Farnborough 2018: Lockheed Martin HTC prepares to open its doors
Lockheed Martin has announced that its Hercules Training Center (HTC) at Marietta will start training its first pilots in September. The HTC is collocated with the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics C-130J/LM-100J production facility.
The HTC provides a turn-key training facility for military and commercial aircrew and includes classrooms, training devices and a new, reconfigurable C-130J/LM-100J Full Mission Simulator (FMS). As well as being reconfigurable between the LM-100J and C-130J, the device can also accommodate C-130J Block 6 or Block 8.1 variants.
In addition to the CAE-built FMS, equipped with LMCO's SAGE image generator, LMCO is providing a Multifunctional Training Aid (MFTA) that provides part task training.
‘We wanted to build the HTC in Marietta as that is where the aircraft are built and crews come to collect them,’ Vic Torla, director of business development training and logistic solutions at Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, told Shephard: ‘We also wanted to provide training for C-130J and LM-100J customers who do not have their own training devices.’
The LM-100J is the commercial airlifter variant of the C-130J Hercules; the latter is in service in 16 countries around the world. The LM-100J first flew in May 2017 and is understood to have two launch customers who are now involved with LMCO in undertaking FAA Level D certification of the FMS.
The LM-100J shares many of the same avionics components with the C-130J such as flight displays and other instruments providing ‘commonality well above 80%,’ with the ‘primary difference being some military specific components and software’.
‘The certification process for the aircraft and FMS is well underway and we expect to complete the process in September,' said Torla.
As to C-130J training, Torla told Shephard that ‘nations such as Norway and Denmark train within the US C-130 Aircrew Training System [ATS] programme,’ but due to DoD training requirements, ‘spare ATS capacity is difficult to find'.
Other military training opportunities at the HTC are likely to include crews from the French and German air forces.
‘The Franco-German C-130J operation will have their own training facilities but we are hopeful of conducting initial cadre training in Marietta until they stand-up their own training centre,’ said Torla.
‘Our initial aim is to provide aircrew initial qualification to refresher courses, instructor qualification, and mission training as required,’ explained Torla. ‘We can train loadmasters using the loadmaster station on the FMS but a fuselage trainer is a possibility in the future as is providing air-to-air refuelling training.’
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