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C-130 AMP (Avionics Modernization Program)


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Guest Herkator

The President's FY08 budget request is hot off the presses for your viewing...er, eye straining...pleasure... https://www.saffm.hq.af.mil/FMB/pb/2008/proc.html Select the Aircraft Procurement Vol II file and see page 440-441 for the latest AMP funding. The line that stands out to me is "Funding shortfalls experienced in FY05 resulted in another need to re-baseline the program; this activity is on-going and a Contract Modification award is anticipated to occur in the 1st Quarter of FY08." So, stay tuned. Regardless, this current plan shows the last H model being AMP'd in FY19, so the last slick navs can plan to hold out at least until then. :salut:

The first bird to get AMP'd was a Maxwell Reserve H2 and is currently being flight tested by Boeing. http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?storyID=123027448

Supposedly, an H2.5 will be the next one sometime this summer.

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Guarantee ya, if other herk drivers start flying AMP'd birds, they'll never wanna go back. Ever. HUD; 6 MFD's; moving map w/ color WX radar, tcas, ske, route, waypoints, airfields, navaids, threats, airspace, etc overlay; FMS; a master warning/caution light... what a concept; data loader (loading your flightplan & mission data to the plane via pfps... unless you feel like entering it twice); radios that make sense (as opposed to our wafer switch under the condition lever); having more than 1 course & bearing on your HSI... which you probably won't even be looking at cause you'll have a hud; NVG compatible w/ a flick of just 1 switch, and basically something designed with human factors involved. Yup, I can't wait. Hope it's as good as it looks on the picture. Just wish they'd upgrade the back, too, cause it needs some improvements.

Anybody know if it does TOLD via computer? I don't understand why the E's are still doing told while bouncing around at 300A using charts.

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One of you H3 guys out there correct me if I'm wrong, but I think those standby attitude indicators have two selectable power sources (Isol DC & INS Batt???). I would assume the SAI's on the AMP'd birds would be pretty much the same.

Isol DC is right since that's what you normally use. I think the INS Batt is right as well. Remember that the H3 didn't have a standby attitude indicator when it first hit the flight line. The Lockheed engineers claimed that you didn't need one. There was no way that both ADIs would fail...that was their story and they stuck to it, until the first dual ADI failure happened. Then came months of Day VFR only flying until they installed the Standby ADIs.

I'm sure, that if that's a digital Standby ADI (in the AMP picture), that someone claims that the digital standby can never go tits up/more reliable, etc, etc.

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Isol DC is right since that's what you normally use. I think the INS Batt is right as well.

It's been a couple of years since my fini in the 50th, but that seems about right.

I'm sure, that if that's a digital Standby ADI (in the AMP picture), that someone claims that the digital standby can never go tits up/more reliable, etc, etc.

Either way, both the analog and digital standby's are electric, so it would be hard to say one was less reliable than the other. The analog works just fine in the H3, I don't see any reason why the digital one won't do the job in the AMP birds.

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Looks like the Chaff/Flare controls moved up to behind the throttle quad. Also, the AD/TJ switch has a computer position which I don't remember. I guess there will be no navs on this bad boy?

...and the radar controls are right behind the MWS controls. Or the radar "switch" rather. It just has an on and off. I'm guessing the rest of the controls are on the IDCU since the radar's gotta be on one of the FMS screens.

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Worthless coffee grinder ADF - gone

Anybody know if they're putting SELCAL in these things?

Actually don't be too quick to slam the coffee grinder.

Yeah it's a pain in the ass when you're trying to tune it while you're shooting an actual approach, but it is much easier to find radio stations with the coffee grinder as your droning up and down the East Coast, as apposed to manually typing in each freq, wait a second to see if anything is there, and then moving on the the next freq. They gave us a digital tuning ADF in the J, and just about everyone says "I wish we had the coffee grinder back"

No SELCAL would be my guess for one simple reason, it's cheaper to have the CP just listen to the HF for 8 hours than to install SELCAL in an airframe that crosses the ocean no more than 4 or 5 times a year.

GW

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  • 1 month later...
No SELCAL would be my guess for one simple reason, it's cheaper to have the CP just listen to the HF for 8 hours than to install SELCAL in an airframe that crosses the ocean no more than 4 or 5 times a year.

GW

I was so damn jealous of those guys that had the fancy little ding when I had to listen to that scratchy horrible radio.....and that was WAY more than 4-5 times in a year...and that was just me...I was just one guy...I think the Yokota crews would like to have that little addition! I think that is a pretty good reason though...well, let me rephrase....crappy reason, good call on the bad logic behind the decision.

Granted, any frustration I built up in trying to talk to random pseudo-controllers en route to a couple of places was usually mitigated by the fun had once on the ground.

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  • 2 years later...

Here's the problem with the AMP: What extra capability does it give the AF? Obviously it's very sweet for us pilot types, but it still only gets you 60+2 somewhere at 300TAS. What's the point? And don't say cost savings by eliminating a crew position cause there is no way that would equal AMP'ing the fleet.

Anyway the AMP sim is up and running at LRF. Rumor is the 189th will be the AMP schoolhouse. They have H models arriving this fall with AMP'ed birds in the pipeline.

<---Can't wait to fly them, I just don't think they make sense big picture wise.

P.S. My favorite part of that picture is the fact they left the shitty approach plate holder connections on there...Herk is still the Herk!

Edited by Herkguy
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  • 2 weeks later...

This is a great day for Slick Navs!!! This program has hemorraged money since its inception. The main problem I have with the AMP is it doesn't go, faster, father, or higher. Also you were still going to need some one as a PADS OP/CTII OP. Those items were not going to be embedded in the AMP avionics! At the end of the day with the previous budget cuts/ cost overruns I am not so sure that the Slicks were going to be without Navs anyway. The Boeing Rep who gave the AMP briefing at AATTC Tactics Symp was tring to get the Air Force to keep the Slick Navs. The Air Force hates Navs enough that they will finally change our crew position to a CSO/FSO/WSO or something. But when the last H models go to the boneyard it will be with a NAV.

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Below is an article from bloomberg.

Force Would Cancel Boeing C-130 Upgrade, 15 Other Programs

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By Tony Capaccio

Sept. 2 (Bloomberg) -- The Air Force in its new five-year budget plan proposes canceling a Boeing Co. program to build and install upgraded software in the cockpits of C-130 transports.

Ending the program Chicago-based Boeing won in 2001 would save about $345 million in fiscal 2011 and a total of $2.8 billion through 2015, according to unreleased budget documents.

The savings would be the largest from 16 programs the service proposed to cancel as discussions opened on the new long-range plan. The review will continue until December with the goal of submitting it to the White House along with the military’s detailed fiscal 2011 budget in January.

Other programs that would be cut include a radio communications system Lockheed Martin Corp. is building and a Boeing satellite communications system.

The Pentagon directed the Air Force to cut about $24.2 billion, or about 3.8 percent, from the current $632 billion five-year plan, according to charts prepared and presented to senior Pentagon officials Aug. 18 by Lieutenant General Raymond Johns, deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and programs.

The service “terminated programs with issues in performance, cost or rationale,” Johns wrote.

The proposed budget, Johns stated, aims to protect “to the greatest degree possible” funding for the three top aircraft programs: the Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35, the military’s most expensive weapons program; the Air Force version of the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft being built by Textron Inc. and Boeing; and the program to build a new aerial refueling tanker.

Gates’s Guidance

The service’s 2011-2015 plan is influenced by Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s guidance calling for modest growth in defense spending with emphasis on improving the security of nuclear weapons and building capabilities to conduct irregular warfare and cyber defense.

President Barack Obama assigned Gates to rein in defense spending, which now consumes about 19 cents of every dollar of the federal budget. Adjusted for inflation, defense spending has grown about 43 percent since fiscal 2000. When war costs are included, the number increases to 72 percent.

A study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that of the $1.7 trillion spent on new weapons in the last decade, 54 percent, or $919 billion, was attributable to cost increases.

The Air Force was told it couldn’t reduce spending on military pay and benefits, family housing, science and technology or funds to sustain building infrastructure, according to the briefing charts made available to Bloomberg News.

Air Force spokeswoman Colonel Marcella Adams said the service would not comment on the proposed budget.

Other Terminations

The largest other programs proposed for terminations and the potential 5-year savings include:

-- $1.8 billion saved by canceling the Joint Tactical Radio program, a communications system that Lockheed is building for the Air Force and Navy. The Navy also proposes terminating the program, according to budget documents.

-- $1.6 billion saved by ending the Wideband Global high- speed communications satellite system after a constellation of six satellites already on contract with Boeing is built.

-- $641 million saved by canceling the Northrop Grumman Corp. program to build new engines for E-8 Jstars reconnaissance aircraft;

-- $407 million saved by curtailing Boeing’s Small Diameter Bomb program. The 250-pound satellite-guided bombs are now being used in Iraq.

--- $292 million saved by cutting to eight from about 22 the number of advanced Block 40 Global Hawk drones that Northrop Grumman is building.

The Air Force in its 2011 budget would see savings of $212 million, $115 million and $110 million respectively from canceling the purchases of the Northrop E-8 engine and Global Hawk and the Lockheed joint radio.

Upgrade Program

The C-130 Hercules is the world’s most widely used short- and medium-range transport with over 2,200 built since the 1950s.

The Air Force has about 427, including newer model C-103Js, which have the upgraded cockpit electronics. The plane is used in all military theaters including Iraq and Afghanistan.

The program to install 222 upgrade kits on older C-130s was to run through 2017. Congress through this year has approved $1.7 billion for the program, and Boeing is producing the first 22 kits.

Boeing has modified and completed test flights of three aircraft, spokeswoman Jennifer Hogan said. She said the company has not been notified of the proposed termination and the program “is production-ready.”

The C-130 upgrade program has seen cost growth that pushed it to $5.8 billion from $4.1 billion.

The Air Force “probably sees” canceling the C-130 program as “an easy target” because of increased J-model production, pressure on defense spending and the program’s cost growth, said Richard Aboulafia, a military aircraft analyst with Fairfax, Virginia-based Teal Group.

Still, “with an aging and overtaxed” C-130 fleet, the Air Force “still needs to create and fund a life-extension program of some kind,” Aboulafia said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tony Capaccio at acapaccio@bloomberg.net

:rock: In 1989 I was told there would be no Navs within 5 years. :rock:

And I'm still here :salut:

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If they follow through on this, and I hope they do, Good Riddance. I was hoping this Goat **** would get cnxed before it started wreaking havoc in the community. I finally got to see the test bird from Charlie West a couple weeks ago and got a thorough tour from one of the engineers. Even they said the program had turned into a complete boondoggle, especially since they cut the moving map as a cost-cutting measure. No nav, AND no moving map?!? That's an improvement how???? I'm 28 years old and I hope I retire in an H3.

post-1861-125252224838_thumb.jpg

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Guest Hueypilot812

If they follow through on this, and I hope they do, Good Riddance. I was hoping this Goat **** would get cnxed before it started wreaking havoc in the community. I finally got to see the test bird from Charlie West a couple weeks ago and got a thorough tour from one of the engineers. Even they said the program had turned into a complete boondoggle, especially since they cut the moving map as a cost-cutting measure. No nav, AND no moving map?!? That's an improvement how???? I'm 28 years old and I hope I retire in an H3.

From what I understood, Navs (or CSOs...whatever they are called these days) were supposed to remain on the AMP for tac missions. The program turned into a boondoggle not because the AMP was a bad idea or because the improvements weren't any good, but because of the standard contracting/political issues that go into large procurement programs. It seems there are always those folks who'll cling to the past no matter what. The fact is, current Herks are rapidly becoming obsolete from a global navigation standpoint and something's gotta change.

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The ignorance and anti-technology of many (not all) legacy herk drivers disturbs me. Especially the ones that have never seen a glass cockpit, and want nothing to do w/ one.

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The ignorance and anti-technology of many (not all) legacy herk drivers disturbs me. Especially the ones that have never seen a glass cockpit, and want nothing to do w/ one.

Three questions: First, what evidence of "anti-technology" in legacy herk drivers have you seen? I'd appreciate first hand experience not third hand anecdotal evidence. No one I know prefered the E to the H3.

Second, what does your statement have to do with this thread about the cancellation of AMP'd legacy birds?

More specifically, do you think this program died because legacy guys didn't want the plane or because AF contracting couldn't get it's shit together to make it happen?

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The ignorance and anti-technology of many (not all) legacy herk drivers disturbs me. Especially the ones that have never seen a glass cockpit, and want nothing to do w/ one.

I guess I would agree that anyone that speaks categorically about anything that they don't have direct experience with probably shouldn't do that. That said, I'd be careful about assuming that the AMP discussion is as simple as the old dudes that don't want the J model, for example.

I was originally excited about the AMP as it was described. How it has turned out, and some of this has to do with changes forced by triggers set up under the Nunn–McCurdy amendment, make it a horrible deal for the taxpayers and aircrews, in my opinion. While I would be sorry to see Navs and Engs go, I would be totally in favor of getting J models versus AMPs (so you can see I'm not "ignorant and anti-technology".)

I have a fair amount of experience with many types of glass cockpit setups, and I stand by what I said that the AMP is a bad bad deal. The only thing that jumps out as a huge jump in capability is the FMS vs. SCNS. As far as the SA increase goes, it just isn't there in my opinion. In addition, you lose some of the ergonomic improvements that came with the H3, as in the AMP bird some warning lights go back to being scattered around the cockpit. New Cessna 172s with the Garmin G1000 cockpit with synthetic vision provide an amazing amount of easy-to-process information. The AMP setup is already obsolete, and it continues to shed capability to save $. I am against the AMP partly BECAUSE I want new and better technology, not because I resist it.

Lovek, have YOU spent much time in an AMP airplane, pushing buttons and talking to the engineers? If you have I'm surprised you are in favor of it.

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Guest Hueypilot812

I guess I would agree that anyone that speaks categorically about anything that they don't have direct experience with probably shouldn't do that. That said, I'd be careful about assuming that the AMP discussion is as simple as the old dudes that don't want the J model, for example.

I was originally excited about the AMP as it was described. How it has turned out, and some of this has to do with changes forced by triggers set up under the Nunn–McCurdy amendment, make it a horrible deal for the taxpayers and aircrews, in my opinion. While I would be sorry to see Navs and Engs go, I would be totally in favor of getting J models versus AMPs (so you can see I'm not "ignorant and anti-technology".)

I have a fair amount of experience with many types of glass cockpit setups, and I stand by what I said that the AMP is a bad bad deal. The only thing that jumps out as a huge jump in capability is the FMS vs. SCNS. As far as the SA increase goes, it just isn't there in my opinion. In addition, you lose some of the ergonomic improvements that came with the H3, as in the AMP bird some warning lights go back to being scattered around the cockpit. New Cessna 172s with the Garmin G1000 cockpit with synthetic vision provide an amazing amount of easy-to-process information. The AMP setup is already obsolete, and it continues to shed capability to save $. I am against the AMP partly BECAUSE I want new and better technology, not because I resist it.

Lovek, have YOU spent much time in an AMP airplane, pushing buttons and talking to the engineers? If you have I'm surprised you are in favor of it.

I'll agree that the AMP isn't as great as it once was mostly because politics and contracting (ie bean-counting shoes) have sliced and diced the program to avoid Nunn-McCurdy reviews, so it's pretty much just slathering an E/H with glass and doesn't have the capabilities of the J-model's systems.

I'm not pointing fingers at you because it seems like you understand what's needed in the airplane for the future, but I guess I don't get the whole anti-glass bias I've seen in a few (actually a minority in the legacy community, but they are a loud minority). The Herk's a great airplane, and I love flying the thing. But if we're going to continue to operate uninhibited in international airspace in the next few decades, the legacy cockpits need to change. Honestly, at this point it might just be better to use the H3 template and upgrade all the H1s and H2s to the H3 setup and add in some of the GATM improvements that the H3 currently lacks, as well as a capability to fly WAAS approaches (which is the future whether you like it or not). Having flown a GPS approach-capable airplane (C-21), GPS approaches are great. I think the world should retain ground-based NAVAIDs as a secondary back-up system, but GPS is the way to go.

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Good discussion here, I love it. The demise of AMP, in my opinion, is from a basic arguement that AMP is lipstick; its make-up on the same bent-up frame and high-life wings. So, continuing that arguement, the big wigs probabply think its a better investment for more Js versus a geeked out legacy Herc, especially since J's have deployed and basically shown they can hack the mish. Yes AMP has its shady history, but the extremely long acquisition process doomed it. When I heard it was going to take about 3 years for Boeing to DEVELOP the AMP kit (after winning the contract), I thought that the bidding/acquisition process failed right there. The contract award should have resulted in an immediate install and 6-9 month test phase. But since it took forever to build and a few protests, AMP was shitcanned out of the gate.

Now on to the fun. I have two views with respect to AMP/technology/Navs.

1. I would love upgraded avionics, a full-blown FMS with more than 200 waypoints, a color radar with WX, and big fat displays to view the stuff.

2. I hate it when everyone is heads down with their faces in the box. Here is where some of you people may come up with the "anti-technology" excuse.

3. I love the Nav and Eng. Its two more thinking brains helping to make the mission happen. That said, I've seen how technology has replaced them. Hell, airlines got rid of flight engineers by creating better systems and ennunciator panels.

So, do I hate AMP? No. Do I hate the J? No. Would I fly the J? Yes, but I know its a very different CRM game then.

Out.

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I have time in E's & am currently in H1s, but nothing newer for C-130s. I have no experience with H3s, but wish I did. A year ago I had ~5 hours in the AMP sim. I read the -1 alot for it. It took some getting used to the hud & avionics, but my SA was much much greater. I'm definitely not an expert on the AMP, nor do I claim to be. I just had a few short hours in a simulator. I don't know, I don't post much here, maybe it was just my own rant about anti-technology & ignorance. And no, nothing in my post has anything to do w/ the "cancellation" or eventual re-restart of the program.

"legacy guys didn't want the plane or because AF contracting couldn't get it's shit together to make it happen"... I never saw any legacy guys fighting for it... but I see the hostile rejection from any nav (which is understandable) fighting against it.

I'm not familiar w/ the Nunn–McCurdy amendment... I will use google. As for the warning lights scattered everywhere, I must have flown a different AMP, I had a Master Warning annunciator w/ a message, and then you looked in the first pages of Ch 3, and the messages were in alphabetical order, with the message, meaning, and then required action.... etc: CABIN ALTITUDE (message on the master warning MFD), Cabin altitude > 10,000 ft (for the meaning) , Refer to OPERATION OF THE CABIN PRESSURIZATION SYSTEM or EMERGENCY OPERATION OF CABIN PRESSURIZATION (GROUND/INFLIGHT) (for the required action). I of course have an aircraft that's cabin altitude is not illuminated w/ NVG compatible lighting (pitch black) and need my liplight or a glowstick to see it and have absolutely no warning indicator (escept for my inflatable ass pad, clicking ears, or hypoxia). Just one example. Agree w/ GPS approaches, that would make life alot easier.

I still remember a few years ago, when we got TCAS installed in our E models, how the old-timers said it was a terrible invention (before and after they were installed), and detracted from people looking outside. Yes, birds, and many airplanes don't squak but we also had alot less HATRs going into Baghdad, Balad, etc. And we were still looking outside. But that's the same attitude I perceive around me on a daily basis, for other 'improvements'.

I do agree that AMP-ing an H1 or E is a pretty stupid idea, maybe 10 years ago, upgrading the H1s would've been worthwile. "Lipstick" is a great way to say it.

I love the (non OIF/Flagpole) herk missions, i just see alot of improvements I want with the aircraft, and maybe I'm just bummed I'll never get to see them. I of course, would switch to J's instantly.

Again, sorry for my original post, it was just my own rant of my small perceptions in a small part of a much much larger community.

Edited by lovek
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I still remember a few years ago, when we got TCAS installed in our E models, how the old-timers said it was a terrible invention (before and after they were installed), and detracted from people looking outside. Yes, birds, and many airplanes don't squak but we also had alot less HATRs going into Baghdad, Balad, etc. And we were still looking outside. But that's the same attitude I perceive around me on a daily basis, for other 'improvements'.

I think you may have misinterpreted someones apprehension about "black-box" syndrome to mean they are anti-technology. There are a lot of great inventions out there and a lot of great technology, but when those systems don't work, you are left with a clock and a map. If you have the basics down, then you can do the J-O-B whether you have any of the new tools or not. Same goes for TCAS and some of the other technology out there.

However, it would be nice to stop piece meal upgrades of E-models and get something that makes all Herks the same. Unfortunately, politics and economics won't let that happen. I've been around for the C-130X and Y discussion, the J-model that should have been fielded faster and all the other shenanigans that have taken place in the Herk.

I can tell you that the use of the term 'legacy' really gets under some dudes skin. I'm not one of them, but I have several friends who really have a problem with the term. Anyway, that's another discussion.

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