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.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by TSgt. Matt Hecht

Laser-based aircraft countermeasure provides ‘unlimited rounds’ against MANPADS

Air Force photograph by TSgt. Matt Hecht A U.S. Army AH-64 Apache attack helicopter prepares to depart Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, on Jan 7, 2012. The Apache conducts distributed operations, precision strikes against relocat...
 
 

Navy, Air Force advocate for modernizing combat aviation

Top Navy and Air Force officials today told the House Armed Services subcommittee on tactical air and land forces the president’s budget request for fiscal year 2016 will support modernizing combat aviation programs. Cavy Vice Adm. Paul A. Grosklags, principal military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisitions; Air...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Victor J. Caputo

McConnell community marks B-29 rollout

Air Force photograph by SrA. Victor J. Caputo A B-29 Superfortress aircraft, named Doc after its nose art, sit on the flightline March 23, 2015, in Wichita, Kan. Doc will be one of two Superfortresses in the world capable of fl...
 

 

Future USS John Finn launched

The future USS John Finn (DDG 113) was launched at the Huntington Ingalls Industries in Pascagoula, Miss., shipyard March 28. During launch the drydock was flooded allowing the 637-foot floating dock to slowly submerge until the ship was afloat. Once the drydock was fully submerged, the ship was pulled by tugs to HII’s south berth...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

First production QF-16 arrives at Tyndall

Courtesy photograph Maintainers begin post-flight checks on the first Lot 1 production model QF-16 after it arrived at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., March 11. The aircraft is the first of 13 deliveries to the 82nd Aerial Target...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Dustin Mullen

E-9A Widget, one of a kind

Air Force photograph by A1C Dustin Mullen An E-9A Widget sits on the flight line in front of hangar 5 Mar. 3 at the 82nd Aerial Target Squadron. The Widget is a modified version of the Bombardier Dash-8, formerly Canadian De Ha...
 




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>