The Boeing Company [NYSE:BA] is progressing on schedule as the second C-130 Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) aircraft prepares for its first flight. Boeing began modifications on the C-130, an H2.5 model, in April 2005.
The aircraft, which is currently undergoing modifications in San Antonio, is 40 percent below the cost of the first C-130 AMP aircraft, an H2 model, which was delivered to the U.S. Air Force last November.
"The reduction in cost is a major accomplishment for the entire team. We took the lessons learned from the first aircraft and went forward with a goal to be even more efficient the second time around," said Mike Harris, C-130 AMP vice president and program manager for Boeing.
Many factors are contributing to the 40 percent cost reduction, Harris said. "Much of our improvements were achieved as a result of the program's commitment to Employee Involvement and the implementation of Lean concepts," he explained. Lean is the overarching continuous improvement approach at The Boeing Company and its results enable world-class levels of customer satisfaction, productivity and long-term growth.
The second C-130 AMP aircraft is slated for first flight this month and a ferry flight to Edwards AFB in May.
The C-130 AMP was initiated to simplify multiple C-130 configurations in the U.S. Air Force fleet. Awarded in 2001, the C-130 AMP program is more than 60 percent through the design and development phase which consolidates 14 different mission design series into one common core avionics suites for combat delivery.
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 AFB, Calif., on November 28, 2006.
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