The Air Force has awarded a $499 million contract to L3 Technologies to modernize avionics for the service’s Guard and Reserve C-130H Hercules fleet.
In a June 6 release, L3 said it had received the Air Force’s C-130H Avionics Modernization Program Increment 2 contract, to design, produce and certify a plan to upgrade the 176 Hercules aircraft belonging to the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve.
L3 said its upgrades will improve the Hercules’ availability, reliability and sustainability, while lowering its costs to operate the transport aircraft. The aircraft will receive a commercial off-the-shelf avionics suite and L3 will provide training services, according to the release.
The Air Force found blades manufactured using a different process more than 48 years ago might be more susceptible to corrosion, which could lead to dangerous cracks.
The contractor will carry out the work at its facility in Waco, Texas.
“L3 is committed to delivering innovative, cost-effective solutions to ensure mission readiness in support of the U.S. Air Force’s modernization strategy,” L3 CEO and president Christopher Kubasik said in the release. “We are focused on providing an agile and low-risk approach to modernizing the Air Force’s diverse fleet of C-130s, enabling these assets to operate well into the future.”
The Air Force’s C-130Hs are among the older transport aircraft in the fleet. In 2017, the most recent year for which data is available, the Air Force’s 188 C-130Hs had an average age of 28 years.