Air Force Tests C-130J Hardware, Software Upgrades

U.S. Air Force airmen have performed a training flight using an updated version of the Lockheed Martin-built C-130J Super Hercules at Little Rock Air Force Base in an effort to test the operability of the aircraft’s new hardware and software features.

The Air Force said Tuesday airmen from the 19th and 314th Airlift Wings will collaborate over the next two years to evaluate C-130J Block 8.1 systems such as GPS, communications and friend-or-foe identification systems.

Block 8.1 enhancements are meant to help the Air Force comply with global air traffic management regulations.

Kyle Gauthier, a C-130J instructor pilot and flight commander at 61st Airlift Squadron, said the updated aircraft will help pilots obtain situational awareness and communicate with command-and-control centers worldwide.

C-130Js are designed to perform search-and-rescue, firefighting, aerial refueling, humanitarian relief and special operations in harsh environments.

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