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  • 2019 C-130 News


    • C-130Hercules.net
      New Delhi: The Indian Air Force has found that one of the chief reasons why a brand new C-130 J Super Hercules aircraft crashed in 2014 and killed five crew members, including the pilots, was “inadequate training”, according to the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report tabled in Parliament Wednesday.
      What’s shocking about this finding is that a simulator for this aircraft had been available since 2012, but was used for training only in 2016 because the IAF and manufacturer Lockheed Martin could not finalise a usage contract.
      Less than 10 minutes after the aircraft took off from Agra on 28 March 2014, it crashed 115 km west of Gwalior while on a routine training mission.
      Two wing commanders, two squadron leaders and another crew member were killed in the crash.
      The C-130J aircraft
      The Indian Air Force had first bought six C-130 J aircraft, meant for special operations, through the Foreign Military Sales (government-to-government) route in 2008 for $962.45 million.
      The IAF later went in for procurement of six additional aircraft through the same route.
      The aircraft is meant for special mission roles, and is fitted with an infrared detection set, enabling precision low-level flying.
      The aircraft can land on unpaved surfaces and requires a very short take-off and landing space. It has proved to be a huge asset for the Indian military.
      Simulator not used for 3.5 years
      The CAG noted that one C-130J-30 aircraft procured under initial contract met with a “CAT-I fatal flying accident” in March 2014.
      “Investigation concluded inadequate experience and training of the crew as one of reasons for the aircraft and recommended operationalization of Simulator for C-130 J30 at the earliest as one of the remedial measure (sic),” the report stated.
      The audit observed that the simulator was provided by the vendor, Lockheed Martin, “against contract of January 2009, on a user rate payment basis”.
      It noted that despite the installation of the simulator in December 2012, training could not be imparted for more than three-and-a-half years to pilots (December 2012 to November 2016) due to non-finalisation of usage contract.
      “The simulator was installed but could not be put to use due to non-finalisation of usage rate contract by IAF. Usage rate contract was signed (August 2016) and training on simulator actually commenced in November 2016,” the report said.
      The defence ministry accepted the delay in commissioning of training simulator, though it stated that inadequate training was not the primary reason for the accident.
      “However, (the) audit noted that the IAF investigation report had pointed out inadequate training as one of the reasons for the accident,” the report stated.
      View Original Article: https://theprint.in/defence/cag-report-blames-inadequate-training-for-2014-super-hercules-crash-that-killed-5/192940/

    • Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group has begun work on the centre-wing box (CWB) replacement effort for 14 UK Royal Air Force (RAF) Lockheed Martin C-130J/C-130J-30 Hercules transport aircraft, which should be complete in 2027.
      The Ministry of Defence (MoD) told Jane's on 15 February that having awarded Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group the CWB contract in July 2017, a further "embodiment" contract to supply the CWB kits was awarded in 2018, paving the way for the commencement of work on the 14 aircraft.
      The RAF fields both the 'short-bodied' C-130J (designated C5 in RAF service) and 'long-bodied' C-130J-30 (C4) variants of the Hercules. As stated in the country's 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), the RAF at that time planned to divest its 10 C-130Js while retaining its 14 C-130J-30s.
      However, in June 2018 Jane's reported that one of these C-130J-30s was abandoned in Iraq following heavy landing, leaving just 13 in the inventory. On 9 August 2018 an MoD spokesperson told Jane's that it is still the intention to field 14 Hercules, and while this would necessitate the retention of one C-130J the spokesperson noted that the exact composition of the fleet has yet to be determined.
      Despite the MoD declining to specify the planned composition of its Hercules fleet, a US Air Force solicitation for a CWB replacement effort for one C-130J and 13 C-130J-30 aircraft released at the same time as the MoD's comments to Jane's has been identified as being for the UK.
      View Original Article: https://www.janes.com/article/86426/uk-hercules-centre-wing-box-replacement-effort-gets-under-way-for-completion-in-2027

    • A range of upgrades and modifications have been fitted under Plan Jericho to Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-130J Hercules A97-448, providing the RAAF’s Air Mobility Group with a ‘Jericho Demonstrator’ to explore how it will provide air mobility as part of a Fifth-Generation Air Force.
      Upgrades include the installation of a Ka-Band Satellite Communications (SATCOM) antenna, external fuel tanks (taking total fuel capacity from 19 to 27 tons) to increase range/loiter and fuel offload; and other advancements to crew awareness and survivability.
      Air Mobility Group will use the Jericho Demonstrator in support of other Defence and Government agencies to determine how to increase the utility of its Hercules fleet in the future.
      In addition the RAAF is evaluating adding Litening AT pods to its C-130Js as well.
      According to an article by Andrew McLaughlin published on February 6, 2019 in Australian Defence Business Review:
      The RAAF is reportedly looking to integrate the Northrop Grumman AN/AAQ-28 Litening AT targeting and EO/IR pod with its fleet of 12 C-130J Hercules airlifters.
      With the retirement of the F/A-18A/B classic Hornet by 2022, the RAAF will have about 40 Litening AT pods in its inventory.
      The pods were acquired for the classic Hornet fleet in 2008 under the Project AIR 5376 Phase 2.4 element of the Hornet Upgrade Program (HUG) to replace the AN/AAS-38 NITEHawk pod….
      The addition of an EO/IR pod such as the Litening AT would enhance the C-130J’s ability to provide ISR overwatch for forces on the ground, to ensure a designated landing or extraction zone is clear of threats, to geolocate targets of interest or precision airdrop locations, or to even provide fires support to off-board shooters. For peacetime missions, a high-performance EO/IR pod could provide accurate imagery and data to support the HADR or search and rescue roles…..
      View original Article and additional Images: https://sldinfo.com/2019/02/an-update-on-the-australian-c-130j-plan-jericho-and-related-developments/
       

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