The US Navy Reserve has received the first delivery of a total of 30 Electronic Propeller Control System (EPCS) upgraded aircraft from Hamilton Sundstrand that will complete permanent modification of the entire fleet of C-130T and LC-130H aircraft.

The delivery is part of a $16.5m delivery contract under which Hamilton will deliver 15 EPCS kits for the US Navy Reserve’s C-130T aircraft and five for the Air National Guard’s LC-130 H aircraft.

The contract represents permanent modification of C-130T and LC-130H aircraft fleets and also involves the provision of engineering, technical and logistics services over the next two years.

EPCS kits have been designed to replace 54H60 propeller mechanical controls and consist of a system based on digital computer software. The kits should provide improved reliability and enhanced precision performance for the aircrew.

The company is making use of its commercial electronic propeller control technology that was earlier adapted for use by the US Department of Defense as part of a Commercial Operations and Support Savings Initiative agreement.

Hamilton Sundstrand’s North America propeller business general manager Joseph Neffinger said: "The EPCS kits are part of our propeller modernisation programme, which can be applied to NP2000 propellers in the future.

"The NP2000 propeller system provides shorter take-off roll, improved climb, fuel savings with improved cruise performance, quieter operations, and lower operating and support costs for C-130 users", Neffinger added.

The Air National Guard has been flying the EPCS equipped aircraft for four years and successfully completed an operational evaluation for reliability and performance.

The Lockheed Martin-developed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft that has been designed to support airborne assault, search and rescue, scientific research, weather reconnaissance, aerial refuelling, maritime patrol and aerial fire-fighting missions.