The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has received the first Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Hercules transport aircraft upgraded to Block 8.1 standard.
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has received the first Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Hercules transport aircraft upgraded to Block 8.1 standard, the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) announced on 19 January.
The aircraft, which arrived at RAAF Richmond air base in New South Wales, was upgraded by Lockheed Martin in the United States with support from the United States Air Force. The remaining 11 C-130s will be modified by Airbus Australia Pacific at Richmond air base, the Australian DoD said.
“Block 8.1 will make it easier for crews to operate the Hercules in a range of complicated environments, from civilian airspace around airports through to airfields on the frontline,” Group Captain Badgery, Officer Commanding the Air Lift Systems Program Office, said.
The Block 8.1 hardware and software upgrade will ensure that the C-130J-30 fleet is compliant with the latest international air traffic management regulations and introduce updated friend-or-foe identification systems for flying on coalition operations. The upgrade also introduces a new flight management system and improvements to the aircraft’s navigation systems to ensure greater accuracy in landing approaches in restricted-access areas, the DoD said.
Six RAAF C-130J-30s are also being fitted with a Honeywell Ka-Band satellite communication (SATCOM) antenna that is being installed by Airbus Australia Pacific at Richmond air base, the DoD announced in April 2019. Work is being performed during scheduled maintenance works and is expected to be completed in 2022.
The RAAF currently operates 12 C-130J-30 tactical transport aircraft that entered service in 1999.
© 2022, GDC. © GDC and www.globaldefensecorp.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to www.globaldefensecorp.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.