Portugal Minister of National Defence José Alberto Azeredo Lopes has approved plans to modernise the C-130 Hercules (C-130H) aircraft operated by the Portuguese Air Force.
Work under the project includes the modernisation of five C-130s that are currently in service with the Air Force.
According to a statement by the Ministry of National Defense, the aircraft modernisation programme is essential to meet the requirements of the European Single Sky regulations.
More than $32.3m has been earmarked for the project, which is expected to be completed in 2023.
The heavy-lift tactical cargo and personnel transport aircraft is used in military operations and other missions including peacekeeping missions, maritime patrol, search-and-rescue, logistical and aero medical evacuations.
To date, the aircraft have operated in Angola, Mozambique, Sao Tome, Cape Verde, East Timor, the Persian Gulf, Moscow, Afghanistan, Rwanda and the Balkans.
The Lockheed Martin-built C-130H is powered by four Allison AE2100D3 turboprop engines and has the capacity to accommodate a payload of up to 20t, or more than 90 passengers.
The aircraft is also used by Australia, Indonesia, Canada, Denmark, India, Italy, Norway, Qatar, the US and the UK air forces, as well as the US Coast Guard.