Collins Aerospace unit Hamilton Sundstrand Corp has received a $135m contract to provide manufacturing and engineering support of the NP2000 eight-bade propeller and electronic propeller control system for the US Air Forces’s (USAF) C-130 Hercules aircraft.

The total estimated value of all the options is $573m, with the maximum ceiling value of the contract being $708m. 

The US-based technology corporation Collins Aerospace, which the USAF selects as the prime contractor for the project, awarded the contract that will be carried out through Collins Aerospace’s subsidiary Hamilton Sundstrand Corp. Work under this contract is to be completed on 19 January 2028.

Under the contract, Hamilton Sunstrand Corp will be responsible for delivering its modernisation upgrade of the C-130H propellers and control systems, replacing the C-130 legacy mechanical control system. The replacement will help the cargo plane reduce vibration and interior noise, as well as improve speed holding and blade synchronisation.

The propeller system upgrades will leverage the weight reduction, shortening the takeoff by approximately 300 meters with up to 20% greater propeller takeoff thrust. The system will also help reduce crew fatigue due to the reduction in airframe noise and vibration. 

The NP2000 allows operators to remove and replace individual blades on-wing without removing the entire propeller system, resulting in significant cost savings per flight and reduced maintenance labour hours. In November, the USAF also chose Collins Aerospace to provide wheels and brakes for the C-130J aircraft. 

This modernisation update offers millions in savings across the lifespan of the C-130. Hamilton Sundstrand NP2000 is designed to support the C-130, the Northrop Grumman E-2 and C-2 and is planned for use on the Lockheed Martin P-3.

Hamilton Sundstrand will manufacture the new C-130 propellers and control systems at its Windsor Locks, Connecticut, US facility. The Lockheed Martin-built C-130H is the USAF’s principal tactical cargo and personnel transport aircraft.

The UK sent a field hospital and C130 Hercules critical care air support team and aircraft to help provide vital emergency treatment to those critically injured by the catastrophic earthquake in Turkey and Syria. However, last year the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) decided to put up the Royal Air Force’s 14 C-130Js for sale from 2023.