U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz told reporters Sept. 15 the service has proposed killing the C-130 Avionics Modernization Program (AMP), aiming to replace it with a less-expensive alternative.
Calling the decision "largely an affordability issue," Schwartz said service brass have pitched the idea to the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Under that pitch, the AMP effort would be replaced with one that would fit air lifters with "stand-alone integrations" as opposed to the planned across-the-board avionics upgrades.
Boeing had been the contractor on the AMP program, but was expected to compete against Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems for a new contract.
Industry officials at the conference had little to say, noting the companies with a stake in the AMP program were only informed of the service's proposed approach shortly before Schwartz talked with reporters.
"The bottom line is we couldn't afford it," Schwartz said.
He said OSD still must approve killing the AMP effort before the new plan is enacted.
"No decision in this town is final."
The price of an installed C-130 Amp kit is about $9 million. Boeing was aiming to get that cost down to about $7 million, the air service's desired price target, according to media reports.