C-130J Aircraft

The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded a new $167m block upgrade contract for C-130J Super Hercules to Lockheed Martin to help enhance the interoperability of the aircraft across the worldwide fleet.

The Block 8.1 enhancement programme consisting of both software and hardware capability expansion will be installed in the aircraft.

Currently, the C-130J fleets are installed with the Block 6.0 configuration, while the Block 7.0 configuration is undergoing flight trials.

The Block 8.1 configuration includes updated identification friend or foe (IFF), Tempest compliance, automatic dependent surveillance broadcast, and a communications, navigation and surveillance/air traffic management data link.

The company will also provide an enhanced inter-communication system, enhanced approach and landing systems, enhanced diagnostics and additional covert lighting.

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Lockheed Martin vice-president for C-130 programmes Lorraine Martin said that the C-130 aircraft has constantly been made adaptable to ensure it meets modern operational requirements.

"The C-130 is the benchmark for airlift around the world and the block upgrade programme ensures interoperability across the
worldwide C-130J fleet," Martin added.

The C-130J Hercules is a heavy-lift tactical cargo and personnel transport aircraft powered by four Allison AE2100D3 turboprop engines and can accommodate a payload of up to 20t or more than 90 passengers.

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

The aircraft are also in service in Australia, Indonesia, Canada, Denmark, India, Italy, Norway, Qatar, the UK and the US Coast

Image Caption: The C-130J Hercules is a tactical cargo, heavy lift and personnel transport aircraft powered by four Allison AE2100D3 turboprop engines.