C-130H taxis through the fog upon arrival at Eglin Air Force Base (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

AF eyes DevSecOps for upgrading legacy C-130 software

The Air Force is considering using DevSecOps to upgrade the software on the C-130, a versatile military transport aircraft that has been in use since 1956.

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Air Mobility Command seeking two partner companies to work with aircraft prime Lockheed Martin to transform software development culture and practices. It wants recommendations for how to implement a digital enterprise strategy on the C-130 platform by transiting legacy software to a DevSecOps-driven, cloud-native agile software development platform -- including proposed costs and implementation schedules.

While many “agile” development projects have devolved to waterfall processes, the Air  Force wants to move the whole C-130 program office and its contractors “to a true agile culture using cloud-native tools,” according to a Feb. 18 request for information.

“The end goal is to establish a lean, user-centered approach that will ultimately redefine how capability is delivered to the warfighter while meeting all regulatory testing and cybersecurity requirements,” the RFI said.

The Air Force has been experimenting with DevSecOps platforms to update software on various aircraft. In 2019, Nicolas Chaillan, chief software officer for the Air Force and co-lead for the DOD Enterprise DevSecOps Initiative, described how the Air Force's SoniKube software factory installed Kubernetes on the legacy hardware in F-16s. In October 2020, Air Force used Kubernetes to equip a legacy U-2 surveillance aircraft with machine learning

The C-130 program office expects to release a request for proposals in the second quarter of 2021.

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