Marshall Aerospace begins upgrade of Austrian Air Force's first C-130K


C-130K Hercules

Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group has started modernisation of the Austrian Air Force's first C-130K Hercules transport aircraft.

The upgrade follows a substantial contract awarded to the company for modernisation of the air force's C-130K Hercules fleet in October 2011.

Comprising of maintenance and a major avionics modification, the programme aims to address obsolescence issues and also help the aircraft overcome operational restrictions in European airspace.

Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group CEO Steve Fitz-Gerald said the fitting of equipment represents a significant project milestone starting from design and development to installation.

As the programme's systems integrator, the company will replace the aircraft's autopilot, radar altimeter systems and analogue instruments with multifunction LCD displays, which will provide communications, navigation and surveillance / air traffic management (CNS/ATM) compliant systems.

"C-130K Hercules is a derivative of Lockheed Martin's C-130 Hercules aircraft."

Additional work includes software updates to the aircraft's transponders and flight management systems, apart from installation of electronic attitude director indicator (EADI) and electronic horizontal situation indicator (EHSI) displays.

The three surplus C-130K Hercules aircraft were acquired by Austria from the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) in 2002, which have been maintained by Marshall Aerospace since their entry into operational service.

Powered by Allison T56A-15 engines turboprop engine, the C-130K Hercules is a derivative of Lockheed Martin's C-130 Hercules aircraft, and is currently operated by the Austrian Air Force for carrying troops, passengers or freight and transport support missions.

Work is being carried out at the company's facility in Cambridge, UK, with delivery and return to service of the final aircraft anticipated in early 2015.


Image: In 2002, Austria acquired three C-130K Hercules from the UK Royal Air Force. Photo courtesy of Arpingstone.