June 5 (UPI) -- L-3 Communications Integrated Systems received a $499.5 million contract for aircraft avionics upgrades on 176 military transport aircraft, the Defense Department announced.
The contract covers engineering and manufacturing development, as well as training and logistics requirements, for improvements to 176 C-130H Hercules cargo aircraft of the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve Command, the Pentagon said Tuesday.
The four-engine turboprop plane entered U.S. service in 1956 for use as a troop carrier, and has seen numerous improvements, as well as an expansion of its purpose.
With over 40 variants, it is used by more than 60 countries and can be fitted for use as a gunship, for airborne assault, search and rescue, scientific research support, weather reconnaissance, aerial refueling, maritime patrol, and aerial firefighting. Many countries' air forces regard the plane as their primary tactical airlifter.
Work will primarily be performed at L-3 Communications' Waco, Texas, facility, with an expected completion date of Sept. 30, 2029.