MARIETTA, Ga., 18 July 2012. avionics designers at the Lockheed Martin Corp. Aeronautics segment in Marietta, Ga., needed satellite communications (SATCOM) equipment for the block 8.1 avionics upgrade of the U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules military utility and transport aircraft. They found their solution from Thrane & Thrane A/S, a Cobham plc company in Lyngby, Denmark.
The C-130J avionics upgrade will use the AVIATOR 700D SwiftBroadband and classic aero service satellite communications system from Thrane & Thrane that can be tailored to any airframe, company officials say. The deal is worth $24.8 million.
The AVIATOR 700D is a compact SATCOM design that combines high gain antenna (HGA) that offers voice dialling from the cockpit multifunction control display units, with Level D software and hardware.
The system complies to the Future Air Navigation System (FANS) 1/A, controller pilot data link communications (CPDLC), and voice safety service operations via the system’s cockpit data and voice channels.
The AVIATOR 700D provides access to six separate channels for voice and data service, simultaneous voice calling, and secure data transfer. The system will enable C-130J crews to make voice calls, send e-mail, browse the internet, and stream video with several different users simultaneously.
The SATCOM system also has built-in wireless capability to create an aircraft Wi-Fi hotspot for in-flight use of smart phones, personal tablets, and laptop computers. Crew members can access video conferencing and seamless VPN access over Wi-Fi.
The Lockheed Martin block 8.1 upgrade involves more than 200 aircraft that will be rolled out between 2014 to 2018. The SATCOM system will support the air traffic management data link component of the Block 8.1 upgrade.
The C-130J is crewed by two pilots and a load master, and features a glass cockpit, digital avionics, and a new propulsion system with a six-bladed propeller. The first C-130 flew some 50 years ago.
The Block 8.1 upgrade will be implemented on the fleets of C-130J operators in the United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, Denmark, Canada, Norway, and the U.S.