The Coast Guard has released a request for proposals (RFP) to missionize up to six of the service’s C-130J long-range surveillance aircraft with advanced sensors and C5ISR equipment to improve situational awareness for the crew and aircraft effectiveness.
The upgrade includes the Minotaur mission system and a communications architecture for aircraft 17 through 22. Currently, the Coast Guard has 15 Lockheed Martin [LMT]-built C-130Js and three more on order.
The service plans to acquire a fleet of 22 C-130J aircraft. Once an aircraft receives the upgrades it is redesignated as an HC-130J.
The multi-mission aircraft are used for search and rescue, drug and migrant interdiction, cargo and personnel transport, maritime stewardship, surveillance platform, and on-scene command and control.
The Coast Guard is installing the Minotaur system on all of its fixed-wing aircraft, which also include the HC-144 and C-27J. The mission system processor is also used by the Navy and Customs and Border Protection.
L3Harris Technologies [LHX] installed the Minotaur system on the first 14 Coast Guard HC-130Js and is expected to complete missionization of the 15th aircraft this summer. The company is also under contract to upgrade the 16th aircraft.
The Minotaur upgrade includes improved operator interfaces between sensor and communication systems, two aircrew mission system operator stations on the flight deck, a turret-operated high-definition electro-optic and forward-looking infrared sensor, a multi-mode radar sensor, a direction finder system, automatic identification system transponder, new radio communications systems, among other things.
Upgrades to the six aircraft are planned to be completed by early 2030. Delivery of the 17th C-130J in its baseline configuration by Lockheed Martin is expected in early 2024.
Proposals are due by April 4.