C-130 Answers Coming in June:

The Air Force is “on track” to answer—“by the first week of June”—the four basic questions necessitated when the C-130 avionics modernization program busted its Nunn-McCurdy cost threshold, said USAF’s top military acquisition officer, Lt. Gen. Donald Hoffman. He told Senators during a Senate Armed Services air-land panel hearing last week, that the Pentagon is in the midst of deliberations over whether there are alternative programs and whether management can control future costs but did not hint at the possible answers. Air Force officials repeatedly have called the C-130 fleet the workhorse of war in Southwest Asia and initiated the AMP upgrade primarily to create a common configuration that would provide more flexibility in aircrew assignment, ensuring even greater use of the Hercules fleet. Upgrade contractor Boeing, which plans to deliver the second AMP Herk to the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB, Calif., later this month, says it was able to significantly lower cost on the second upgraded aircraft based on experience it gained in the first modification.