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Transport & Utility

$236.6M for C-130J Sustainment

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C-130J Hercules(click to view full) The privately-developed C-130J Hercules has been a controversial aircraft for some time now, with a history of concerns about its cost and performance and a budgetary near-death experience. While the Herc’s 20-ton capacity is still the key limiting factor in US land forces’ survivability and air-portability tradeoffs, the C-130J has recently demonstrated significant advantages over earlier models by carrying vastly higher cargo limits in the “hot and high” conditions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Competition from the higher-capacity Airbus A400M is expected to be fierce after the new plane debuts in 2009, and its impending arrival has already canceled at least one C-130 sale. Nevertheless, a multi-year US C-130J procurement has now begun, adding to the aircraft pool and reinforcing its growing international customer base (Australia, Britain, Denmark, Italy, Kuwait). Along with the C-130J’s integration into US forces for the full spectrum of combat and non combat roles (WC-130J model hurricane-hunters, KC-103J aerial refuellers, and EC-130J broadcaster variants are also flying) come the inevitable maintenance and sustainment requirements. The Headquarters Warner Robins Air Logistics Center at Robins Air Force Base, GA recently issued $236.6 million in contracts along these lines. AE2100s on WC-130J(click to view full) […]

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