Friday, August 4, 2023

Australia to procure 20 new C-130J Super Hercules tactical transport aircraft


A C-130J-30 Super Hercules of the RAAF. Photo c/o RAAF.

The Australian Government has confirmed that it would be procuring a total of 20 new C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and is expected to cost around A$9.8 billion (US$6.45 billion).

These new aircraft are being procured under the Department of Defence’s AIR 7404 Phase 1 Medium Air Mobility Replacement Project, and will be replacing an existing fleet of 12 C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft that have been in service with the RAAF since 1999.

The Australian Department of Defence previously mentioned that it has selected to procure new C-130J Super Hercules after evaluating other tactical transport aircraft models. It was found that staying with the C-130J Super Hercules will assure reduced cost, schedule and capability risk due to the RAAF’s experience in operating the maintaining the type for the last 24 years.

The RAAF relies on the C-130J Super Hercules for the deployment of personnel, equipment and humanitarian supplies, and is also used for other missions including search and rescue, disaster relief and medical evacuation.

The increase of quantity of aircraft from 12 to 20 will allow Australia to perform more missions within Australia and across the Indo-Pacific region, as well as providing more opportunity for the local industry to sustain the fleet.

The new aircraft will be operated by the RAAF’s No. 37 Squadron based at RAAF Base Richmond in the New South Wales, and is expected to have seamless transition to the new aircraft.

Infrastructure improvements at the base are also expected to accommodate the increased number of aircraft, and modernization of facilities to sustain them.

[1] Australian Department of Defence

[2] Asia Pacific Defense Journal

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