25 Februari 2010
C-130J of the RAAF (photo : Pbase)
Australia has approved an A$45 million ($40 million) upgrade to its air force's fleet of 12 Lockheed Martin C-130J military transports.
"The Block 7.0 Upgrade will enable Australia's fleet of C-130J to meet new global air traffic management requirements and continue to operate in global airspace," says defence minister John Faulkner.
"These will address system obsolescence, maintain coalition compatibility and enable these aircraft to comply with global air traffic standards."
The work will be part of the C-130J Joint User Group Global Project Arrangement, a multi-national programme that enables several operators to upgrade them together. This includes the USA, the UK, Canada and Italy.
The Royal Australian Air Force uses its C-130Js on missions such as air logistics support, aero-medical evacuation, search and survivor assistance, troop transport and airdrop operations. Three aircraft are based in the Middle East, and the fleet is often called upon for operations on short notice in South-East Asia and the Pacific region.