The Israel Ministry of Defense (IMOD) has awarded a contract to Elbit Systems for modernisation of the Israeli Air Force's (IAF) C-130 Hercules transport aircraft fleet.
Upgrades provided under the contract are expected to extend the aircraft's operational life, while also enhancing its operational capability, particularly in precision flying, low-level night flight and operations in adverse weather conditions.
Scheduled to enhance the C-130's flight safety and lower operating costs, the upgrade programme also involves replacing the aircraft's obsolete analogue systems with advanced digital systems, including a digital cockpit, head-up display system and new radar.
Elbit Systems' aerospace division co-general manager Yoram Shmuely said: ''The proposed upgrade utilises systems, subsystems and applications being deployed on the most advanced platforms and military and civil upgrade programs in order to meet current operational needs and enable integration of future operational and technology capabilities."
Built by Lockheed Martin, the C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed to support airborne assault, search and rescue, scientific research support, weather reconnaissance, maritime patrol and aerial firefighting missions.
Powered by four Allison AE2100D3 turboprop engines, the heavy-lift tactical cargo and personnel transport aircraft is capable of accommodating a payload of up to 20t, or more than 90 passengers.
The aircraft entered operational service with US military in the 1950s, and is also used by Australia, Indonesia, Canada, Denmark, India, Italy, Norway, Qatar and the UK air forces, as well as the US Coast Guard.
A total of 12 aircraft are currently operated by IAF for tactical transport and aerial refuelling missions.
Information regarding the programme schedule has not been disclosed by the company.
Image: Elbit's proposed upgrade suite for Israeli Air Force's C-130 Hercules aircraft, Photo: Elbit Systems Ltd.