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CAE Australia has secured a contract to upgrade an aircraft simulator and other training systems at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Richmond in New South Wales.

Under the $26m four-year contract, the C-130J Hercules tactical transport aircraft will receive training systems upgrades as part of the C-130J Block Upgrade Program.

The C-130 is a family of military transport aircraft manufactured by Lockheed Martin.

The contract is expected to generate new opportunities and create seven full-time jobs within the industry.

Australia Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said: “This will equip defence with a state-of-the-art C-130J aircraft simulator so that our airforce can access the highest quality of training available.

“A modern training system closely aligned with the upgraded C-130J aircraft configuration is essential to providing a robust and safe capability.

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“This partnership demonstrates CAE Australia’s in-country expertise in this field, and their commitment to supporting these airforce capabilities.”

The first airforce students are expected to start training on the new simulator and training systems in early 2023.

A total of 16 pilots, eight loadmasters and up to 100 maintenance crew will be trained each calendar year.

The Australian Defence’s partnership with CAE Australia is expected to deliver a new capability for the RAAF.

In April 2018, the RAAF commissioned the tenth and final C-27J Spartan into service during a ceremony held at RAAF Base Richmond.

Built by Lockheed Martin Alenia Tactical Transport Systems (LMATTS), the C-27Js replaced the existing fleet of DHC-4 Caribou and provided a light tactical fixed-wing aircraft capability to the RAAF.