C-130 radios to get upgrades from Raytheon

MCKINNEY, Texas. Raytheon won a $29.6 million Air Force upgrade contract to install MXF-626K VHF Communications Systems on 178 C-130H Hercules aircraft. This upgrade makes sure C-130 radios comply with newly adopted European Air Traffic Management requirements by enabling 8.33 kilohertz (kHz) channel spacing in the range of 118 to 137 megahertz (MHz).

The MXF-626K is a VHF tactical communications system that enables high quality, reliable, air-to-air and air-to-ground Line of Sight SINCGARS (single channel ground and air radio system), air traffic control, and maritime band operations in single channel and frequency hopping modes to more than 400 C-130H and C-130J aircraft. The MXF-626K is a form/fit and functional replacement for the ARC-186 radio now onboard C-130H aircraft.

A C-130H Hercules aircraft flies to a drop zone during Aviation Detachment 16-1 on Powidz Air Base, Poland. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Damon Kasberg.

The U.S. Air Force awarded Raytheon two prior contracts to upgrade the C-130H1, the ski equipped LC-130 used in Arctic and Antarctic missions, and other variants of the C-130H with MXF-626K radios for 8.33 kHz channel spacing.