Halfway Point For C-130AMP Aircraft

The first test aircraft in the Air Force’s C-130 avionics modernization program has completed its 100th flight, reaching the halfway point in its flight program ahead of schedule, lead contractor Boeing announced June 9. This aircraft, a C-130H2 model, has been flying from Edwards AFB, Calif., and has already made several cross-country jaunts, the company said. “This achievement is a testament to the robustness and reliability of the AMP systems,” said Mike Harris, Boeing VP and C-130 AMP program manager. “We are very pleased with the aircraft’s performance.” A second test aircraft, an H2.5 airframe is also flying at Edwards and a third test platform, a C-130H3, is undergoing modifications and upgrades at Boeing’s facility in San Antonio, Tex., and is expected to fly early next year. The Air Force’s current plans call for upgrading 222 older model C-130s under the AMP with a fully integrated, night-vision-goggle compatible, digital glass cockpit and a new digital avionics system. Pentagon acquisition czar John Young plans a meeting later this month to decide whether to allow the program to advance into low-rate initial production.