Military Embedded Systems

Avionics modifications to be made to U.S. Air Force C-5 Galaxy fleet

News

April 06, 2021

Lisa Daigle

Assistant Managing Editor

Military Embedded Systems

C-5 Galaxy photo: U.S. Air Force

ANCHORAGE, Alaska. Tyonek Native Corp. has been tapped by the U.S. Air Force Mobility and Training Aircraft Directorate to install avionics modifications -- worth as much as $92.8 million -- on the Air Force's C-5 Galaxy aircraft fleet, under an Alternate Modification Installation (AMI) contract. 

The modifications -- aimed at improving the performance and effectiveness of the C-5, the largest aircraft in the Air Force inventory -- are meant to upgrade the Core Mission Computer and Color Weather Radar (CMC/WxR) system; the Communications, Navigation, Surveillance, and Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) system; the Pylon Hydraulic Check Values; and the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures System (LAIRCM) onboard.

According to information from the Air Force, this contract marks the first time the directorate has used an AMI contract, a small-business contract that enables the business to play a supporting role to Air Force depots, where major repair, maintenance and modifications on aircraft generally take place.

The contract is also designed to shorten the time it takes to install modifications; in this case, modifications on the C-5 will take 46 days per aircraft, compared with 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 were already modified prior to the AMI contract, while modifications on the 50 remaining aircraft in the C-5 fleet are scheduled to be done by July 2025.

Capt. Denzel Varnado, the directorate’s AMI program manager, said of the move: "This contract is a big deal. This contract ensures that we are not only able to get the warfighter these upgraded weapon systems [C-5s] quickly, but to also have the flexibility to make changes as required. These advantages are a huge win for the C-5 platform and our troops. As the Air Force becomes more agile, a contract like this will play a key role in our success.”

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