Air Force prepares industry for potential avionics and systems upgrades to C-130 utility aircraft

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio, 28 March 2012. Aircraft systems experts at the U.S. Air Force Aeronautical Systems Center (ASC) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, are reaching out to industry to find companies able to perform major avionics and systems upgrades to enhance the capabilities and design for continual improvements of three versions of the U.S. Air Force Lockheed Martin C-130J four-engine turboprop transport aircraft.

The Fixed-Wing Branch of the ASC Special Operations Forces (SOF) and Personnel Recovery Division issued a request for information (RFI: ResearchDevelopmentandIntegrationforHCMC_AC130J) on Monday for a potential C-130J upgrade and technology insertion program. Of primary interest are the HC-130J search-and-rescue aircraft, the MC-130J special-operations aircraft, and the AC-130 ground-attack aircraft.

Work would involve analysis, study, planning, design, development, prototype, qualification, flight test, draft modification instructions, operations and maintenance publications updates, trial kit installation (TKI), and program documentation. Air Force officials caution this RFI is not yet a formal solicitation.

The HC-130J is an extended-range, search and rescue (SAR) and combat search and rescue (CSAR) version; the MC-130 is a special mission version for infiltration, exfiltration, and resupply of special operations forces, as well as for mid-air refueling of special operations helicopters and tiltrotor aircraft; and the AC-130 is a gunship version with heavy armament for ground-attack.

Upgrades and technology insertion for the HC-130J, MC-130J, and AC-130J aircraft would involve hardware component and subsystem development and test; software development, test, and investigations; and planning for organizational, intermediate, and depot-level maintenance.

Maintenance planning would documents and test equipment; certification and verification; defining spare parts requirements; defining training system; updating logistics support; supporting manufacturing readiness assessments (MRAs); eliminating hazardous materials; systems engineering; kit prototyping; flight testing; and solutions to current and future parts obsolescence.

Companies interested should describe their capabilities and provide a brief synopsis of their ability to upgrade these three versions of the C-130J aircraft. Respond no later than 11 April 2012, to the Air Force's Katherine Hamblin by e-mail at Katherine.Hamblin@wpafb.af.mil, or by post at Bldg 46, 1895 Fifth Street, WPAFB OH 45433-7200.

For questions or concerns, contact Katherine Hamblin by phone at 937-255-3594, or by e-mail at Katherine.Hamblin@wpafb.af.mil. For technical questions contact the Air Force's John Dyson by e-mail at John.Dyson@wpafb.af.mil.

More information is online at http://www.fbodaily.com/archive/2012/03-March/28-Mar-2012/FBO-02705498.htm.

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