Replacing Canada’s Failing CC-130s: 17 C-130Js

CC-130J painted

CC-130J flyout
(click to view full)

Canada needs to upgrade its training systems – and needs to upgrade its new planes for future flight in civil airspace?!?; Additional Readings updated & upgraded.

July 21/14: Training. An C$ 32.5 million amendment to the CC-130J Operational Training Systems Provider contract (q.v. Feb 13/09) is signed to align the CC-130J training system with ongoing upgrades to the aircraft themselves. The fleet

“Upgrades to the fleet will include significantly improved navigation, communication, and maintenance capabilities to allow the CC-130J to operate effectively in civil and military airspace for the next five to 10 years.”

That was very forseeable before the acquisition contract was signed, but regardless, the training environments must be upgraded to correspond with the fleet modernization. All training simulators and courseware need to be examined, and in some cases fully developed. Lesson plans, publications, training devices, and spares processes will be updated to match the fleet upgrades, with training delivered by military instructors at 426 Squadron at CFB Trenton, ON. Sources: Canada DND, “Modernizing the CC-130J Training Environment”.

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CC-130 over BC(click to view full) The US military has been coming to the realization that its aging aircraft fleet will begin posing serious challenges in the coming years. Canada is experiencing similar problems. In 2005, Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Rick Hillier said that: “Our [CC-130 E/H] Hercules fleet right now is rapidly going downhill. We know that three years and a little bit more than that, the fleet starts to become almost completely inoperational and we will have to stop supporting operations – or else, not be able to start them.” This Spotlight article offers additional details regarding the Canadian CC-130 recapitalization program, and the thinking behind it; some background that points up the parallels between the issues faced by the Canadians, and the experiences of other air services; and some insight into why the buy took so long, after the C-130J was declared Canada’s preferred choice in an “expedited” process. Canada has begun using the new planes on operations, and is preparing to accept the last “CC-130J.” This will shift its focus to issues of long-term support costs. The Transports and the Damage Done: Issues With the Fleet Time to bail(click to view full) EADS tried […]

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