Test flight of C-130J for Oman


Anew C-130J Su­per Her­cules for the Sul­tanate of Oman con­ducted a test flight at the Lock­heed Martin fa­cil­ity in Ma­ri­etta, Ge­or­gia. This is the first of three C-130Js on or­der for Oman and is sched­uled for de­liv­ery later this year. Oman cur­rently op­er­ates a fleet of three C-130Hs pur­chased in the early 1980s. The new C-130J will be used to sup­port in­ter­nal coun­try op­er­a­tions where its abil­ity to op­er­ate out of re­mote aus­tere airstrips will be in­valu­able. ( JHMCS II/h) on the com­pany’s F-15 Silent Ea­gle demon­stra­tor air­craft, con­tin­u­ing the on-sched­ule de­vel­op­ment of this ad­vanced multi-role jet fighter.

The JHMCS II/h al­lows a pi­lot to aim sen­sors and weapons wher­ever he or she is look­ing, through the use of new head­track­ing tech­nol­ogy and a dis­play pro­jected onto the hel­met’s vi­sor. Pro­duced by Vi­sion Sys­tems In­ter­na­tional (VSI), this sys­tem pro­vides sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved er­gonomics and re­li­a­bil­ity, at lower cost, than VSI’s prior JHMCS sys­tem. A re­cent flight in St. Louis demon­strated the sys­tem’s en­hance­ments and col­lected base­line data for the head­track­ing tech­nol­ogy.

“Both pi­lots who flew with the JHMCS II/h sys­tem im­me­di­ately no­ticed that the hel­met was more bal­anced and the smaller, lighter in­ter­face ca­ble was less re­stric­tive,” said Greg Hardy, Boe­ing JHMCS pro­gramme man­ager.

The new head-track­ing tech­nol­ogy is sig­nif­i­cantly eas­ier to main­tain while re­quir­ing less sup­port equip­ment than pre­vi­ous track­ers. Elec­tron­ics en­hance­ments en­able all pro­cess­ing to be done within the hel­met, elim­i­nat­ing most air­craft-mounted equip­ment, which also con­trib­utes to the sys­tem’s over­all cost sav­ings.

The sys­tem pro­vides an easy tran­si­tion in flight be­tween day and night modes, greatly in­creas­ing mis­sion flex­i­bil­ity. VSI also used ma­tur­ing dis­play and track­ing tech­nolo­gies to re­duce the com­plex­ity of in­te­grat­ing the JHMCS II/h sys­tem on an air­craft, an ap­proach that was val­i­dated dur­ing the demon­stra­tion.

“In­te­grat­ing this en­hanced sys­tem onto the Silent Ea­gle took less than three months be­tween ‘go-ahead’ and first flight,” said Hardy. “This time­line was achiev­able be­cause of the ded­i­ca­tion of the in­dus­try team, the sim­plic­ity of the phys­i­cal and log­i­cal in­te­gra­tion, and the long his­tory Boe­ing and VSI share on the JHMCS pro­gramme.”

“Tech­nol­ogy ad­vance­ments are re­shap­ing the mil­i­tary hel­met-mounted dis­play mar­ket,” said Phil King, Pres­i­dent of VSI. “The rapid val­i­da­tion of the ma­tu­rity and ef­fec­tive­ness of sev­eral such tech­nolo­gies in this demon­stra­tion pro­gramme has shown that we can meet and ex­ceed the per­for­mance base­lines es­tab­lished by the ex­tremely suc­cess­ful legacy JHMCS de­sign while also pro­vid­ing new ca­pa­bil­i­ties and re­duc­ing cost to the cus­tomer.”

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