C-130J with Block 8.1 upgrade in testing
The first C-130J Super Hercules with a Block 8.1 upgrade has undergone flight testing at Little Rock Air Force Base, the US Air Force announced on 7 February.
The upgrade enhances GPS capabilities and communications systems, updates friend-or-foe identification, and brings the C-130J into line with worldwide air traffic management regulations.
The programme will also standardise aviation systems to improve interoperability.
Testing will continue on two upgraded C-130Js at Little Rock AFB over the next two years. Loadmasters, pilots and maintainers from the 19th and 314th Airlift Wings will work with Lockheed Martin to report any bugs or potential issues.
Cpt Kyle Gauthier, 61st Airlift Squadron C-130J instructor pilot and flight commander, said: 'This update will truly allow us to have unhindered global access. It will also provide pilots improved situational awareness, and a greater ability to communicate with command and control around the world.'
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