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Turkish Aerospace Finalizes the Modernization of 7 Aircraft in the ERCIYES Project

Issue 104

December 8, 2020. Turkish Aerospace (TUSAŞ) continues to deliver world-class service in all fields of the aerospace/aviation ecosystem. Within the scope of the Erciyes Modernization project, the modernization activities for the C130 aircraft’s central control computer, developed entirely by TUSAŞ engineers and known as the brain of the aircraft, as well as for a total of 23 systems and 117 components are currently ongoing. Having finalized the modernization of 7 aircraft in the Erciyes C130 modernization project so far, it is expected that TUSAŞ will take over the 8th aircraft for modernization in the days ahead.

TUSAŞ engineers install the redesigned central control computer of the Erciyes C130 aircraft, also modernizing critical components such as GPS, indicator, anti-collision system, air radar, advanced military and civilian navigation systems, night-time invisible lighting for military missions, black box voice recorder, communication systems, advanced automated flight systems (military and civilian), systems enabling operation in the military network, digital moving map and ground mission planning systems. With the modernization that facilitates C130’s mission capability pilot workload is also reduced and a safe flight is ensured with automated route tracking from take-off to landing. These aircraft integrated with the latest technology have also attained execution and digital military/civil planning capabilities. In addition, compliance with civil aviation rules for saving time and fuel have been achieved. The first prototype aircraft was delivered in 2014 within the scope of the Erciyes C130 project that was signed in 2007.

What is Covered by the Modernization Program?

The C-130BM/EM Hercules Military Transport Aircraft was equipped with a Digital Cockpit (4-color Multifunctional Display with moving map capability-MFD), 2 Central Display Units (CDU) and 2 multifunction Central Control Computers compatible with international navigational requirements, as well as with a multifunction Mission Computer with high operational capability, Flight Management System (FMS), Ground Mission Planning Unit compatible with the Air Force Information System, and display and lighting systems compatible with Night Vision Goggles.

The Operational Flight Program (OFP, with nearly 3.2 million lines of code) used in the national mission computer (Central Control Computer) to control and manage the new avionic equipment in aircraft was developed by TUSAŞ engineers in accordance with DO-178B Level-A standards. 

Through the digital cockpit compatible with Night Vision Goggles (NVG), safe navigation capability has been secured at night, day and under all weather conditions. Besides, the aircraft has gained capability to allow for night jumping (both parachutists and loads) at low altitudes. 

Within the scope of the project, the aircraft were also equipped with the MIDS Terminal and Link-16 Tactical Data Link System. Thus, the C-130BM/EM Aircraft has now become capable of conducting integrated operations with the E-7T Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft, modernized F-16s and command control elements (this capability was used in the operation conducted in Libya recently). With the Link-16 Tactical Data Link Integration activities, the aircraft gained interoperability with other platforms in the inventory (ability to share video, audio and text (in short message format) with other friendly and allied elements).  With Link-16, C-130BM/EM Aircraft are able to transmit short, concise and a cosmic level of confidential information to both ground (air-to-ground) and air (air-to-air) elements. 

The C-130 Hercules Aircraft has a crew of five; two Pilots, Navigator, Flight Engineer and Loadmaster. Thanks to the FMS software developed by TUSAŞ engineers and by replacing the Navigator within the scope of the Erciyes Project, the number of crew in the modernized C-130BM/EM Hercules Aircraft will be reduced to four.