In 2010, PEO-FW continues to face the mounting challenges of sustaining the low-density, high-demand SOF C-130 fleet while simultaneously satisfying road maps for modernization. PEO-FW manages numerous SOF C-130 sustainment, modification and modernization programs. USSOCOM continues its partnership with the U.S. Air Force to procure 37 new MC-130J aircraft through a joint program with Air Combat Command’s combat search and rescue community in order to recapitalize the aging MC-130E/P tanker fleet. Additionally, the 2011 President’s Budget authorized the recapitalization of the aging AC-130H fleet with 16 additional MC-130J aircraft to be modified with the addition of the USSOCOM-developed precision strike package (PSP). MC-130W Combat Spear aircraft are being delivered to support specialized aerial refueling, mobility and strike missions. By the end of calendar year 2009, 10 of 12 aircraft had been delivered to Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., to support these missions.
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The remaining two aircraft were delivered in January and March 2010, respectively. MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft cargo delivery handling systems remain on schedule for upgrades to a standardized dual rails system. This system will increase airdrop capability and reduce the number of sorties required to perform the SOF airlift mission. Ongoing operations continue to stress the SOF C-130 fleet. USSOCOM and its acquisition partners at Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, Ga., continue to accelerate production and installation timelines for the center wing box replacement to minimize the time aircraft are kept away from the battlefront. In addition, USSOCOM and Warner Robins are building a strategy to address SOF-unique avionics obsolescence issues on the AC-130U and the MC-130H/W aircraft.
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