Elbit to Upgrade South Korea’s C-130H Transport Planes
In June 2012, Elbit Systems Ltd. announced a $62 million contract to upgrade the South Korean ROKAF’s 12 C-130H and stretched C-130H-30 transport aircraft. The 4-year project will be performed in conjunction with Korea’s KAI, and will give the aircraft a modern cockpit and communications electronics, including a “glass cockpit” whose digital displays will replace many of the crew’s analog gauges. Elbit did not mention whether the upgrades would give the ROKAF’s planes full Global Air Traffic Management clearance to fly in civil airspace past 2015.
A number of countries are busy modifying their older C-130s with modern avionics, which can be a rather involved and expensive undertaking. The USA canceled its own C-130 AMP program over cost issues, while Sweden completed a similar program of avionics modernization and civil GATM clearance for its fleet. Elbit itself already had experience with cockpit upgrades for Romania’s C-130 Hercules fleet, and for Brazil’s C-95 Badeirante transports. They even have some experience with the ROKAF’s Hercules fleet, as a 2009 contract had already equipped the aircraft with Israeli self-defense electronics.