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C-130 AMP (Avionics Modernization Program)


Guest wilco

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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.

"A legacy system is an old system that continues to be used, typically because it still functions for the users' needs, even though newer technology is available."

I don't see how that is an attack at all. 1960's-80's technology still being used cause it gets the job done, even though 90's-00's technology is out there.

If people are offended by that, then all I can say is damn.

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Air Force looks to cancel C-130 AMP program

Staff report

Posted : Tuesday Sep 15, 2009 17:13:51 EDT

The Air Force has proposed killing the C-130 Avionics Modernization Program (AMP), aiming to replace it with a less expensive alternative, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz told reporters Tuesday at the Air Force Association’s Air & Space Conference.

Calling the decision “largely an affordability issue,” Schwartz said service brass have pitched the idea to the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Under that pitch, the AMP effort would be replaced with one that would fit airlifters with “stand-alone integrations” as opposed to the planned across-the-board avionics upgrades.

Boeing had been the contractor the AMP program but was expected to compete against Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems for a new contract. Industry officials at the conference had little to say, noting the companies with a stake in the AMP program were only informed of the service’s proposed approach shortly before Schwartz talked with reporters.

“The bottom line is we couldn’t afford it,” said Schwartz, whose flying career focused on conventional and special operations C-130s.

He said OSD still must approve killing the AMP effort before the new plan is enacted: “No decision in this town is final.”

The price of an installed C-130 AMP kit is about $9 million. Boeing was aiming to get those costs down to about $7 million, the air service’s desires price target, according to media reports. Boeing developed AMP and installed the cockpit overhaul in three planes in order for the service to evaluate the changes.

The Air Force spent more than $1.5 billion over the past 10 years developing the AMP system as a way to extend the life of its aging C-130 fleet.

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  • 4 months later...

Who will you guys be training on the aircraft? Seems odd to give it to you guys unless a lot of others exist for you to upgrade people on. Or will yo be getting a new mission?

Rumor is OT & E first. Get our guys qualified and then train folks as their units receive them. Same mission though. Instructor school and intial/mission qual. Just on the AMP.

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  • 8 months later...
  • 8 months later...

Is it dead again? This appeared in Defense News recently. Any of our AMP program participants care to comment?

post-884-0-63146500-1310271357_thumb.jpg

(I can't find an online link so can only post first paragraph to comply with copywrite laws.)

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Is it dead again?

Found a discussion on herkybirds.com, and a link to the budget mentioned in the discussion:

2012 Budget Proposal Procurement Programs

On the Adobe page 249, there is a line item for the amp program. Sounds like it is just "Phase 2" that might not get funding (102 H1/EC/LC/MC/AC-130 aircraft), which was never really considered a done deal... Maybe they will just buy more Js, those planes won't be able to fly most places in the world (is it 2020 still?) without meeting the ADS-B requirement.

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  • 7 months later...

We're AMPing the Js.

C-130J future upgrades:

2) ...Block 7 Upgrades, testing, and trial kit installation(s). Block 7 is the second phase of a three-block upgrade initiative which primarily addresses

mandated Communication, Navigation, and Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) requirements. Block 7 is the first Block Upgrade initiative that is a true

International partnership, as the development costs are being shared by each participating nation. Block 7 requirements include: a.) Communication, Navigation, and

Surveillance (CNS) b.) Civil Global Positioning System (GPS) c.) New flight management system (FMS) d.) Link 16 e.) Mission Computer (MC) upgrades. Block 7

(as well as all future Block Upgrades) will be integrated into the training systems integration lab prior to incorporation into the fielded trainers.

3) ...Block 8 Upgrades. Block 8 is the last phase of three block upgrades which will complete all known mandated Communication, Navigation, and Surveillance/

Air Traffic Control (CNS/ATM) requirements. Block 8 will again be an International partnership with cost being shared by each participating nation. Block 8

requirements include: a.) TEMPEST Compliance b.) Identification Friend or FOE (IFF) transponder Mode-5 c.) Civil Data-link d.)Automatic Dependent

Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) e.) Mission Computer (MC) upgrades

Air Force awards C-130J enhancement contract

Viva la J!

Edited by Swizzle
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  • 5 years later...

reviving an old thread I guess....

anyone hearing rumors about AMP increment 1 coming around?  J models instead of AMP?  3.5 engine upgrades?

Last article about amp (amp light) is 9 months old:

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/inside-americas-battle-tested-c-130-aircraft-steroids-18411

Apparently Wyoming is flying MAFFS with the engine mod:

http://www.kgwn.tv/content/news/Upgraded-Wyoming-C-130-activated-for-firefighting-mission-437231773.html

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We've got a single 3.5, currently deployed for MAFFS.  I haven't flown it yet, but the crews are raving.  330-340kts, ceilings into the mid-30's.  Hundred less TIT and a thousand less PPH.  We're basically the flight test guinea pig squadron- there isn't a single publication on this engine, but sure as hell we're flying missions with it.

We're also slated to get the avionics upgrade (who knows when).  We've seen a picture of the new cockpit, that's it.  Nav and FE keep their seats.  I expect we'll get the NP2000 props before the avionics make their way here.

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Any words on the cost of the 3.5 motors plus install?  It could majorly improve capability across the force if it's cost effective.  Those performance numbers sound similar to the J.  I'd be curious to see the TOLD numbers.

3 hours ago, Toasty said:

there isn't a single publication on this engine, but sure as hell we're flying missions with it

Using line crews as test pilots. I cringed at that.  Especially after the recent Marine KC-130 crash.  Fly safe fellas. 

FF

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Would be interesting to see a final summary of the AMP Program, from start to finish.  Especially a total summation of how much money was put into it, and what exactly was gotten out of it.

Even though the full-up AMP program was never completed, I'm sure there still were some benefits gleaned (AMP-light, mods installed on J-models, etc).  But it sure seems like it was primarily a jobs program for Lockheed, Boeing, and the C-130 Program Office. 

 

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On 8/8/2017 at 2:11 PM, Blue said:

Would be interesting to see a final summary of the AMP Program, from start to finish.  Especially a total summation of how much money was put into it, and what exactly was gotten out of it.

Even though the full-up AMP program was never completed, I'm sure there still were some benefits gleaned (AMP-light, mods installed on J-models, etc).  But it sure seems like it was primarily a jobs program for Lockheed, Boeing, and the C-130 Program Office. 

 

Just the way I heard it, and is probably bullshit

When the Guard and Reserves got their beloved C130s in the 80s and 90s Congress could not get the money to fund a massive buy from Lockheed that would provide a few hundred identical Herks.  So Congress told Lockheed...build them anyhow.  Every time 8 of them come off the line, we will buy whatever you got.  What came off the line was "whatever" Lockheed was building at the time.

Then in 2000 when the Air Force went looking for AMP, Lockheed knew better than to bid low.  There are 24 sub-variants of variants.  Boeing wasn't as keen on this and their low bid got them the award...something like $7 million per aircraft.  Lockheed laughed.

So it started.  Cost overruns meant few aircraft to be modified, which meant more cost per tail.  Soon it was $20 million per tail (a new herk only cost $30-$40 million).  ADS-B requirements emerged that AMP didn't even address.  AMP wouldn't even keep us sustainable.  We need new engines and props.  8.33 radios, ADS-B.  In addition, foreign C-130 operators had already solved the avionics issue for just a few bucks with off-the-shelf parts. 

So the Air Force wanted to kill AMP, but the NDAA kept shoving it down their throats.  Finally the Air Force won by calling the off-the-shelf parts "AMP Increment 1" and Congress was satisfied.

So maybe we spent $400 million on program development and R&D, but it didn't end up in an airplane.  It was 20 year old technology, that we got when we put foreflight on our ipad.  Amp was cool, but not worth the money.  I wouldn't call it a jobs program either, just a timing problem.

Once again, take it for a grain of salt.

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On 8/8/2017 at 1:27 AM, FourFans130 said:

Any words on the cost of the 3.5 motors plus install?  It could majorly improve capability across the force if it's cost effective.  Those performance numbers sound similar to the J.  I'd be curious to see the TOLD numbers.

Using line crews as test pilots. I cringed at that.  Especially after the recent Marine KC-130 crash.  Fly safe fellas. 

FF

We're using H3 TOLD and fuel numbers to be conservative, then logging results as the new engines blow away the numbers.  So that side is straightforward.

 

Tac, however...the pen-d, slowdown, and power settings are totally jacked now, as it carries more power at idle.

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