September 2005 
Volume 04, Issue 5 
Integrated Defense Systems

Talent for Talon

Talent for Talon

Boeing leads team upgrading C-130s to Talon II configuration


A U.S. Air Force contract to modify 10 C-130 aircraft into the MC-130H Combat Talon II configuration demonstrates Boeing's commitment to using the best of industry to meet the customer's needs.

Earlier this year the Air Force awarded Boeing a $134 million contract to begin the first phase of this modification program, known as the Combat Talon II Plus Ten. To transform these C-130s, Boeing is partnering with Lockheed Martin and L-3 Communications Integrated Systems. This trio combines Boeing's expertise in Special Operations Forces aircraft support and the C-130 Avionics Modernization Program with Lockheed Martin and L-3 Integrated Systems' knowledge of C-130 aircraft.

The team will integrate a "glass" (electronic display) flight deck to improve crew coordination. The team will also add terrain-following/terrain avoidance radars, which enable these airplanes to operate at low level in adverse weather conditions. In addition, the upgraded aircraft will incorporate advanced electronic warfare capabilities to improve aircraft survivability and mission success rates.

"The approach on Combat Talon II Plus Ten shows the value of bringing the strengths of our teammates to address the challenges of integrating everything into a common system and providing the best value to the Special Operations Forces warfighter," said Rick Lemaster, Plus Ten program manager for Boeing.

During a recent meeting to begin defining production schedules for the modifications, the three team members worked at the Boeing site in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. "The project needed views from all the key players," said Georgia Feasel, master scheduler for Lockheed Martin, who works on program logistics. "During our meetings we erase the cultural barriers and learn from each other."

"This program will be successful because we are leveraging each other's expertise," said Charlie Bowers, operations integrated product team lead with L-3 Integrated Systems.

The MC-130H aircraft provides Air Force Special Operations Command the capability to insert, extract and resupply Special Operations Forces and their equipment in hostile or denied territory.

Boeing Logistics Support Services' Special Operations Forces Support Center in Fort Walton Beach supports aircraft used by Special Operations Command in the war on terror in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world. These aircraft include the MC-130H and AC-130U gunship.

Delivery of the contract's first two MC-130H Combat Talon II aircraft is scheduled for July 2008. A follow-on production phase will deliver the remaining eight aircraft through the end of 2011.


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