C-130 Spirit

Spirit Aeronautics has successfully developed an avionics upgrade program that is aimed at modernising Lockheed C-130H/L-382 Hercules aircraft.

The new development will give the aircraft new landing technology in addition to NextGen capabilities such as automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B).

ADS-B can be integrated with flight management systems (FMS) in order to deliver increased safety and reduced aircrew workload, the company stated.

Spirit Aeronautics president and COO Tony Bailey said: "We established a team of experts and centered their efforts towards creating a modernisation path for operators that utilise commercially available and proven systems with FAA approved equipment that is capable of integrating with the legacy avionics system of the C-130H/L-382 Hercules aircraft.

"It is a tremendous cost saving alternative for aging aircraft that allows for longer aircraft life while meeting demands of an ever changing operational requirement."

The C-130 Hercules is designed to support airborne assault, search-and-rescue, scientific research support, weather reconnaissance, maritime patrol and aerial fire fighting missions worldwide.

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"It is a tremendous cost saving alternative for aging aircraft that allows for longer aircraft life while meeting demands of an ever changing operational requirement"

The aircraft is currently operational with the air forces of Australia, Indonesia, Canada, Denmark, India, Italy, Norway, Qatar, the US and the UK.

Spirit Aeronautics chairman and CEO Rick Ochs said: "Enhancing the legacy C-130H/L-382 Hercules Avionics architecture with our simple yet elegant solution will provide operators with the ability to operate during times when local instrument landing system facilities are not reliable or in locations that they may not exist.

"This solution provides aircrews with Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) GPS based Lateral Navigation and Localiser Performance (LNAV) with Vertical Guidance (LPV) landing approach capability utilising Commercial Off the Shelf equipment."

In June, Lockheed delivered fourth and final C-130 Hercules to Afghanistan. The country received the first three aircraft in 2013 and 2014.

Image: C-130 Hercules aircratfs. Photo: courtesy of Spirit Aeronautics.