Rejoining the C-130 AMP

The Air Force would like to perform avionics upgrades to 166 special-mission and older combat-delivery C-130 aircraft that currently lie outside of the scope of its C-130 Avionics Modernization Program. It does want to include them under that same project. “The funding requirements to modernize these 166 aircraft will be considered during the FY10 budget preparation,” USAF spokeswoman Lt. Col. Jennifer Cassidy tells the Daily Report. Originally these 166 aircraft, about three-quarters of which are Air Force Special Operations Command gunships and Combat Talon covert insertion/extraction airplanes, were a part of the C-130 AMP. But the Air Force removed them during a restructure of the AMP last year to reduce risk and cost after its baseline program cost ballooned by 169 percent, requiring a recertification of its merit to the Congress per Nunn-McCurdy cost-monitoring legislation. The current C-130 AMP encompasses 222 combat-delivery C-130H2, C-130H2.5 and C-130H3 models. The AFSOC aircraft are considered comparatively complex to upgrade because they are in unique configurations and carry specialized electronics. “We would like to bring those into the C-130 AMP, the basic restructured C-130 AMP,” Lt. Gen. Donald Hoffman, the Air Force’s military deputy for acquisition, told reporters when discussing the 166 outliers last month. “It is mainly a funding restricted [issue] right now.”