$14.1M to Train MC-130W Combat Spear Aircrew
FlightSafety Services Corp., of Centennial, CO received a firm-fixed-price contract for $14.1 million, covering one Weapons System Trainer for pilots and crew on the MC-130W Combat Spear special forces transport aircraft. This trainer is used to support the Aircrew Training and Rehearsal Systems contract, and all funds have been committed. It is managed by the Department of the Air Force OO-ALC/ACSG/PK at Hill AFB, UT (FA8223-08-C-0008).
The MC-130W Combat Spear is a recent development, and was first fielded in 2006 as an interim replacement for losses in AFSOCOM’s MC-130E/H Combat Talon aircraft. The fact that most of the losses were related to age rather than enemy action did not change the need for replacements, and so C-130H aircraft from the 1987 to 1990 production group were modified to fill the gap. The standard sets of special forces enhancements followed: improved navigation including GPS and navigation radars; interior and exterior night vision goggle compatible lighting; advanced threat detection and automated countermeasures, including active infrared countermeasures as well as chaff and flares; upgraded communication suites, including include dual satellite communications using data burst transmission to make trackback difficult; aerial refueling capability; and the ability to act as an aerial tanker via Mk 32B-902E refueling pods.
At present, 12 converted MC-130W aircraft are planned, but SOCOM’s recent contract for MC/HC-130J aircraft might change that equation by offering a higher performance recapitalization option.