The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] is making significant progress in its test program for the U.S. Air Force C-130 Avionics Modernization Program (AMP).
The first C-130H aircraft to be modified with an advanced avionics suite is ahead of its planned ground and flight test programs, which began at the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on Nov. 28, 2006. The joint Air Force and Boeing flight test team is completing an average of 30 percent more tests per week than originally intended. To date, the team has successfully flown 17 flight test missions and completed nearly 200 test points -- 60 more than the initial goal.
The tests, which include Air Force operational and test personnel, are verifying the aircraft's avionics, software, structures and subsystems. The program will continue testing through 2009 before entering Initial Operation Test and Evaluation.
"The C-130 AMP modification is remarkably mature for this stage in development," said Mike Harris, Boeing C-130 AMP vice president and program manager.
The first modified C-130H aircraft has working radar, an information friend-or-foe system, a traffic alert and collision avoidance system, a flight director system, as well as advanced auto-flight and navigational features, making it more capable than most aircraft in similar type programs. Of the 17 test missions flown, there have been no mission processor lock-ups, degrades or display blanking -- a rare occurrence for similar major modification efforts.
"Characteristics such as open architecture, use of commercial standards and off-the-shelf components, large format high resolution displays and high bandwidth computing capability give C-130 AMP aircraft tremendous growth potential," continued Harris. "These and other capabilities will allow the C-130 to effectively accomplish its missions for many years to come."
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32.4 billion business. It provides network-centric system solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer; a foremost developer of advanced concepts and technologies; a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in sustainment solutions and launch services.