It’s a Question of Money, Again

The Air Force may be considering dropping the avionics modernization program it had planned for all but its most elderly C-130 tactical airlifters, according to a Reuters news service report. Reuters quotes defense analyst Loren Thompson, who says the Air Force is “seriously considering” taking the AMP money for older C-130s and putting it toward purchase of new J model C-130s. (Last summer, the Pentagon decided against C-130J termination, as a fiscally imprudent idea.) Award of the initial AMP development work to Boeing came under a cloud during the Darleen Druyun affair. Consequently, USAF plans to re-compete later work, including installation. In the long run, it may be cheaper to buy newer Hercules that already meet international standards than to refit the older fleet.