The modifications to the RNLAF C-130s consisted of a Cockpit Upgrade Programme (CUP) and Cabin Safety Improvement Programme (CSIMP).
Prior to the upgrade, the C-130H cockpit consisted almost entirely of analogue instruments. As part of CUP, the analogue dials were replaced with digital displays to create a “glass cockpit” environment. The new digital displays ease pilot workload which increased situational awareness, making the aircraft safer to fly.
The installation of a Communications, Navigation and Surveillance system for Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) was also required to enable the RNLAF’s aircraft to fly through civil airspace. The system is based on CMC Electronics’ Flight Management System (FMS) integrated with an Inertia Reference System (IRS), VHF Omni-range Radio (VOR), Distance Measuring Equipment (DME), Automatic Direction Finder (ADF) and Global Positioning System (GPS). A traffic Collision Alert System (TCAS) and an Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) were also installed as part of the upgrade, and the cockpits were made night vision capable.
Prior to the CSIMP upgrade the aircraft had been found non-compliant with some of the civil Occupant Safety regulations, therefore the RNLAF deemed that certain Cabin Safety Improvements were necessary in order to meet a subset of these JAA Occupant Safety regulations. They had also identified several operational and comfort modifications in the cargo area. With these findings, CSIMP programme was launched. The programme is split into two parts; Safety Enhancements and Operational Enhancements.
The CUP and CSIMP programme are critical to ensure the continuing availability of the aircraft.