Singapore, - ST Aerospace today announced the redelivery of the first of 10 modernised C130 Hercules transport aircraft to the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF). This C130 aircraft is now equipped with a modernised avionics suite that significantly improves the operational readiness, despatch reliability and operational efficiency of the aircraft. The new avionics suite is Global Air Traffic Management (GATM) compliant, and it enables the aircraft to navigate safely, efficiently and accurately through CNS/ATM-regulated airspace worldwide, reducing the aircraft's response time in emergency humanitarian and disaster relief operations.
The modernisation programme also includes an indigenously-designed digital glass cockpit, featuring ergonomic man-machine interfaces that take into consideration the RSAF crew anthropology and human factors efficacy, resulting in reduced crew workload and operational fatigue.
In addition, the first redelivered C130B is upgraded with an Auxiliary Power Unit and Environmental Control System (APU / ECS) to provide commonality with the C130H. With an improved air conditioning system and electrical power redundancy, this C130B aircraft will be on par with RSAF's younger fleet of C130H aircraft in terms of mission availability.
From this modernisation programme, the RSAF will benefit through improved operational efficiency and lower maintenance requirements, while considerably improving RSAF's overall aircraft and mission availability. Due to fleet standardisation through parts commonality, the RSAF will see improved maintainability and supportability as common parts facilitate interchangeability and repair during maintenance.
RSAF's first modernised C-130H (photo : STAerospace)
The developmental phase of the programme from design to the aircraft's maiden flight took approximately two and a half years, a significant achievement for a modification of this scale. ST Aerospace's ability to offer this innovative solution and complete the prototype aircraft modernisation within the contractual schedule is a further testament to its engineering expertise.
"We are pleased with the successful redelivery of the first C130 aircraft to the RSAF. With the modernisation, the C130 aircraft is expected to have a higher component reliability which equates to lower maintenance costs and more importantly, lower aircraft downtime. The quick progress we have made with this modernisation programme will not have happened without the commitment and hard work of our engineers, technicians, Defence Science & Technology Agency and strong support from the RSAF team. This redelivery also serves as a testament of our engineering design and innovative solutions, and we will continue to develop solutions to meet market and customers' demands." ~ CHANG Cheow Teck, President, ST Aerospace.
In March 2007, ST Aerospace announced it was awarded a contract from RSAF to modernise and standardise its fleet of 10 C130 transport aircraft. The contract is scheduled to be stretched over seven years, and involves the modernisation of the C130's avionic systems to meet evolving GATM requirements. The modernisation programme is expected to extend the service life of the aircraft by another 20 years. Work on the second and third C130 aircraft has commenced and is currently at the modification phase. Both aircraft are expected to complete ground testing by this year.
ST Aerospace's relationship with the RSAF began more than three decades ago when it started as the maintenance depot for the RSAF. Since then, ST Aerospace has provided a comprehensive range of aircraft, components and engines maintenance and engineering solutions as well as materials support for a wide range of RSAF's fleet of aircraft.