Defense

October 4, 2013

Navy Hercs join the club

Twenty C-130T Hercules aircraft are scheduled to receive Avionics Obsolescence Upgrades beginning in 2016. The AOU program will address obsolescence issues, provide navigation safety enhancements and simplify integration of future systems.

Like the secret handshake of an elite club, coordination between air traffic control and airborne aircraft involves precise, sometimes complex series of movements.

After scheduled avionics upgrades, Navy C-130Ts will know the handshake and be part of the club.

To preserve preferred routing in the evolving Air Traffic Control environment, mitigate obsolescence, improve safety and simplify integration of future systems, the U.S. Navy established the Avionics Obsolescence Upgrade program, also known as AOU, to modernize its aging fleet of 20 C-130T Hercules during the next few years.

Currently, C-130Ts perform worldwide missions providing rapid logistics support to Navy operating forces and transportation of personnel or cargo for delivery.

“As these aircraft have aged, the reliability of avionics, such as flight instruments, has significantly decreased,” said Stephen Madden, AOU integrated product team lead, Tactical Airlift, Adversary and Support Aircraft program (PMA-207), which manages the AOU program. “To complicate things further, there are more aircraft flying in today’s skies than ever before, which makes avionics upgrades for our Navy Hercs critical to the continued mission of our aircraft.”

Due to high traffic congestion of the airways, the air traffic control environment has changed both domestically and internationally, making it necessary for aircraft to comply with current and future Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management mandates.

The AOU program will address obsolescence issues and provide navigation safety enhancements by replacing the aircraft’s Tactical Air Navigation System, incorporating a Terrain Avoidance Warning and Traffic Collision Avoidance System, updating five communications radios and adding Electronic Situation Indicators and Electronic Flight Instruments, to name a few.

“AOU is changing how we address obsolescence challenges in aging aircraft,” said Capt. Michelle Guidry, program manager for PMA-207. “This program not only provides the most cost- and operationally effective solutions to keeping our aircraft flying worldwide by updating antiquated hardware and software systems, it also incorporates an integrated open-system approach to all modifications allowing for easy incorporation of future requirements.”

AOU is one of the first systems to comply with the Future Airborne Capability Environment, or FACE, standard. In collaboration with the Air Combat Electronics Program Office (PMA-209), the AOU team will ensure C-130T aircraft are FACE compliance, which reduces development and integration costs and shortens time to field new systems.

FACE establishes a common computing architecture that supports portable, capability-specific software applications across 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 PMA-209. “This will truly pave the way for the future.”

The proposed AOU system architecture is designed to allow for future capabilities, such as Department of the Navy Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures, updates to comply with the Next Generation Air Transportation System, Defensive Electronic Counter Measures and the Joint Tactical Radio System.

Before the Navy can begin incorporating the AOU modification on fleet C-130T aircraft, the first aircraft will be modified by the Air Vehicle Modification and Instrumentation branch at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. Upon completion of this AOU validation installation, scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, the system will be tested and evaluated to ensure it meets program requirements and specifications.

Once approved for fielding to the fleet, planning will ensue for upgrade installation at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, concurrent with planned depot maintenance intervals.

The fleet will begin receiving modified aircraft in fiscal 2017 and should realize full operational capability in fiscal 2021.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Smart-mortar will help Soldiers more effectively hit targets

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez Nick Baldwin and Evan Young, researchers with the Armament Research Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, Pennsylvania, discuss the 120mm Guided Enhanced Fragmentation Mortar ...
 
 

Air Force assigns new chief scientist

The Air Force announced the service’s new chief scientist to serve as a science and technology adviser to the secretary of the Air Force and the chief of staff of the Air Force, May 21. Dr. Greg Zacharias will be the 35th chief scientist and is ready to “dive in” to his new role. “I...
 
 

TSgt promotion release delayed to allow system validation

Technical sergeant promotion selection results, originally scheduled for release May 28, will be delayed to enable the Air Force to continue to validate extensive system changes to the Weighted Airman Promotion System, officials announced. The 15E6 technical sergeant promotion cycle is the first to incorporate recent changes in the enlisted evaluation and promotion system. Recent...
 

 

Freedom completes rough water trials

The littoral combat ship USS Freedom completed Seakeeping and Structural Loads Trials, commonly referred to as Rough Water Trials in late March the Navy reported May 21. The U.S. Navy must demonstrate the seaworthiness and structural integrity of each new ship class. One of the primary ways the Navy verifies these qualities is through a...
 
 

Air Force releases Strategic Master Plan

The Air Force officially released the Strategic Master Plan May 21, which is the latest in a series of strategic documents designed to guide the organizing, training and equipping of the force over the coming decades. The SMP builds on the strategic imperatives and vectors described in the capstone document, America’s Air Force: A Call...
 
 

HYT extension possible for SrA-MSgt in 35 career fields

Eligible senior airmen, staff sergeants, technical sergeants and master sergeants in 35 Air Force specialties will be able to apply for a high year of tenure extension and, if approved, will be able to extend between 12 and 24 months past their current HYT. The Air Force is introducing several personnel and manpower initiatives to...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>