Key avionics upgrades to the US Air Force’s (USAF’s) Lockheed Martin C-5M Super Galaxy strategic transport fleet are to be carried under a US$92.8m contract, which was recently awarded to the Tyonek Native Corporation.
The Alternate Modification Installation (AMI) contract, awarded by the Mobility and Training Aircraft Directorate, was announced on April 2 by the US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center. The avionic modifications are designed to improve the performance and effectiveness of the aircraft.
They will upgrade the Core Mission Computer and Color Weather Radar (CMC/WxR) system, the Communications, Navigation, Surveillance, and Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) system, as well as the Pylon Hydraulic Check Values. In addition, the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures System (LAIRCM) onboard will receive the Block 30 upgrade.
This is the first time the directorate has used an AMI contract, which is a small business contract that allows the business to play a supporting role to air force depots – where major repair, maintenance and modifications on aircraft generally take place. The AMI contract is specifically designed to focus on avionics, electrical and mechanical modifications as opposed to structural modifications, which will be left to depots.
The contract is also designed to shorten the time it takes to install modifications, in order to get the aircraft back into the field and supporting operations around the world. In this case, modifications on the C-5 will take 46 days per aircraft, as opposed to the three months per aircraft – pending program depot maintenance requirements and speed-line constraints – that it would have taken through traditional contracts.
Two C-5s received the modifications prior to the AMI contract. Modifications on the 50 remaining aircraft in the C-5 fleet are scheduled to begin on June 28, 2021 and conclude by July 2025.