The aging Lockheed C-130 Hercules military transport platform is used by numerous countries for military and government logistics. The aircraft first flew in 1954, and in order to stay relevant, Collins Aerospace has developed a Flight2 aftermarket avionic solution to upgrade communications, navigation, surveillance, and air traffic management (CNS/ATM) capabilities. Collins’ latest customer, the Portuguese Air Force, will use Flight2 to upgrade avionics and enable their fleet of C-130H aircraft to communicate in next generation airspace.
Collins, based out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, will work with OGMA – Indústria Aeronáutica de Portugal S.A., a Portuguese aerostructure manufacturer and maintenance provider, to transforms the federated analog systems in Portuguese C-130H aircraft into modern digital glass cockpits that provide commonality to commercial aircraft.
“The Portuguese Air Force uses C-130s for a broad range of missions, including personnel and cargo transport, and even firefighting,” says Dave Schreck, vice president, Military Avionics & Helicopters for Collins Aerospace. “Modernizing to the Flight2 system provides their Air Force with the latest generation of avionics aimed at optimizing their operations while making the most of their budget and minimizing aircraft downtime.”
Learn more about avionics systems
Included in the avionics upgrade is a full glass cockpit with new primary flight displays, required navigation performance/area navigation flight management system with high altitude release point, and computed air release point precision airdrop software.
(Image courtesy: Lockheed Martin Corporation)
As part of the upgrade, Collins will leverage its Flight2 Mobility Mission Application (MMA) architecture, which allows customers to select from a super set of off-the-shelf capabilities. Customers using the MMA architecture can tailor the system to meet specific mission requirements, comply with regional communications navigation surveillance/air traffic management mandates, or simply to maximize capabilities for a given budget.
By upgrading to Flight2, the Portuguese Air Force’s C-130H will be in in compliance with the most recent International Civil Aviation Organization standards, while also equipping it with a tactical advantage in military operations.
Collins Aerospace has delivered over 2,900 Flight2 solutions for military fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft. Of the 900 fixed wing Flight2 solutions, Collins has delivered or is on contract for 190 C-130s upgrades in 15 different countries. More C-130 upgrades have been fitted with avionics from Collins than from any other single provider in the world.
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William Kucinski is content editor at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group in Warrendale, Pa. Previously, he worked as a writer at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio and was responsible for writing the agency’s System Failure Case Studies. His interests include literally anything that has to do with space, past and present military aircraft, and propulsion technology.
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