PATUXENT RIVER, Md. --– Retired Marine Corps KC-130R aircraft will live to fly another day as part of a foreign military sales (FMS) case between the U.S. Navy and Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force.
Six KC-130R excess defense articles, extra to the needs of the U.S. government, are on a journey to restoration and active-duty status with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force, or JMSDF.
“This FMS sale supports a global strategic initiative for preserving the security and stability of the Asia-Pacific region,” said Capt. Michelle Guidry, program manager, Tactical Airlift, Adversary and Support Aircraft program (PMA-207), which manages Navy and Marine Corps C-130s. “We look forward to a continued partnership with the JMSDF through the sustainment of their KC-130Rs.”
The JMSDF will receive KC-130Rs capable of roll-on, roll-off cargo compartment configurations to support the movement of troops, goods and services; humanitarian efforts; transport of senior leaders; and medical evacuation.
Currently, four aircraft have been recovered from section five of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, Tuscan, Ariz., also known as AMARG, and inducted into the depot at Hill Air Force Base, Ogden, Utah, for phased maintenance interval regeneration.
Using historical data from previous U.S. Navy depot maintenance, the PMA-207 FMS team determined what maintenance is required to ensure safety of flight is achieved.
The first aircraft inducted into Hill AFB depot, bureau number 160015, began regeneration in November 2012 and is expected to complete regeneration by fall of 2013.
“Depending on the condition of the aircraft when recovered from AMARG, maintainers are performing varying levels of structural modifications before completing JMSDF specified modifications,” said Ken Moritz, FMS deputy program manager, PMA-207. “The total regeneration, overhaul and upgrade of each aircraft is expected to take approximately 10-12 months.”
Structural modifications being performed on all six aircraft include the replacement of landing gear supports, cargo door supports, center wing rainbow fittings and corrosion repair. In addition to structural modifications, the Japanese will receive thirty overhauled T56-A-16 engines and digital cockpit upgrades to include a digital GPS.
“The Japanese Navy is assuming responsibility for the non-recurring engineering efforts required to incorporate a new digital GPS onto JMSDF aircraft,” Moritz said. “This effort creates cost avoidance for the U.S Navy/Marine Corps if the information gathered is utilized as an interim cockpit solution for current fleet GPS systems faced with obsolescence issues.”
Beginning this fall, with aircraft 160015, CAE, Inc. will provide 6-8 weeks of initial pilot training onsite at Davis Monthan AFB, as well as 10 weeks of classroom training for aircrew and maintainers at the CAE facility in Tampa, Fla.
“Training is the last step before aircraft delivery,” Moritz said. The U.S. Navy plans to deliver the first aircraft to Atsugi, Japan by March 2014 and the sixth aircraft one year later.
“We are on our way to delivering a tried and proven tactical transport platform to one of our key allies,” Guidry said. “C-130s are essential to our military forces, which is why we are happy we can provide the JMSDF with the essential aircraft they need to support their mission.”