Eliminating Herk Mod Funding?

The Lexington Institute’s Loren Thompson believes House and Senate defense authorizers are poised to dump funding in the 2010 defense bill for USAF’s C-130 avionics modernization program, citing execution problems. In a new LI issue brief, Thompson declares, “The problems don’t actually exist.” He said the lawmakers are basing their decision on a “draft study by the Government Accountability Office that is out of date and fails to describe accurately the state of the program.” This spring, C-130 AMP contractor Boeing delivered the AMP program’s third test aircraft ahead of schedule. The service’s legacy C-130s serve in numerous variants from tactical airlift to gunships that, over the years, have been developed with a variety of on-board electronics packages that add to the cost of maintaining the fleet. Thompson points out, “Replacing obsolete displays, sensors, navigation aids, and the like with a common, up-to-date configuration thus has the potential to save billions of dollars in support costs.” And, he writes, it’s not just about the money, because “when military aircraft carry obsolete, unreliable equipment, there is a real danger they will not perform as needed in life-threatening combat situations.”