Elbit Systems has been awarded a contract to upgrade the Republic of Korean Air Force’s (ROKAF) C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft.

The four-year $62m contract will be carried out jointly with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and includes the installation of several electronic systems.

Under the contract, the Elbit Systems will make use of its advanced digital flight displays to convert the aircraft’s existing analogue cockpit to a glass-cockpit.

Elbit Systems’ Aerospace Division co-general manager, Yoram Shmuely, believes the new contract will further enhance the capabilities of the Korean Air Force.

He said: "The global demand for transport aircraft upgrades and the experience we have accumulated in performing various similar projects such as the previous program for the Korean C-130, as well as programs for the Romanian C-130 and the Brazilian C-95, position us as favorably for similar projects to follow."

The Lockheed-built Super Hercules is a heavy-lift tactical cargo and personnel transport aircraft powered by four Allison AE2100D3 turboprop engines that can accommodate a payload of up to 20t or more than 90 passengers.

Crewed by two pilots and a load master, the aircraft features a glass cockpit, digital avionics and a new propulsion system with a six-bladed propeller.

Currently, the ROKAF has 12 C-130s and is largely dependent on the US military to provide support with MC-130s or MH-47 or MH-60 helicopters.

The aircraft is used by the US Air Force (USAF) for performing missions such as airborne assault, search and rescue, scientific research support, weather reconnaissance, aerial refuelling, maritime patrol and aerial fire-fighting.

The C-130 is also used by air forces in Australia, Indonesia, Canada, Denmark, India, Italy, Norway, Qatar, and the UK.