Latest Generation Hercules Aircraft Operational for Royal Australian Air Force
Marietta, GA, 13-DEC-01 -- The fleet of 12 new generation C-130J Hercules aircraft were formally accepted into operational service by the Chief of the Air Force, Air Marshal Angus Houston, at a ceremony today at RAAF Base Richmond in New South Wales. Prior to the Air Force's acceptance of the fleet into service, the Defence Materiel Organisation's Head of Aerospace Systems Division, Air Vice-Marshal Ray Conroy, formally accepted the C-130J in its final contracted configuration from the prime contractor, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company.
The C-130J represents a quantum leap in technology over its predecessors with a head up display and glass cockpit, new computer controlled engines and six-bladed composite propellers, a fully integrated digital avionics system and a computer based maintenance support system, Air Vice-Marshal Conroy said.
The new capabilities offered by the C-130J Hercules have been rigorously tested over the last two years.
The new design offers improved performance in areas such as payload capacity, cruise speed, endurance and take-off distance. The Australian configuration C-130J is a 'stretched' version, nearly 5 metres longer than its predecessors, providing greater cargo volume capacity.
This exciting new platform provides the Australian Defence Force with improved airlift reliability and availability, and will meet the Air Force's strategic and tactical airlift requirements well into the twenty first century, Air Vice-Marshal Conroy said.
Forty years ago, the Air Force became the first international customer to take delivery of the C-130A Hercules aircraft with subsequent purchases of the E and H models.