The first of two C-130 transport aircraft to be delivered to Royal Netherlands Air Force took its first flight after being upgraded.

The upgrades include replacement of analogue displays with digital displays and incorporating weather radar, engine instruments and lightning sensor that will improve situational awareness and safety of the craft.

The aircraft needed the refurbishment to match up to modern requirements as they had been retired in 1991 by their previous owner, the US Navy.

The air force will deploy the aircrafts in peace missions bringing the total number of C-130 in Dutch service to four.

The second C-130 is being upgraded by Marshall Aerospace, with support from its manufacturer Lockheed Martin, and will take its first flight later in 2009.

The aircrew will gain experience of flying the craft during the test flights scheduled for the coming weeks.

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