Elbit Systems has secured a contract to upgrade the Israeli Air Force’s (IAF) C-130 Hercules military tactical transport aircraft fleet. Awarded by the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMOD), the $15m contract will see the company supplying the IAF with additional C-130H capabilities, as a follow-on to a previous contract signed in December 2012. The new capabilities are expected to enable the aircraft to meet the stringent international communications navigation and surveillance/air traffic management (CNS/ATM) standard and operate in the civilian airspace. Elbit Systems Aerospace Division general manager Yoram Shmuely said the new capabilities will help the air force meet demanding international standards. ”We have witnessed a growing demand for operability of transport aircraft in commercial airspace and trust that further customers will require similar capabilities for their transport fleets," Shmuely said.
Work under the contract is scheduled to be carried out over the next two years.
The upgrades provided under the previous contract are designed to extend the aircraft’s operational life, and also enhance its operational capability, particularly in precision flying, low-level night flight and operations in adverse weather conditions. Manufactured 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 aircraft features a glass cockpit, digital avionics and a new propulsion system with a four-bladed propeller, and 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, and the US Coast Guard.
Image: An Israeli KC-130H Hercules aircraft during a personnel drop mission. Photo: courtesy of USAF TSgt. Ken Hammond.