The arrangement by GE Aviation Systems and Lockheed Martin covers software and hardware that can be expanded to accommodate future technological advances and include such systems and capabilities as identification-friend-or-foe systems, automatic dependent surveillance broadcast, communications, and navigation and air traffic management data links.
"The C-130 is the U.S. Air Force principle tactical cargo and personnel transport aircraft and it requires the most advanced systems available," said Lorraine Bolsinger, president and chief executive officer of GE Aviation Systems. "This technology upgrade will enable military operations to be compatible with our future air traffic management system."
The Block 8.1 configuration upgrade effort for C-130Js was awarded to Lockheed Martin by the Air Force late last year.
"The Block Upgrade program ensures interoperability across the worldwide C-130J fleet," said George Schultz, Lockheed Martin's vice president and general manager of C-130 programs. "This sophisticated degree of technology and commonality across C-130J types and variants is one reason the proven Hercules is in such high demand."
The deal was announced at the Farnborough Air Show in Britain.