The US Air Force (USAF) has received the first T56 Series 3.5 engine upgrade kits from Rolls-Royce for its C-130H transport fleet.
The upgrade kits are provided as part of a $36m contract awarded to the company by the USAF to support the engine improvements on US Air National Guard C-130s.
Rolls-Royce Defense Aerospace North America president Phil Burkholder said: "The T56 Series 3.5 technology has already proven itself in the field on the P-3 aircraft, and the USAF contract reflects confidence in the upgrade from the largest C-130H fleet operator in the world.
"Recipients of the Series 3.5 upgrade will soon reap the benefits demonstrated in the NOAA aircraft, significant improvements in fuel economy and enhanced performance, leading to lower operating costs and improved reliability."
Built 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.
This upgrade programme will enable T56 engines to operate at reduced temperatures and extend part life, as well as enhance reliability by 22%.
In addition, the Series 3.5 upgrade will offer improved ‘hot and high’ performance, the company stated.
The Series 3.5 can be installed on T56 engines on either C-130 or P-3 legacy aircraft and also added during regular overhauls.
The C-130 engine upgrade programme is expected to save roughly $2bn for the USAF, as well as extending fleet life.