Jon Lake

As part of an overall total logistics support package for Botswana's three Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft, Derco Aerospace of Milwaukee has completed the design of an avionics and systems upgrade. A trial installation will begin later this month on the newest airframe, a newly-acquired ex-USAF C-130B, at Lake City, Florida. This aircraft, classified as an EDA (Excess Defense Article), was withdrawn from the MASDC 'boneyard'. The three aircraft have already undergone programmed depot maintenance by Derco - completed ahead of schedule and under budget - and the company is also responsible for in-country depot maintenance training and for flight crew conversion and refresher training. This aircrew training contract was placed with Derco's partner, BAE Systems of Tampa, Florida. The first upgraded aircraft is scheduled for delivery on 30 November 2000, and will join two C-130Bs delivered in 1997.Derco previously upgraded five Brazilian air force C-130Es with GATM-compliant avionics as part of the SIVAM programme, and earlier this year completed the retrofit of digital avionics on 18 aircraft of the large Hercules fleet of an unnamed operator in the Middle East/North Africa region. The company also performed programmed depot maintenance on two EDA C-130Bs being delivered to the South African Air Force.

Source: Flight Daily News