Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has been awarded a $167 million U.S. Air Force contract to develop a new block upgrade for the C‑130J Super Hercules.
The Block 8.1 enhancement, containing both software and hardware capability expansion, will be installed on all U.S. government C-130Js and C-130Js of operator countries that select the upgrade. The C-130J fleet is currently flying with the Block 6.0 configuration, while the Block 7.0 configuration is in flight trials.
"Throughout its history, the C-130 has constantly changed and adapted to ensure it is always relevant and meeting the latest operational requirements," said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin vice president for C-130 programs. "The C‑130 is the benchmark for airlift around the world and the Block Upgrade Program ensures interoperability across the worldwide C-130J fleet. This sophisticated degree of commonality across C-130J types and variants is one reason the proven Hercules is in such high demand."
The new Block 8.1 configuration will include items such as updated Identification Friend or Foe (IFF); TEMPEST compliance; Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast; a Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management Data Link; an Enhanced Inter-Communication System; enhanced Approach and Landing Systems; Enhanced Diagnostics; and additional Covert Lighting.
C-130J aircraft are currently in production for the U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps, Iraq, Israel, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Oman and Tunisia. C-130Js are also flown by Australia, Canada, Denmark, India, Italy, Norway, Qatar, the United Kingdom and the U.S. Coast Guard.
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