C-130T Avionics Obsolescence Upgrade (AOU) Program
StraCon is currently supporting the C-130T Avionics Obsolescence Upgrade (AOU) Program AOU System Differences Training Courseware and Curriculum development. The Navy Reserve owns 19 C-130T Hercules aircraft (20 if you count “Fat Albert” that flies as part of the Blue Angels demonstration team and will not be modified). To preserve preferred routing in the evolving Air Traffic Control environment, mitigate obsolescence, improve safety and simplify integration of future systems, the U.S. Navy established the AOU program to modernize its aging fleet of C-130T aircraft during the next few years. Due to high traffic congestion of the airways, the air traffic control environment has changed both domestically and internationally, making it necessary for aircraft to comply with current and future Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management mandates.
The AOU program will address obsolescence issues and provide navigation safety enhancements by replacing the aircraft’s Tactical Air Navigation System, incorporating a Terrain Avoidance Warning and Traffic Collision Avoidance System, updating five communications radios and adding Electronic Situation Indicators and Electronic Flight Instruments, to name a few. Currently, C-130Ts perform worldwide missions providing rapid logistics support to Navy operating forces and transportation of personnel or cargo for delivery.
StraCon, partnering with LSI, is developing new training materials for pilots, flight engineers and maintenance personnel assigned to flying and fixing these newly modified aircraft.
The contract is broken down into two Phases. Phase I involved a comprehensive front-end analysis (FEA) which looked at the current training courses conducted at the Air Logistics Training Center (ALTC) here in Fort Worth at the Joint Reserve Base. We then offered comprehensive recommendations on how to incorporate the AOU systems into stand-alone courses that will be taught by ALTC’s contract instructors. All of this analysis and training system recommendations were delivered to PMA-207 in the form of a Training Situation Document (TSD). The StraCon/LSI team also developed Master and Training Task Lists for C-130T AOU pilot, flight engineer, and maintenance personnel.
Phase II of the contract focused on the development of the AOU blended training solution for ALTC. This includes Instructor Led Training (ILT) lessons, Interactive Courseware (ICW), a Virtual Maintenance Trainer (VMT) for maintenance student troubleshooting and fault isolation, and a Control Display Unit (CDU) and Multifunction Display (MFD) emulator for pilot and flight engineer training. All of this training will be conducted in a state-of-the-art electronic classroom the StraCon/LSI Team installed at the Fort Worth JRB.
The first AOU modified aircraft is undergoing developmental testing by VX-20 at NAS Patuxent River, Md and is had its first flight in Jan of this year. Upon completion of this AOU validation installation, the system will be tested and evaluated to ensure it meets program requirements and specifications. Once the initial aircraft is signed off by the test squadron, it will return to VR-53 at Joint Base Andrews, MD.
Once approved for fielding to the fleet, planning will ensue for upgrade installation at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, concurrent with planned depot maintenance intervals. Once full-scale modifications commence, each aircraft will be sent in turn to Hill AFB in Utah for the AOU modification, scheduled for approximately 16 months each.