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CC-130J Hercules get improved navigation, communication, and maintenance capabilities

The Royal Canadian Air Force reported that a major upgrade of all 17 CC-130J Hercules aircraft has been concluded and that the 17th and last upgraded Hercules was received on October 13, 2016.

The modifications include significant improvements to navigation, communication, and maintenance capabilities.

The Hercules model J can now fly more efficiently amongst large commercial aircraft in heavily congested and controlled airspace and perform much more fuel-efficient long-range flights. It can now also conduct approaches in poor visibility and receive critical mission information from allied ground, air, and naval partners via a high-speed, encrypted link.

  • The CC-130J Hercules is the workhorse of the RCAF’s transport fleet and has been in service since 2010.
  • Based in 8 Wing Trenton, the CC-130J is used to transport troops and equipment, for airlifts in operations, to train aircrew, and more.
  • This upgrade program started in November 2013, when Lockheed Martin was awarded a contract amendment to modify the fleet to meet new Global Airspace requirements.
  • This upgrade was completed as per the program schedule established between the Government of Canada and Lockheed Martin.

The successful completion of the upgrades was possible thanks to the close collaboration between the Department of National Defence, Lockheed Martin, and the Canadian company Cascade Aerospace. With these modifications, the RCAF can continue to count on the CC-130J Hercules to provide exemplary support to operations, such as defending Canada’s sovereignty in the Far North or helping communities facing natural disasters.

About 100 Canadian employees were involved in delivering the most recent upgrade modifications on the CC-130J Hercules: from shippers, receivers, and warehousers, to technicians, engineers, project managers, suppliers, and their staffs.

The successful procurement of the CC-130Js demonstrates the Government’s commitment to providing the RCAF with a cost-effective tactical airlift capability to support operations at home and abroad.

Author: Nestor Arellano

Nestor Arellano is editor of Vanguard Magazine. Nestor is a seasoned journalist who has written extensively on defence and military industry issues as well as technology and business developments. He is also associate editor of Vanguard's sister publication, IT in Canada.

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