UTC Aerospace Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp., announced that it has been awarded a contract to support NP2000 propeller upgrades for 24 Lockheed Martin C/KC-130T aircraft for the US Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR).
In addition, the company has completed 9 of 12 contracted C-130H propeller upgrades for the Air National Guard (ANG).
Taken together, the total value of the NAVAIR and ANG contracts exceeds $140 million. The contracts were awarded through the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA).
UTC Aerospace Systems’ next-generation NP2000 propeller system will help NAVAIR and the ANG improve operational performance, while reducing maintenance time and cost. With its eight composite blades and enhanced electronic control system, the NP2000 offers several benefits to operators compared to legacy systems including reduction in vibration and interior noise (approximately 15db sound reduction in the cockpit) and thrust increase (approximately 20 per cent increase in low-speed acceleration).
Unlike the C-130’s existing system, the NP2000 allows operators to remove and replace individual blades on-wing, without removing the entire propeller system. This enhancement provides critical value to operators by significantly reducing maintenance time and cost, while increasing the aircraft’s availability.
As an upgrade for the C-130’s legacy mechanical control system from the 1960s, the NP2000 incorporates more electric and more intelligent technologies from UTC Aerospace Systems, including a digital electronic control system that improves speed holding and blade synchronization. These innovations provide greater comfort and safety for the crew as well as valuable fault diagnostics for aircraft maintenance teams.
Under its contract with NSPA, UTC Aerospace Systems has completed two propeller upgrades for the ANG’s 153rd Airlift Wing, based in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and seven of 10 LC-130 upgrades for the 109th Airlift Wing, based in Schenectady, New York. The Guard has identified seven wings flying the C-130H that will receive engine and propeller upgrades in the coming years. UTC Aerospace Systems has begun to modify the first NAVAIR aircraft and will continue the upgrades over the next few years.
In addition to the C-130, the NP2000 has been in service on the Northrop Grumman E-2 and C-2 since 2004, and is planned for use on the Lockheed Martin P-3.
“The industry-leading propeller technology of UTC Aerospace Systems’ NP2000 provides operators with enhanced performance and reliability,” said Propeller Systems General Manager Jean-Francois Chanut. “We’re proud to support the Air National Guard and NAVAIR, and look forward to continuing to work with them to increase the operational efficiency of their C-130 fleets.”
“The addition of the NP2000 has definitely increased the overall performance of our C-130H. I’m looking forward to having the systems on all eight of our squadron’s aircraft soon,” said Lt. Col. Todd Davis, commander of the Wyoming Air National Guard’s 187th Airlift Squadron.