The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) selected Rockwell Collins to supply its Flight2 integrated avionics suite for the PAF’s 11 Lockheed Martin C-130E and 5 C-130B transport aircraft.
In its official news release, Rockwell Collins says it will supply Flight2 hardware as well as requisite training and technical support or installation, which will be completed in Pakistan by the end of 2020.
The Rockwell Collins Flight2 was designed to transform analogue cockpits into modern suites that not only detect navigation, terrain, traffic and weather risks, but combine that situational awareness with hazard avoidance guidance.
The Flight2 is scalable, providing customers the option of upgrading aircraft with individual subsystems via line-replacing unit (LRU) upgrades or, alternatively, as complete suites integrating multiple subsystems with next-generation cockpits displays.
Rockwell Collins states that the PAF’s Flight2 upgrade comprises a full glass-cockpit with multi-functional displays with digital autopilot, very high frequency and high frequency (VHF/HF) radios, satellite communications (SATCOM) systems, navigation sensors, weather radar, traffic collision avoidance system, terrain awareness and warning system, and digital map.
The PAF Flight2 upgrade will also include Required Navigation Performance (RNP) and Required Area Navigation (RNAV), enabling the C-130 to precisely fly along a predetermined flight route using onboard navigation systems and satellite-navigation aids. This is useful in areas with challenging terrain, limited infrastructure and/or restricted airspace. Rockwell Collins will also configure High Altitude Release Point (HARP) and Computed Air Release Point (CARP) precision airdrop software.
Rockwell Collins states that PAF’s C-130s will be configured with “state-of-the-art capabilities consistent with the world’s leading C-130 operators.”
Notes & Comments:
In 2014, Pakistan requested a Foreign Military Sale from the U.S. valued $100 million for a C-130 “Fleet Upgrade Program” for 11 C-130E and 5 C-130B.
Under the program, Pakistan sought “avionics upgrades, engine management and mechanical upgrades, cargo delivery system installation, and … outer wing sets on six aircraft.” In January 2016, the U.S. Department of Defence issued a $30 million contract to Rockwell Collins “design, manufacture, integrate, train … and deliver 11 C-130E model kits and five C-130B integrated avionics suites and kits” to Pakistan.
The Lockheed Martin C-130 is the mainstay transport aircraft of the PAF. Besides logistics missions and special operations forces (SOF) support, the C-130 has also been used as an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) asset in Pakistan’s counterinsurgency (COIN) operations. Not only will the C-130 Fleet Upgrade Program keep the PAF’s C-130s serviceable, but it will enhance their capabilities thanks to the provision of RNP, RNAV, HARP and CARP-enabled flight management systems.
In March, the PAF also celebrated the No. 130 Air Engineering Depot’s achievement of overhauling the C-130 50 times.