used to transport food, ammunition, supplies and troops.  
    “In general, the mission of the C-130 hasn’t changed since day one,” Col. Van Dootingh said. “It’s a very unique aircraft because there are so many different versions of it that do all kinds of missions. There’s an AC-130, which is a gunship, the Hurricane Hunter is a C-130 used in search and rescue, and then, of course, what ours are, tactical airlift.”
    Whatever the mission, it’s always a great feeling to return home, said Maj. Andy Thompson of Beaver, a C-130 pilot. 
    Maj. Thompson said this was his 16th deployment, and he always looks forward to that feeling he gets when he sees his wife and four children after he steps off the aircraft.
    “It’s almost worth the trip,” Maj. Thompson said.

  • Casey

    Belgian Air Force retired his first C-130 Hercules on Dec. 27, 2017. This aircraft, registered as CH-08 c/n 4478 was in service since 1973 and has flown 22.219 flight hours. It was assigned to the 15th Wing Air Transport witch is located at the Melsbroek airbase, a part of Brussels Airport.
      The Belgian Air Force bought 12 C-130H Hercules transport aircraft in 1970 to replace the Fairchild C-119G Flying Boxcar. The first Hercules was delivered in mid 1972 and was assigned to 20 Smaldeel from 15 Wing at Melsbroek. The BAF lost two C-130s due to accidents, so it acquired an additional Hercules.   Initially, all the Belgian Hercules had received the Lizard camouflage color scheme that was replaced by a grey color during the mid-life update program.   As of 2020, the C-130 fleet will be gradually replaced by Airbus A-400M aircraft. Belgium has bought 7 Atlas and the deliveries are scheduled from 2019-2020. Currently 10 C-130s are still in service.

  • Casey

    A four-strong batch of C-130J Super Hercules airlifters ordered by France is the start of a planned larger fleet of the aircraft for the French Air Force, according to a source close to the project.
    There are plans “eventually to expand the fleet” of C-130J, the source said Tuesday on condition of anonymity. Further orders of the turboprop transports are expected from 2025.
    Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly on Monday welcomed the first of four Lockheed Martin C-130Js at a formal ceremony at the Orleans air base, south of the capital. That plane arrived Dec. 22.
    The second C-130J is expected to be delivered in May or June, said Tony Frese, Lockheed Martin’s vice president for business development for air mobility and maritime missions. The last two of the Super Hercules in the KC-130J version are earmarked for the French special forces, which are keen to have aerial refueling of helicopters, the source said. These two planes are due for delivery next year.
    There had been a plan in 2015 to arm the first two French C-130 airlifters with Raytheon’s Griffin missile, a weapon fitted on the C-130 flown by U.S. special forces.
    The French Air Force in the meantime flies an aging 14-strong fleet of C-130H Hercules, which are being modernized to meet standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization. The service sees the C-130 as a “medium transport” that fits between the four-engine Airbus A400M and twin-engine Casa light airlifter. The C-130 will also replace the twin-engine C-160 Transall, which will be retired from service in 2023.
    Acquisition of the C-130J opens a service life of 40 years.
    There is close cooperation between French and U.S. military services, with the latter carrying 10 percent of the cargo in theater for French overseas deployments. The French and American armed forces also work together to support interoperability. French pilots of the the 1/67 Helicopter Squadron at Cazaux air base, southwest France, flew three Caracal helicopters with two U.S. Air Force MC-130J in the Dark Dune exercise last month. That exercise led to certification of the French crews for day and night in-flight refueling.

  • Casey

    France's minister of the Armed Forces, officially welcomed the country's first C-130J Super Hercules aircraft to the Armée de l'Air's 62st Transport Wing with a ceremony at Orléans-Bricy Air Base today. Government officials from France and the United States also attended the ceremony, along with representatives from Lockheed Martin.
    France will receive a total of four Super Hercules aircraft — two C-130J-30 combat delivery airlifters and two KC-130J aerial refuelers — through a Foreign Military Sale with the U.S. government, with deliveries taking place through 2019. The first of these aircraft (a C-130J-30 airlifter) was formally delivered to France in December 2017 at the Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta, Georgia, in the United States.
    France first acquired C-130Hs in 1987 and its new C-130Js will be operated with its existing Hercules fleet.
    "As a long-time Hercules operator, France has continuously demonstrated to the world the unmatched qualities and versatility found only in a C-130," said George Shultz, vice president and general manager, Air Mobility & Maritime Missions at Lockheed Martin. "France's new Super Hercules fleet delivers increased power, speed and capabilities to ensure that Armée de l'Air crews continue to meet — and exceed — mission requirements for decades to come."
    France is the 17th country to choose the C-130J for its airlift needs. The C-130J Super Hercules is the most advanced tactical airlifter in operation today, offering superior performance and enhanced capabilities with the range and versatility for every theater of operations and evolving requirements.
    C-130J 61-PO c/n 5836

  • Casey

    The EC-130H Compass Call is a modified Hercules tasked with various types of signals surveillance, interdiction, and disruption. According to the U.S. Air Force official fact sheets, “the Compass Call system employs offensive counter-information and electronic attack (or EA) capabilities in support of U.S. and Coalition tactical air, surface, and special operations forces.”
    The USAF EC-130H overall force is quite small, consisting of only 14 aircraft, based at Davis-Monthan AFB (DMAFB), in Tucson, Arizona and belonging to the 55th Electronic Combat Group (ECG) and its two squadrons: the 41st and 43rd Electronic Combat Squadrons (ECS). Also based at DMAFB and serving as the type training unit is the 42nd ECS that operates a lone TC-130H trainer along with some available EC-130Hs made available by the other front-line squadrons.
    The role of the Compass Call is to disrupt the enemy’s ability to command and control their forces by finding, prioritizing and targeting the enemy communications. This means that the aircraft is able to detect the signals emitted by the enemy’s communication and control gear and jam them so that the communication is denied. The original mission of the EC-130H was SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses): the Compass Call were to jam the enemy’s IADS (Integrated Air Defense Systems) and to prevent interceptors from talking with the radar controllers on the ground (or aboard an Airborne Early Warning aircraft). Throughout the years, the role has evolved, making the aircraft a platform capable of targeting also the signals between UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) and their control stations.
    Although it’s not clear whether this ability has already been translated into an operational capability, in 2015, a USAF EC-130H Compass Call aircraft has also been involved in demos where it attacked networks from the air: a kind of in-flight hacking capability that could be particularly useful to conduct cyber warfare missions where the Electronic Attack aircraft injects malware by air-gapping closed networks.
    With about one-third of the fleet operating in support of Operation Inherent Resolve (indeed, four EC-130Hs, teaming up with the RC-135 Rivet Joint and other EA assets, are operating over Iraq and Syria to deny the Islamic State the ability to communicate), the fact that a single EC-130H (73-1590 “Axis 43”) was recently deployed from Davis Monthan AFB to Osan Air Base, South Korea, where it arrived via Yokota, on Jan. 4, 2018, it’s pretty intriguing.

  • Casey

    Approximately 150 Air Force Reserve Citizen Airmen and several C-130J Super Hercules aircraft from the 403rd Wing here deployed to Southwest Asia in Support of Operations Freedom’s Sentinel and Inherent Resolve.

    Assigned to the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing based at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, aircrews from the 815th Airlift Squadron, maintainers from the 803rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and support personnel from the 403rd Wing will provide airlift, airdrop and aeromedical evacuation support to operations throughout the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility.

    "It is an exciting time in the 403rd Wing, as the last two years of re-building and re-training have finally culminated in a deployment to execute our primary combat airlift mission,” said Lt. Col. Stuart Rubio, 815th AS commander. “Our Airmen are willing and able to accomplish any mission they are assigned.”

    As a brand new squadron activated October 2016, this will be the first deployment for the 803rd AMXS.

    “We will show that this unit was put here for a reason and silence anyone who thinks a young squadron can’t fulfill the combat mission as good as, if not better than, a seasoned tactical maintenance squadron,” said Maj. Brian Horton, 803rd AMXS commander.

    As the deployment lead, the 815th AS “Flying Jennies” will be assigned to the 746th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron. This is the 815th’s sixth deployment since 2004 and Airmen and aircraft from the 403rd Wing have also provided airlift support for Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

    The most recent deployment for the Flying Jennies was in 2013, and was considered bittersweet by its personnel because the unit was scheduled to close in 2014. The Secretary of the Air Force reversed that recommendation in 2015, and the 815th AS officially reached full operational capability in November.

    “I’ve watched our Reserve Citizen Airmen train nonstop for months to prepare for this deployment,” said Col. Jennie R. Johnson, 403rd Wing commander. “They are ready, and they are capable.”

  • Casey

    Marines with the Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 252 out of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, N.C., the oldest continually active squadron in the Marine Corps, along with their J-model C-130 arrived here in Reno on Wednesday, January 10th. They came to Reno to partake in Advanced Mountain Airlift Tactics School (AMATS) training with the 192nd Airlift Squadron “High Rollers” at the Nevada Air National Guard base.

    This is the first time the High Rollers have hosted the Marine Corps for “joint” flight training with members of another service branch in the AMATS course. The 192nd provides the training to those units who want to come out and fly with them.

    AMATS Instructor Pilot Maj. Joe Jaquish said, “Reno offers an exclusive training area that consists of a series of isolated mountain ranges and intervening valleys ranging from 4,000 – 11,000 feet. It also contains local drop zones (DZs) and landing zones (LZs) which are textbook for high desert and mountain training. The terrain closely correlates to that of some of the many countries to which the United States military deploys. The flying course focuses on teaching safe and effective mountain flying.”

    One of the visiting Marine Corps pilots, Capt. Nick Johnson, said that they have no specific training in the Marine Corps like this and that it serves multiple purposes, “We only fly in and around our base, and, being on the East coast, the terrain is nothing like when you deploy. The terrain around Reno is very similar to the countries we deploy to and it makes tactical sense to fly somewhere similar to the deployed locations.”

    AMATS is a two-phase C-130 flying syllabus designed to create tactical experts by instructing C-130 H and J-model aircrew in the advanced principles of planning and execution to safely and effectively employ in the high density altitude mountainous environment.

    Two other visiting Marine Corps pilots, 1st Lts. Ian Penn and Mike Carps agreed that it’s not only the flying that’s great training, “This course offers hands-on mission planning that is not Marine Corps centric, the opportunity to train with the Air National Guard is fantastic because they do things a little differently than we do and that gives us a better understanding of the C-130’s capabilities.”

    Johnson also stated that they just happened to hear about the course and feel very lucky to have been picked to attend. “We will take what lessons we learn here back to our squadron and hope to get other crews out to Reno for more training.”

    The 192nd Airlift Squadron’s local flying course, AMATS, has been a valuable training course for pilots from the active duty Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve. The 192nd can now add Marine Corps pilots to their growing list of attendees

  • Casey

    A Tampa company has been awarded a $40 million contract to help foreign military pilots learn how to fly C-130 transport planes.
    Those are the big boys that transport everything from equipment to soldiers and even fly into hurricanes.
    The 5-year deal with the company named CAE could also benefit our local economy. 
    Located just north of Tampa International Airport, you'd never know what goes on inside the nondescript building, and that’s probably the way they like it since some of what CAE does is top secret. 
    But for this story, the company let us past security to show you why they just landed a $40 million defense contract.
    The five-year deal will help foreign militaries learn to fly C-130 aircraft using CAE’s massive flight simulators. 
    “Obviously, the U.S. Air Force wants to make sure they're properly trained so they can support not only their missions, but support missions in which the U.S. needs assistance,” said CAE USA’s President Ray Duquette.
    Every button knob and switch inside the simulator is identical to the real thing.
    The C-130 has been a versatile go-to workhorse for more than 50 years, transporting people, equipment, even flying into storms.
    One of the big reasons foreign militaries will send pilots to CAE for their training is so they don't have to use a real aircraft in their countries.
    However, CAE software can change the terrain, weather, lighting conditions, almost anything to replicate the areas those pilots come from.
    “So this is a good way of being exposed to the elements, to the environment, to the threats that are out there, and to potential emergencies at the may encounter,” said Duquette.
    CAE's simulators, which mimic the real thing in stunning detail, also cost a fraction of flying real aircraft.
    Under the military contract, each year nearly 1,500 people will come to Tampa to train from all over the globe.
    They’ll stay at local hotels and eat at local restaurants, boosting the local economy. 
    “We bring them in,” said Duquette, “They could be here for a week. Some of them are initial pilots, so they have been trained in the C-130, so they're going through that initial training. And that could be months of training.”
    CAE also manufactured the flight simulator that trains pilots to operate the KC-135. Those are the huge refueling tankers that fly out of MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.
    The operation may be all about simulations, but the international military alliances being forged here over the next five years are very real.

  • Casey

    Uruguay is among the pioneering nations in the Antarctic Treaty, keeping military personnel and scientific staff on the frozen continent year-round to conduct research studies for the benefit of all mankind. The Uruguayan Air Force (FAU, in Spanish) already made its first and second flights for the 2017-2018 Summer Campaign in support of General José Artigas Scientific Base in Antarctica. A C-130 Hercules (FAU 591) from the 3rd Air Transport Squadron was deployed for that purpose.
    Uruguayan Minister of Defense Jorge Menéndez attended the plane’s departure and announced the signing of an agreement to process the first patent of the National Antarctic Program between the Uruguayan Ministry of Defense and the University of the Republic of Uruguay. “For more than 30 years, our nation maintained a permanent presence in Antarctica, in accordance with a state policy to promote an Antarctic policy aligned with United Nations’ goals for sustainable development,” Menéndez said prior to the first flight’s departure on November 7th, 2017. “Uruguay joined the Antarctic Treaty in 1980, and since October 7th, 1985, has been one of the 29 advisory members among the 53 nations in the treaty,” the minister added.
    Annual campaign
    FAU plans to carry out a total of five flights during the campaign, adding flights in January, February, and April to those conducted in November and December. A crew will also remain on 24-hour standby in case of emergency during Operation ANTARKOS.
    “On November 7th and December 18th, we made two flights, bringing in provisions and transferring scientific staff to the base that Uruguay has set up in Antarctica,” said to Diálogo FAU Lieutenant Colonel Martín Campoamor, commander of the 3rd Air Transport Squadron. Before each of these special flights, explained Lt. Col. Campoamor, a planning meeting is held, where all data on weather conditions, cargo and passengers is brought together. “Emphasis is always on weather conditions, which is what most limits our operations in Antarctica, where you also have to be very cautious when using the runway, due to visibility conditions.”
    Each flight departs from the 1st Air Brigade, stationed next to Carrasco International Airport, on the outskirts of Montevideo. From there, it heads to Punta Arenas, the regional capital of Magallanes and of the Chilean Antarctic, where it makes the first layover after a five-hour flight. The next leg is to King George Island in Antarctica, which takes another three hours.
    The Uruguayan Navy complements the support task to the Uruguayan scientific base. On December 2nd, 2017, the Lüneburg-class logistics supply ship General Artigas ROU-04 left port from Montevideo. Its main mission is to transfer tons of provisions, fuel, and construction materials to supply the base during the mission that will run through 2018. During its operations, the crew carries out a classification and waste treatment process, according to established environmental protocol, which requires that no waste be disposed of in Antarctica. Upon its return, ROU-04 will bring back compressed, packaged, and sealed shredded glass, plastics, and metals for final disposal in Uruguay.
    Historic flight
    The C-130 Hercules conducted a historic flight in support of Argentina, when it was deployed to transfer cargo from Rio Gallegos, in the province of Santa Cruz, Argentina, to the Argentinean Antarctic base Marambio, on December 13th. It was the first time that a FAU aircraft landed at that location.
    “We were on the first leg of the second flight to King George Island in support of the Uruguayan Antarctic Institute. Once we landed, we were enlisted to complete the mission in Marambio, given how both of the Argentine Air Force’s Hercules planes were down,” Lt. Col. Campoamor said. “They needed to transfer diesel to their base to keep everything heated and running—it was running out of supply—so we quickly requested all the information needed, such as weather and runway conditions. It was an honor to carry out that mission, which burnished the reputation of the Uruguayan Air Force and Uruguay as well.”
    FAU has made flights to support General Artigas Scientific Base in Antarctica since 1984. It made its first flight on January 28th of that year with Fairchild Hiller FH-227 aircraft and later used Aviocar C-212 aircraft. Today, FAU carries out campaigns with two C-130 Hercules acquired in 1991.

  • Casey

    Cascade Aerospace Inc. (Cascade) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a contract for the avionics modernization of one Fuerza Aérea Mexicana (FAM) L-100 (C-130) Hercules aircraft.  This contract follows on the recent delivery of two modernized C-130K Hercules aircraft delivered to the FAM and fitted with advanced digital avionics from Rockwell Collins.
    This program will be contracted through the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) under the auspices of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Canadian and Mexican governments.
    "Completing the C-130 fleet modernization represents a significant milestone for Cascade and affirms our excellent relationship with the Mexican Air Force as a support provider of choice since 2013,"  said Cascade's COO & EVP, Kevin Lemke. "The upgrade of this aircraft will establish a common cockpit configuration for the entire FAM C-130 fleet thereby enhancing fleet capability as well as providing efficiencies in maintenance, training, and operational availability."
    This modernization program includes the installation and integration of an advanced Rockwell Collins Flight2 TM digital avionics suite. In addition, Cascade will provide operational and technical training for Mexican Air Force personnel at the company's facility and headquarters in Abbotsford, British Columbia.
    About Cascade Aerospace
    Cascade Aerospace, an operating unit of IMP Aerospace & Defense, is a leading Canadian specialty aerospace contractor that provides long-term integrated aircraft fleet support and program management, aircraft maintenance, modification, engineering & integrated logistics support to domestic and international military, government, and commercial customers.
    About Canadian Commercial Corporate (CCC)
    Established in 1946, the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) is a Federal Crown corporation of the Government of Canada that acts as Canada's international contracting and procurement agency. CCC reports to Parliament through the Minister of International Trade.
    CCC acts as the prime contractor for foreign governments who wish to contract with Canadian companies and expertise through a government-to-government channel. CCC's strong relationships with international buyers and access to Canada's innovative industrial base, puts CCC in a unique position to facilitate and promote international trade.

  • Casey

    The United States Air Force (USAF) has awarded its Rolls-Royce T56 Engine Depot Overhaul contract to StandardAero, allowing the company to continue its support of the USAF fleet of C-130H aircraft for an additional 8 ½ years, as an exclusive provider.  The total contract value is more than $600M and work will be performed at StandardAero’s facilities in San Antonio, Texas and Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
    The competition for the award was conducted in 2017, following a series of short-duration T56 maintenance contracts.  The contract was awarded in late December.
    Under the new agreement, StandardAero will continue to provide the same high quality support the USAF has experienced previously, but at a reduced cost.  In addition, the contract now includes support for the new 3.5 engine configuration and associated components.
    “This is a fantastic achievement for our T56 teams in San Antonio and Winnipeg, who have continuously earned high performance ratings for our Air Force customer,” said Mark Buongiorno, VP/GM of StandardAero San Antonio.  “With this longer duration contract, we can work with the USAF to focus on time-on-wing improvement initiatives, which will help optimize the life-cycle-cost savings for the fleet of T56 engines.”  
    “Our San Antonio facility now has a broad and continued volume of work, and strong relationship with the USAF, U.S. Navy and OEMs,” said Scott Starrett, President of StandardAero Military and Energy division.  “We will continue to leverage new growth opportunities for our facility, and for other StandardAero divisions.”

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    The new capability to train and certify craftsman technicians will enable the government of Iraq to redirect funds away from contractor requirements to efforts of rebuilding infrastructure and cities and promoting stability and economic progression.
    “Today marks another forward step for the Iraqi Air Force towards a brighter future,” said Iraqi Air Force Brig. Gen Husni Khazaal Al maliki, Al Muthana Technical Wing commander. “A promising future that I could see reflected in the faces of all of our graduates, due to their achievements. The dedication and hard work are very appreciated by both the students and their instructors. At the same time, I urge all graduates to continue this hard work throughout their professional life in the Iraqi Air Force and to help this wounded country stand strong against enemies of humanity.” During the ceremony, Husni thanked the instructors and air advisors assigned to the 770th Air Expeditionary Advisor Squadron for making sacrifices to help Iraq and for being away from their families and friends during the holiday season.
    In 2006, advisors from the 770th AEAS began introducing career field education training plans to Iraqi Air Force work center. CFETPs are comprehensive education and training documents which identify the training requirements and minimum core tasks needed for technicians to be signed off as being proficient in a specialty.
    Upon a recent review of Iraqi Air Force aircraft maintenance proficiency data, the advisors identified a critical shortage of certified 7-level craftsmen maintainers. Craftsmen are expected to be fully qualified technicians who have proven they are ready to fill various supervisory and management positions.
    #x-video-ad-asset-container .video-responsive-ad, #x-video-ad-asset-container-played .video-responsive-ad {position: relative!important; padding-bottom: 56.25%!important; padding-top: 30px;height: 0; overflow: hidden; }#x-video-ad-asset-container, #x-video-ad-asset-container-played { max-height: 0px; overflow: hidden; -webkit-transition: max-height 1s; -moz-transition: max-height 1s; transition: max-height 1s; }#x-video-ad-asset-container.expand { max-height: 1500px; margin-bottom: 20px; }                       Pause Current Time 0:00 / Duration Time 0:00 Remaining Time -0:00 Stream TypeLIVE Loaded: 0% Progress: 0% 0:00 Fullscreen   00:00 Unmute Playback Rate 1 Subtitles subtitles off Captions captions off Chapters Chapters   The air advisors also determined there was a need to establish a maintenance training standard comparable to the U.S. Air Force, which requires 40% of qualified personnel to have their 7-level certification.
    Lt. Col. Ronald Llantada, 770th AEAS commander said this 40% target will enable the Iraqi Air Force to take care of their home station aircrew training and mission requirements. This will give them the ability to employ their C-130J aircraft at other locations dictated by their mission.
    Llantada commended his team for objectively assessing and identifying the training requirements required to improve Iraqi Air Force capabilities, enabling them to achieve the self-sufficiency they desire. He said their work generated a great return of effort and set a path for their replacements to continue the forward progression.
    “As advisors, relationships greatly matter when trying to move the ball forward in a partnered journey,” said Llantada. “I would like to personally thank Brig. Gen. Husni for being receptive to our team’s recommendations, being ready to make decisions for the betterment of the Iraqi Air Force and for his hospitality and a friendship."
    Husni echoed this sentiment.
    “Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi gave special thanks to C-130J personnel and emphasized how essential the C-130J’s role in the liberation and defeat of ISIS,” said Husni. “The support and training given by the 770th AEAS directly impacted (the liberation), saving the Iraqi population and allowed for the rescue of the Sinjar people.”

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    The Wyoming Air National Guard's 153rd Airlift Wing briefly welcomed home the Air Force's first fully-upgraded C-130H, Saturday. This aircraft is the first C-130H to receive extensive upgrades allowing the Air National Guard to remain competitive with the C-130J found primarily at active-duty wings.
    During the past 18 months, this specific aircraft has been at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, receiving three separate engine-related modifications
    aiming to make the legacy aircraft more efficient.

    These modifications include upgrading to an eight bladed NP2000 propeller, replacing the original four metal propellers; switching to an electronic
    propeller controlled system; and equipping the aircraft with Rolls-Royce T56 series 3.5 engines.

    "We are very excited to be getting the NP2000 props, the electronic propeller control system, and the 3.5 series engine upgrades," said Maj.
    Leanna Thomas, 153rd Airlift Wing chief of safety and C-130H pilot. "With these modifications, we'll see significant improvements that have been
    needed to ensure longevity and mission flexibility."

    While there are various wings across the Air National Guard that have C-130H's, the Wyoming Air National Guard was chosen specifically because of
    its involvement in the initial testing with the EPCS and NP2000 back in 2008, when the Air Force was first exploring the idea of upgrading the H-model.

    Collectively, these upgrades will increase performance, fuel efficiency, and reliability of the aircraft, which will sustain the life and relevance of
    the H-model. Additionally, they will allow Air National Guard units to cut costs by not having to upgrade to its successor, the C-130J.

    "When we add these modifications to all of our aircraft, we will greatly increase the reliability and performance of the C-130H, and the overall
    lethality of the United States Air Force," said Col. Justin Walrath, 153rd Airlift Wing commander.

    While the unit is looking forward to the modified legacy aircraft, further testing will be done at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, before the remainder
    of 153rd's fleet and C-130Hs across the Air Force are upgraded.

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    After nearly a decade of on-again-off-again testing, a one-of-a-kind C-130H Hercules airlifter from the Wyoming Air National Guard is on its way for an evaluation of its latest configuration, which includes upgraded engines and eight-bladed propellers with an advanced electronic control system. Refitting other H-model aircraft with the same modifications could potentially save the U.S. Air Force millions in operating costs, but it’s unclear when this might happen.
    On Jan. 6, 2018, the C-130H from the Wyoming Air National Guard’s 153rd Airlift Wing, serial number 92-1536, arrived at the unit’s home at Cheyenne Regional Airport in the state’s capital. The aircraft would receive minor repairs before heading to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida for two years of tests, according a report from the Wyoming Tribute Eagle.
    It’s a culmination of years of effort for the [153rd Airlift Wing] and for the Wyoming Air National Guard,” U.S. Air Force Colonel Paul Lyman, commander of the Wyoming Air National Guard, told the Tribute Eagle. “All we have now is postulated data, but we will see performance [with the modified H model] that is on the par with the J model,” U.S. Air Force Colonel Kevin Campbell, the National Guard director of plans and requirements, added.
    Since 2008, the 92-1536 has served as test bed for a number of proposed modifications to more than 130 other H-series aircraft still in service across the Air National Guard. The aircraft now has three particularly significant sets of improvements. The most noticeable is the addition of eight-bladed Hamilton Sundstrand NP2000 propellers to each of the four turboprop engines. These are already standard on the U.S. Navy’s E-2 Hawkeye airborne early warning and control aircraft and C-2 Greyhound carrier on-board delivery (COD) planes.
    The new propellers vibrate less and make less noise and the aircraft gains increased thrust at equivalent engine torque settings, in turn improving fuel efficiency. A built-in balancing system reduces the need for ground crews to balance the prop manually at regular intervals and fewer vibrations mean less stress on the aircraft as a whole, further reducing the need for maintenance. As an added bonus, the NP2000 is a modular design that takes up less storage space in warehouses or room inside any aircraft, ship, or vehicle delivering spares to established bases or deployed locations.
    On top of that, the updated aircraft has an electronic propeller control system, or EPCS, that makes the units more responsive when the crew rapidly advances the throttle. This Air National Guard says this improves the overall reliability of the propellers by approximately 50 percent and removes a safety issue that had contributed to previous mishaps.
    The latest addition to 92-1536 is four Rolls-Royce T-56 Series 3.5 turboprop engines that are more fuel efficient and reliable, saving an estimated $250,000 dollars every year on the cost to operate each aircraft, according to the manufacturer's website. 
    The U.K.-headquartered engine maker completed flight testing of the uprated design in 2012 and the Air Force certified it in 2015. In addition to being an option for older C-130s, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has installed the engines on its WP-3D hurricane hunter aircraft.
    “We're confident right now that we'll see in excess of 12 percent fuel savings and upwards of 25 percent increased time on wing, which will reduce maintenance time,” Colonel Campbell sain in 2016. “Those are substantial, and would provide a fairly rapid return on investment. This upgrade would pay for itself; the real question is 'how fast?' We're pretty excited about it and think we're going to hit it at about the 5 year mark.”
    At present, the Air National Guard is hoping to modify 134 more C-130Hs to this standard as part of an upgrade program that will cost approximately $1.3 billion in total. Taken together, though, the modifications could potentially save millions in operating and sustainment costs for the aging airlifters.
    But it’s not clear when this project might wrap up, or even really get going. In February 2016, Rolls Royce did deliver the first Series 3.5 engine upgrade kits to the Air National Guard as part of a $36 million dollar contract, but which only covered the aircraft belonging to the 109th and 153rd Airlift Wings.
    As already noted, though, the first of these upgrades have been in the works since 2008. At that time, the main focus was updating the capability of the ski-equipped LC-130Hs of the New York Air National Guard's 109th Airlift Wing, a fleet of unique aircraft that support the U.S. government’s Antarctic research missions.
    These aircraft rely on jet-assisted take-off, or JATO, to get off the ice for the return trip. The problem was that the Air Force had a dwindling supply of these rocket motors, which it first bought in the 1950s. The Air National Guard initially considered the NP2000 upgrade by itself as a possible solution, hiring Lockheed Martin to Modify a small number of LC-130Hs before shelving the effort.
    There was also interest within the Air Force's special operations community in the NP2000, the EPCS, and 3.5 Series engines, among other upgrades, which could have potentially expanded the capabilities of MC-130H Combat Talon II special operations transport and reduced its auditory signature. The latter point was of particular interest given the aircraft’s mission to insert and extract elite troops from austere locations with limited take-off and landing space within hostile territory.
    Though there would be a "high initial cost," Air Force Special Operations Command estimated adding the NP2000s would have resulted in a three percent fuel saving across MC-130H operations, reduced the aircraft’s take-off run by between 500 to 1000 feet, increased its ceiling by 1,000 feet, and provided a five percent increase in reliability. The 3.5 Series engines could have led to an eight percent fuel savings and a more than 20 percent improvement in aircraft reliability, along with nearly 20 percent more thrust.
    Those upgrades did not come to pass, however. In 2015, the Air Force retired the first MC-130H as part of move to ultimately replace the fleet with MC-130Js. That same year, the service retired the AC-130H gunship, as well. The H-based AC-130U and AC-130W remain in service, but the plan is for the new AC-130J to eventually supplant at least the U models.
    In August 2017, Inside Defense reported that the New York Air National Guard was in talks with Lockheed Martin about a potential LC-130J model to outright replace its older aircraft. All of this reflects a steadily, if slowly shrinking C-130H fleet across both the active Air Force and its reserve components, all of which could reduce the impetus to pursue the upgrade project. 
    As of 2014, the Air National Guard had a requirement to upgrade 154 H-models. The next year, this number had dropped to 135. By 2020, when the tests of the latest iteration of the Wyoming Air National Guard’s prototype upgraded C-130H finish up, the total fleet may have shrunk even more. The last active duty H-model headed to the Bone Yard in October 2017.
    In addition, the C-130Hs, which first entered service in 1974, are running up against separate airworthiness issues as the aircraft’s center wing box ages out. Between 2007 and 2013, Lockheed Martin received a more than $650 million contract to replace these sections on more than 100 H-model aircraft, but not nearly the entire fleet across the active and reserve components. The plan also involved slowing the C-130J production by taking newly made wing boxes off that assembly line and installing them in older aircraft.
    Though the engine and propeller upgrades could expand their capability, the remaining C-130Hs might still need a another service life extension program in order to keep flying long enough for the cost savings to materialize. As of 2007, adding a new wing box cost to just one of the older aircraft an estimated $6.5 million.
    At the same time, Lockheed Martin is continuing produce the more advanced C-130J, as well as LM-100Js for the civilian commercial market. As time goes on, and unit prices drop, the Air Force may decide it is simpler and not significantly more expensive to just replace the older C-130Hs. The cost factor may be increasingly less an issue overall if President Donald Trump and his administration can follow through on their plans to dramatically expand the United States’ defense budget.
    All told, by the time the 153rd’s C-130H returns from Florida, at which point this modernization effort will have effectively been going on for more than a decade, the Air National Guard’s understanding of its future needs, and its available options, may have change significantly.

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    Lockheed Martin’s Marietta facility will open a training center this summer aimed at preparing pilots and crews to operate aircraft models produced at the Cobb plant.
    The Hercules Training Center, according to company documents, will feature academic classroom space, training devices and full-motion simulator facilities to train those who pilot or serve on the crew of the C-130J Super Hercules military tactical airlifter and LM-100J commercial multi-purpose air freighter. Both aircraft are built at the Marietta facility.
    The 7,000-square-foot training center was first announced in September 2015 and broke ground in June 2016. It is being developed and will be managed by the company’s Rotary and Mission Systems business unit. The Marietta plant is part of Lockheed Martin’s Aeronautics unit; both units will work together in support of the center. A grand opening for the center is set to occur in June, according to Kayla Stanley, spokesperson for the Rotary and Mission Systems unit.
    Lockheed Martin’s Marietta plant employs more than 5,000, putting it consistently in Cobb’s top 10 largest employers, according to figures compiled by the Cobb Chamber of Commerce. So far, according to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics spokesperson Stephanie Stinn, the training center has led to seven new hires for the company, though a total of 20 new employees are expected moving forward.
    Its impact to the county, Stinn said, will be in helping Lockheed Martin remain “a longtime economic driver” for Cobb, Georgia and the Southeast.
    “Any additional business opportunities that we can offer at the facility ultimately contribute to Cobb County’s business community and economy,” Stinn said. “While we can’t directly pinpoint the anticipated economic impact at this time, we do believe the training center and the capabilities it brings to the aviation industry further elevate Cobb County’s and Georgia’s reputation as a leading contributor to the global aviation community.”
    The Hercules Training Center will focus on two aircraft with roots deep in Marietta’s modern history.
    The C-130J Super Hercules is the latest model of the C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft, which began production in 1954 and is the longest continuously running military production line in history, with every production C-130 having been built in Marietta. In December 2015, the company announced the Marietta plant had delivered its 2,500th C-130.
    Today, the C-130 is among the fleets of air forces of 18 countries and has the ability to transport more than 40,000 pounds of cargo and supplies. The first C-130J was delivered in 1998 and since then more than 375 C-130Js have been completed, according to company data released this month.
    Based on the C-130J Super Hercules, the first model of the commercial variant LM-100J took flight last year. The LM-100J is capable of everything that the C-130J is, from humanitarian relief to oil spill response, firefighting and more. Other potential uses include medevac/air ambulance and VIP transport.
    The civil aircraft is aimed at those who currently operate the company’s L-100s, the commercial variant of the first generation C-130. Among those who operate L-100s include government entities and private freight companies.
    Sharon Mason, president and CEO of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, says the impending opening of the Hercules Training Center would be a win not only for Lockheed, but for the Cobb community at large.
    “It will help meet the global training demands to continue expanding Lockheed’s investment in training the next workforce generation and will be a tremendous asset to their customers to have this training center and production in the same location,” Mason said. “We are proud to have Lockheed in Marietta and look forward to continue supporting them in this investment for our community.”

Champion Aerospace