Armor & Mobility

MAR/APR 2017

Military magazines in the United States and Canada, covering Armor and Mobility, focuses on tactical vehicles, C4ISR, Special Operations Forces, latest soldier equipment, shelters, and key DoD programs

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Page 14 of 31

Armor & Mobility had the pleasure of speaking with Lt. Gen. Lee K. Levy II, Commander, U.S. Air Force Sustainment Center (AFSC), regarding priorities surrounding engine upgrades to the Air Force's C-130H model Hercules and long- term lifecycle sustainment of Air Force C-17 fleet operations responsible for the delivery of more globally-disseminated military and humanitarian cargo than any other single airframe on the planet. A&M: How will slated C-130H engine upgrades improve operational performance and sustainment of the aircraft? Lt. Gen. Levy: The C-130 Program Office is evaluating an improved engine for the C-130H. This engine, termed the T56-A-15A Series 3.5, is an upgraded version of the existing T56-A-15 engine. The engine upgrades were developed by the engine manufacturer, Hamilton Sundstrand, and provide increased engine efficiency. Currently, two aircraft from the Wyoming Air National Guard (ANG) have been modified with these upgraded engines for operational evaluation. The operational evaluation is expected to continue for another two years before the Air Force decides whether to incorporate the upgraded engine across the entire C-130H fleet. Our main priority in the Air Force Sustainment Center is to deliver combat power for America, and these upgrades to C-130 engines is just one example of how we leverage improvements in technology with our industry partners to increase combat performance. A&M: Are there any scenarios that provide an example of how the engine upgrades are better for the Air Force and the Joint force? Lt. Gen. Levy: The upgraded T56-A-15A engine is expected to provide improved thrust on hot days and at high elevation airports where the existing C-130H engine is limited. This upgrade allows the aircraft to takeoff with more cargo during these limiting conditions. Additionally, while the aircraft is operating at cruise altitude, the upgrade allows the engine to be operated at lower engine temperatures which will increase the life of the engine and improve fuel efficiency. Increasing engine life and saving fuel allow us to save money over the long term. Every dollar we save on operating expenses allows us to put back into increased readiness for our Air Force. A&M: Why did Warner Robins- Air Logistics Complex (WR-ALC) accelerate C-130 Programmed Depot Maintenance for Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC)? Lt. Gen. Levy: In June 2015, HQ AFSOC requested that WR-ALC accelerate the AC-130U Gunship and the MC-130H Talon II. The request was driven by the retirement of the legacy aircraft (AC-130H, MC-130E & MC-130P) and the increased demand on the AC-130U and MC-130H fleets to satisfy overseas contingency operations. SUSTAINING AIR FLEET READINESS Lt. Gen. Lee K. Levy II Rob Haymons, 562nd Aircraft Maintenance Group aircraft electrician, performs operational checks of C-17 interior light panels. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tommie Horton) AIR SUSTAINMENT C-130 ENGINE/C-17 LIFE CYCLE Armor & Mobility | March/April 2017 | 13

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