The Boeing Company was selected by the U.S. Air Force as the winner of the Integrated Weapon Systems Support Program (IWSSP). The indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract, awarded by the Aeronautical Systems Center, is valued at $1.2 billion over 10 years.
Under this contract, Boeing will perform engineering and logistics support and systems modifications for the Air Force Special Operations Command fleet of 87 C-130 variant aircraft. These aircraft include the AC-130U and AC-130H gunships, the MC-130E Combat Talon I, the MC-130H Combat Talon II and the MC-130P Combat Shadow.
Work on the contract will be performed at the Boeing Special Operations Forces (SOF) Aerospace Support Center in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., and at other Boeing maintenance and modification sites, including its facility in Shreveport, La.
"This award is another key aspect of our overall Aerospace Support strategic plan," said Jim Restelli, vice president and general manager of Aerospace Support. "We are extremely pleased the Air Force is providing us the opportunity to continue our dedication to the demanding Special Operations aviation mission, which requires shortest cycle time and highest reliability at the most affordable cost.
"This program will draw on our extensive knowledge of Air Force Special Operations Command C-130 airframes and operations," Restelli said. Boeing is the prime contractor for the AC-130U modification program and delivered 13 of the advanced gunships to the Air Force Special Operations Command. The company, through its SOF Aerospace Support Center, continues to provide logistics support and modification services for the aircraft.
In addition, Boeing has performed structural modifications and installation of avionics, communication/navigation, electronic warfare and special mission systems on C-130 aircraft at its Shreveport modification facility. The company currently is under contract to install tanker and rescue mission equipment on Air Force C-130s and structural modifications as part of a sensor system upgrade on U.S. Coast Guard HC-130 search and rescue aircraft.
In June, Boeing established its SOF Aerospace Support Center to serve as the company's Special Operations focal point and bring life-cycle customer support for current Boeing SOF aircraft and future programs into one facility. The facility performs engineering and software support, including operation of a software integration laboratory, and quick turnaround component repairs.
In addition to the AC-130U, other Boeing SOF aircraft include the MH-47E Chinook and MH-6 helicopters. The company will play a key role in the future of Special Operations aviation as well. Fifty Air Force Special Operations Command CV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft will begin entering service after the turn of the century. The Air Force Air Mobility Master Plan also has identified the requirement for 15 Boeing C-17 Globemaster III airlifters for the Special Operations mission.