First C-130J with Block 8.1 upgrades begins testing

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The US Air Force (USAF) conducted a training flight using the first C-130J with a Block 8.1 upgrade at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, on February 3, 2017.

The Block 8.1 upgrade enhances GPS capabilities, communications systems, and updated friend-or-foe identification, and allows the C-130J to comply with worldwide air traffic management regulations. Additionally, the upgrade program will standardize aviation systems to improve interoperability.

“This update will truly allow us to have unhindered global access,” said Captain Kyle Gauthier, 61st Airlift Squadron C-130J instructor pilot and flight commander. “It will also provide pilots [with]improved situational awareness, and a greater ability to communicate with command and control around the world.”

Over the next two years, airmen from the 19th Airlift Wing and 314th Airlift Wing will collaborate on testing the two Block 8.1 upgraded C-130Js.

Edited by Michael Jones

February 8, 2017

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