UTC Aerospace has won a contract for eight-blade NP2000 propeller upgrades for 24 Lockheed Martin C/KC-130T aircraft for the U.S. Navy.

Additionally, the company announced it has completed nine of 12 contracted C-130H propeller upgrades for the U.S. Air National Guard. In total, the Navy and Air National Guard contracts exceed US$140 million. These contracts were awarded through the NATO Support and Procurement Agency.

The next-generation NP2000 propeller system will help the Navy and Air National Guard improve operational performance and reduce maintenance time and cost. The improved propeller features eight composite blades, an enhanced electronic control system, reduction in vibration and interior noise and a roughly 20% increase in low-speed acceleration, the company says.

The NP2000 allows operators to remove and replace individual blades on-wing without removing the entire propeller, which is unlike the existing system. This allows for a significant reduction in maintenance time and cost and increases the aircraft’s availability on the flight line.

The upgrade includes a digital control system that improves speed holding and blade synchronization. These features provide not only greater comfort and safety for the crew but valuable fault diagnostics for aircraft maintenance teams, the company says.

“The industry-leading propeller technology of UTC Aerospace Systems’ NP2000 provides operators with enhanced performance and reliability,” says Jean-François Chanut, propeller system general manager. “We’re proud to support the Air National Guard and [Naval Air Systems Command], and look forward to continuing work with them to increase the operational efficiency of their C-130 fleets.”

UTC Aerospace Systems has completed two propeller upgrades for the Air National Guard’s 153th Airlift Wing, located in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and seven of 10 LC-130 upgrades for the 109th Airlift Wing, based in Schenectady, New York. The Air National Guard has identified seven wings flying the C-130H that will receive engine and propeller upgrades in the future. The company has begun to modify the first Navy aircraft and will continue the upgrades over the next few years.

“The addition of the NP2000 has definitely increased the overall performance of our C-130H. I’m looking forward to having the systems on all eight of our squadron’s aircraft soon,” says Lt. Col. Todd Davis, Wyoming Air National Guard’s 187th Airlift Squadron commander.