Royal Air Force C-130 aircraft

Rolls-Royce has been awarded an updated contract from the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) to provide ongoing engines support services for its C-130 J/K Hercules transport and VC10 tanker fleets.

The contract follows the 24-year £1.5bn Hercules Integrated Operational Support (HIOS) arrangement, signed in 2006. In 2010 the UK revealed its plans to retire its last C-130J aircraft in 2022, paving the way for the contract modification.

Rolls-Royce has teamed up with Marshall Aerospace and Lockheed Martin to deliver HIOS, a programme to improve overall availability and reduce support costs of the fleet of C-130s.

Under the £100m contract, Rolls-Royce will provide maintenance, repair and overhaul activities for the RAF’s Hercules fleet at Marshall’s Cambridge airport site until 2015.

Rolls-Royce will also provide Conway engines technical support, which will power the VC10 tanker until 2013 in addition to providing AE 2100D3 engine support servicing, which powers the C-130J aircraft and the T56 engine on the C-130K.

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By GlobalData

Rolls-Royce Services – Defence executive vice president Paul Craig said: "This contract amendment is testimony to the standard of service delivered to-date and reflects the value we offer to our customer."

The C-130 aircraft is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft and has been designed to support airborne assault, search and rescue, scientific research support, weather reconnaissance, aerial refuelling, maritime patrol and aerial firefighting missions.

Powered by four Allison AE2100D3 turboprop engines, the heavy-lift tactical cargo and personnel transport aircraft can accommodate a payload of up to 20t or more than 90 passengers.

The C-130 Hercules aircraft is also in service with Australia, Indonesia, Canada, Denmark, India, Italy, Norway, Qatar, and the UK air forces, as well as the US Coast Guard.

The RAF will replace Hercules fleet with Airbus Military A400M.

Image: A Royal Air Force C-130 aircraft at Waddington station in Lincolnshire, England. Photo: courtesy of Mick Lobb.