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Thrane & Thrane system for USAF heavy-lift aircraft

16 July 2012

Lockheed Martin (USA) has awarded the satellite communication component of the new Block 8.1 upgrade for the US Air Force’s (USAF) C-130J Super Hercules to Cobham company, Thrane & Thrane A/S. The program involves the upgrade of over 200 aircraft and represents a value expected to exceed DKK 150 million, with a roll out period from 2014 to 2018.

The satellite communication systems will support the air traffic management data link component of the Block 8.1 upgrade. Thrane & Thrane will deliver the DO178B certified AVIATOR 700D product, which is prepared for FANS1/A operation and supports a combination of current Inmarsat cockpit safety provisions as well as SwiftBroadband IP data and voice capability.

“AVIATOR 700D will support the enhanced communications functionality of this extensive upgrade program for the C-130J,” comments Walther Thygesen, CEO, Thrane & Thrane. “The system functionality, reliability and certification fit the requirements and Thrane & Thrane is well positioned to be a reliable partner throughout the deployment of the upgrade program and the on-going use of AVIATOR 700D.”

The C-130J Hercules is a heavy-lift tactical cargo and personnel transport aircraft powered by four Allison AE2100D3 turboprop engines and can accommodate a payload of up to 20t or more than 90 passengers. The block upgrade program ensures interoperability across the worldwide C-130J fleet.

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 and several are still in operation. Today, the C-130J Super Hercules is by far the most common heavy lift transport aircraft in the World.

The Block 8.1 upgrade will be implemented on the fleets of a large number of C-130J operators in the UK, Australia, Italy, Denmark, Canada, Norway and the USA.