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C-130J Hercules Tactical Transport Aircraft

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract by the US Air Force (USAF) to overhaul weapons systems simulators used in the C-130 Aircrew Training System (ATS) II programme.

Under the $24m contract, the upgrade includes the weapons systems simulators’ visual system and imagery databases to provide advanced and realistic training scenarios for the trainee pilots. Enhancements to the visual system will include cockpit illumination, advanced visual scenes and the latest infrared-enabled night vision training.

The simulators’ visual databases will also be improved to match that of a new aircrew maintenance training system and enable increased interoperability, with the improvements scheduled to take place in 2014.

USAF Materiel Command C-130 ATS programme manager Stephen Grotjan said the aim of the programme is to keep C-130 aircrew mission ready for participation in critical military, civilian and humanitarian aid operations by providing comprehensive academic and simulation training.

The C-130 training centre of excellence, located at Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas, US, trains USAF, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy personnel as well as more than 25 international partner countries under the C-130 ATS II programme. The training includes all crew positions, refresher courses, cockpit resource management, instrument refresher courses and the instructor preparatory course, followed by reporting to operational units in the Air Mobility Command (AMC) and Air Combat Command (ACC).

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Lockheed was also awarded a $270m contract from USAF in 2011 to provide the academic and simulation training programme for C-130 Hercules aircrews worldwide. The company also delivers advanced mission training systems for F-15, F-16, F-22 and F-35 joint strike fighter aircraft.

The C-130 aircraft is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft used by the USAF for airborne assault, search and rescue, scientific research support, weather reconnaissance, aerial refuelling, maritime patrol and aerial firefighting missions.

Image: Lockheed will upgrade simulators used in the USAF C-130 Aircrew Training System II programme.