Alan Dron

A substantial upgrade programme for five Brazilian air force C-130 Hercules transports is under way, with the arrival of the first aircraft in the USA.

The $50 million programme is part of the $1.4-billion SIVAM Amazon surveillance system being undertaken by the South American nation.

Under the upgrade, the Hercules will receive a range of improvements including modification and overhaul of the Allison T56-7 engines to -15 standard, an outer wing retrofit, installation of improved bleed air distribution ducts and upgraded avionics.

Prime contractor for upgrading the aircraft is Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based Derco Aerospace.

Derco believes this to be the most extensive modification and upgrade programme undertaken by a non-US C-130 operator and plans shortly to announce further programmes to update the cockpit avionics of elderly C-130s.

Derco, AlliedSignal Aerospace and Lockheed Martin Aircraft and Logistics Centres have announced a teaming agreement to provide environmental control system upgrades for pre-1974 C-130B, E and H models.

The new system, C-130 Supplemental Performance through Enhanced Components (C-SPEC), uses components from later-generation C-130s, together with existing components modified to modern standards to improve performance and reliability. C-SPEC's partners say there are still up to 500 pre-1974 C-130s in service worldwide.

Source: Flight Daily News