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.


 
 

 

Headlines May 27, 2015

News: U.S. Air Force certifies SpaceX for military launches - SpaceX has been certified for military space launch, the U.S. Air Force announced May 26. The long-awaited announcement is a game changer, with SpaceX becoming only the second provider cleared by the service to launch national security payloads into orbit.   Business: Northrop Grumman CEO issues...
 
 

New’s Briefs May 27, 2015

U.S. military begins search flights for stranded Rohingya The United States has begun military surveillance flights to help locate stranded Rohingya and Bangladeshi boat people in Southeast Asian seas. State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said May 26 that U.S. Navy P8 aircraft flew over the weekend with Malaysian support. Rathke said the U.S. has offered...
 
 
nasa-commercial-crew

Commercial Crew milestones met; partners on track for 2017 missions

NASA has taken another step toward returning America’s ability to launch crew missions to the International Space Station from the United States in 2017. The Commercial Crew Program ordered its first crew rotation mission fro...
 

 
af-spacex

Air Force certifies SpaceX for national security space missions

Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, commander of the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center and Air Force program executive officer for space, has announced the certification of Space Exploration Technologies Corporation’s Falco...
 
 

Northrop Grumman passes key design review for B-2 weapons management upgrade

Northrop Grumman has successfully demonstrated to the U.S. Air Force that its plans to upgrade key weapons management software for the B-2 stealth bomber are on track and ready to proceed to the next level of development. The company successfully completed the critical design review of the service’s Flexible Strike Phase 1 program on Feb...
 
 
boeing-space

Boeing awarded first-ever commercial human spaceflight mission

NASA issued a task order as part of Boeing’s $4.2 billion Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contract recently to include the company’s first-ever service flight to the International Space Station. The award ...
 




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>