L3 Technologies has been awarded a $500 million contract for a major avionics upgrade of 176 Lockheed Martin C-130H tactical transports flown by the US Air National Guard and US Air Force (USAF) Reserve Command.

The fixed-price-incentive-firm contract is for engineering and manufacturing development through production, as well as training and logistics. The upgrade work is planned to be performed predominantly in Waco, Texas, and is expected to be complete by the end of September 2029.

C-130H cockpit Ohio National Guard

US Air National Guard

L3 did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The USAF has initially obligated $37 million for research, development, testing and evaluation of the avionics upgrade package.

The avionics upgrade is part of a larger C-130 modernisation programme. National Guard and USAF Reserve C-130Hs will also have Collins Aerospace NP2000 propeller systems added and receive a “Series 3.5 upgrade” to their Rolls-Royce (R-R) T56 engines.

Incorporating the NP2000 propeller will help the C-130H’s operational performance, while also reducing maintenance time and cost. R-R says the T56 upgrade should allow the type's engines to operate at lower and higher temperatures, while extending the lifespan of parts and improving reliability by 22%.

Source: FlightGlobal.com