South African defence company Paramount has launched its avionics suite upgrade service for the Lockheed C-130 Hercules, one of the world’s most widely used military transporters. The company said it is waiting to sign with its first prospect, an African customer it did not wish to identify at this stage.
The announcement was made at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition at Waterkloof on 19 September.
Ralph Mills, the Chief Executive Officer of Paramount Advanced Technologies, said some of the planned upgrade work on C-130s would take place at the company’s facility at Polokwane, and other work in the customer’s home country.
The company already offers a helicopter upgrade programme and intends launching other such ventures.
Mills said there were good prospects for the venture as there was a large installed base of early models of the C-130 across the continent that could have modern “glass” cockpits with instruments shown on screens installed.
He said an upgrade would take about 18months to complete. Mills said the company was taking a collaborative approach and would draw on the services of other companies in the work.
Paramount’s Integrated Avionics Suite (IAS) Upgrade Program for the C-130 Hercules aircraft, “aims to dynamically enhance cockpit and avionics capabilities to support modern field effectiveness in operations as diverse as tactical flight (e.g. paramilitary), to air-drop of cargo to search and rescue,” the company said in a release.
The company said the Integrated Avionics Suite offers better navigation and the ability to operate off unprepared airstrips, day and night as it features landing guidance, automatic search pattern generation and advanced situational awareness.