AMP It Down, Keep the Navigator

Legacy C-130 cockpit upgrades that would eliminate the need for a navigator on the crew are much more expensive and offer only marginal benefits over less expensive options, according to a May 29 report from the Government Accountability Office. The Institute for Defense Analyses outlined two alternatives to the Air Force’s current $2.137 billion C-130 Avionics Modernization Program, offering significant savings, states the report. Though AMP saves a projected $1.2 billion over 25 years in aircrew and support cost, the savings are “more than offset” by its added procurement cost, according to the study. The report recommends the “Air Force should not pursue the C-130 AMP program as currently defined.” Instead, the service should pursue one of the more economical “reduced scope alternatives” offering better returns on investment, but still requiring a navigator. Depending on the chosen option, the Air Force could save between 1.7 billion and $2.6 billion over the AMP program of record, according to the report.