Lockheed Martin C-130 Upgrade Business Continues to Grow
MARIETTA, GA, 06-NOV-01 -- Lockheed Martin's C-130 modification and upgrade business continues to grow, as the Swedish Air Force recently signed a contract to convert one of its C-130E Hercules transports to an aerial tanker. The contract covers the conversion of a C-130E to a tanker by using Flight Refueling Limited (FRL) equipment in conjunction with an Aero Union Corp. dual-walled, fuselage-mounted 1,800-gallon fuel tank. The system will be installed in late 2002, and the converted aircraft will be returned to service in the first quarter of 2003. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company also recently began a similar tanker conversion program for two of the Royal Malaysian Air Force's (RMAF) C-130Hs. Two other Malaysian aircraft, now standard size C-130Hs, will be converted to the extended fuselage length C-130H-30 configuration.
As the original manufacturer of the C-130, we are obviously ideally suited for these upgrade tasks, said Dave Larsen, director of C-130 Modifications and Sustainment. We are realizing a steady growth of our business in this area of around 10 percent a year, and we have customers around the world requesting upgrades. These modifications range from changing airframe configurations, such as for these two contracts, to affordable cockpit and avionics modernization.
Lockheed Martin recently shipped the first fuselage sections to Malaysia. The company is providing engineering, kits and installation support for the conversion under subcontract to the Malaysian company Airod SDN. BHD. This conversion is accomplished by inserting a 100-inch long plug aft of the cockpit and an additional 80-inch long plug aft of the wings behind the paratroop doors. This increases the available cargo volume by 33 percent. The aircraft's internal cargo handling system is also modified to cover the extensions.
The second part of the Malaysian upgrade calls for Lockheed Martin to provide Airod with modification kits to equip two C-130Hs with a self-contained, air-to-air refueling system. This system is designed as roll-on-roll-off equipment, which allows for an air-to-air refueling capability while preserving the aircraft's ability to function as a transport. Modification of the first of two aircraft will begin in third quarter of 2002.
The aerial refueling system, also furnished by FRL, is the current C-130J baseline system. It meets all U.S. government and international customer requirements.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. is a leader in the design, development, systems integration, production and support of advanced military aircraft and related technologies. Its customers include the military services of the United States and allied countries throughout the world. Products include the Joint Strike Fighter, F-16, F-22, F-117, C-5, C-27J, C-130, P-3 and U-2.