L3Harris Technologies has received the first US Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft to undergo contractor depot maintenance.
An induction and ribbon-cutting ceremony were held to begin the program at a Strategic Global Aviation (SGA) facility in Rome, New York.
The maintenance is part of the US Defense Contract Management Agency’s “8210 compliance” to accredit flight and ground operations for US Department of Defense aircraft.
“The L3Harris/SGA partnership is a force multiplier, providing multiple spacious maintenance facilities and experienced technicians in Texas and New York ready to help our customers achieve their goals,” L3Harris vice president Sara Tatsch said regarding the program.
The ceremony follows a $668 million contract awarded to L3Harris in January 2021, which ordered depot-level maintenance and sustainment for the US C-130 fleet.
The program is expected to increase the military transport aircraft’s capability and bolster “fleet readiness solutions” for US military customers.
“I know there’s a need to get things done – I’d rather see them in the fight. But to know that there is an industrial base here that is willing to turn these aircraft quickly to get them back to the operators and the warfighters, that’s where my heart is,” US Air Force C-130 Hercules Division Chief Dr. Joseph Peloquin said at the induction ceremony.
“It’s important that we have an industrial base that can meet these requirements. I speak with a lot of wing commanders around the U.S. Air Force that just want their iron back… to do their missions. This is a big step today in getting that done – I’m thankful to everybody who made this possible.”
Full-Rate Production Next Year
Earlier this year, L3Harris commenced the C-130 Avionics Modernization Program Increment 2 in line with the maintenance program.
Trials from the phase were preceded by joint developmental testing at Eglin Air Force Base.
Full-rate production for the C-130s is slated to begin in 2023.