Legacy C-130s Ready to Re-AMP

The cancelled C-130 Avionics Modernization Program is relaunching as a two-phase upgrade to bring legacy C-130Hs in compliance with airspace regulations, followed by later cockpit enhancements. “We’ve got the plans and money already programed” to begin AMP I, Air Mobility Command boss Gen. Carlton Everhart said at AWS16 on Wednesday. “We have an FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] mandate of 2020 to have everything [communications, navigation, surveillance/air traffic management] compliant. … We’ll meet that mandate,” he said. AMP II will begin shortly after AMP I is completed in 2020, and notionally includes features such as flat-panel glass cockpit displays, similar to the C-130J, Everhart explained. “We’ve already programmed the money for that too,” he added. USAF cancelled the original C-130 AMP in 2012 due to sequestration cuts, and planned to pursue the scaled-back Viability and Airspace Access Program to meet airspace requirements instead. Air Mobility Command is also extending the life of the legacy fleet with new center wing boxes, and Rolls Royce delivered the first C-130H engine upgrade kit to improve operating efficiency earlier this month, the company announced. “We’re going to get these airplanes up to speed,” said Everhart. “We’re looking at all aspects. … Fuel efficiency is big to me,” he added. Rolls Royce will begin delivering the first T56 series 3.5 upgrade kits to the New York and Wyoming Air National Guard under a $36 million contract, according to a release.