Congress alerted as Boeing-led modernisation scheme overruns allowable limits

Costs on the US Air Force's C-130 avionics modernisation programme (AMP) have risen by more than 50% since its inception in 2001, forcing the service to notify Congress that the Boeing-led upgrade has breached the Nunn-McCurdy Act limiting allowable unit cost growth.

The Department of Defense will have to recertify that the upgrade is still necessary and costs are under control. Boeing says the escalation came from changes in work scope, funding delays and contractor cost growth early in the programme, which it says is now healthy.

The first upgraded C-130H is in flight test, with a second to fly in March, but in January Boeing was ordered to stop work on AMP upgrades for USAF special-operations Hercules.

© US Air Force   
Costs on the upgrade programme have risen by over 50% since 2001

The DoD's fiscal year 2008-13 budget plan includes funds to begin replacing USAF HC/MC-130 combat rescue tankers. Lockheed Martin will propose the KC-130J, EADS North America is to offer the Airbus Military A400M, and Alenia North America the C-27J.

Source: Flight International