Hercules’ New Flak Vest

Members of Air Force Reserve Command’s 910th Airlift Wing in Youngstown are testing a new lighter weight and more secure cockpit armor plating system on their C-130Hs that the Air Force is looking to install across its legacy Hercules fleet. “This enhanced armor system will not only ensure our aircrews increased safety from airborne and ground threats …but [it] is lighter and easier to install for our maintainers,” 910th Maintenance Group Commander Col. Davis Post said in a release. The new system replaces the old design’s Velcro fasteners with mounting brackets that keep the bulky plates in place and prevent them from chafing against the C-130’s nose wheel when the wheels are retracted. The mounting hardware is presently fitted to every aircraft, allowing the modular plates to be installed or removed depending on mission requirements. The Air Force awarded Macro Industries a $16.9 million contact for the kits last year, and installation work should be completed fleet-wide by early 2016, according to the Defense Department’s contract announcement.