New Engines for Older Herks?

The Air Force is considering purchasing more fuel efficient, commercially available engines for its older C-130 transports, said Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Philip Breedlove during the recent Army & Air Force Energy Forum in Arlington, Va. The service has already prioritized the use of “newer, more efficient” C-130Js over the older C-130s in Southwest Asia for intratheater airlift, he said. The difference in performance between the two C-130 types there has been “significant enough” to cause service officials to consider a re-engining project in the expectation that the Air Force would save millions of dollars through reduced maintenance hours and less fuel consumption, he said during his July 21 address. The Air Force is already adding new avionics to some 220 C-130H2, H2.5, and H3 airplanes. (For more Breedlove coverage from the energy forum, see Smart Flying and Different Fuels, Same Purpose.)