The U.S. Coast Guard released a request for information (RFI) on Aug. 22 for installation of the Minotaur mission system suite (MSS+) and a block upgrade for its HC-130J Super Hercules long range surveillance aircraft.
The HC-130J block upgrade 8.1 Retrofit Program is being implemented in order to maintain access to global airspace; enhance aircraft navigational accuracy and aircrew situational awareness; increase overall HC-130J weapon system operational and utility effectiveness; and reduce HC-130J systems and parts obsolescence.
The upgrades are required to comply with mandates issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and Civil Aviation Authorities Air Traffic Management. Additionally, the upgrades allow for Coast Guard HC-130J aircraft to work seamlessly with Department of Defense resources.
Minotaur is government-owned and government–operated mission system architecture that integrates imagery and data from multiple aircraft sensor streams, allowing operators to track targets and transmit information to other platforms and units. The Coast Guard anticipates an effort to modify seven baseline aircraft with MSS+ and the block upgrade as well as implementing the upgrade on up to 15 missionized aircraft.
The long range surveillance aircraft program is in the produce/deploy/support phase of the acquisition process. The Coast Guard currently has 15 HC-130J aircraft in either operational use or active production. The service’s fleet of HC-130Js is the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) largest airlift asset, providing critical support to DHS partners as well as logistical support during routine Coast Guard operations.
The RFI is available here. The deadline to submit responses is Oct. 9, 2018 at 1 p.m. EDT.