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Norway receives first improved C-130J-30 aircraft

22nd February 2024 - 13:20 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London

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Norway has been operating four C-130J-30s which will all be upgraded to the newest standard. (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

The Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) operates a fleet of four C-130J-30 Super Hercules tactical airlifters and received its aircraft between 2008–12.

The RNoAF has received back the first of its four C-130J-30 Super Hercules tactical transport aircraft after an upgrade in the US by Lockheed Martin to take the fleet to Block 8.1 standard, providing system improvements including for C4ISR capabilities.

Lockheed Martin has been installing the Block 8.1 upgrade kit on these aircraft at its site in Greenville, South Carolina, and the aircraft was recently flown back to Norway by a RNoAF crew where aircraft are operated by the 335 Squadron Gardermoen Air Station.

The Block 8.1 upgrade contained software and hardware expansions that deliver greater global reach, enhanced navigation and additional defensive capabilities.

Key improvements have included a new flight management system that complies with Communication, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management mandates and includes vertical navigation with coupled auto throttle and IAMSAR compliant search pattern programming.

Additionally, the upgrade has included civil GPS, ground power modes, improved Identification Friend or Foe mode, enhanced inter-communication system, enhanced approach and landing systems and expanded diagnostic.

Block 8.1 has become the standard for all new production model C-130J-30s and operators include or will include the US Air Force, US Marine Corps, US Coast Guard, Australia, France, Germany and New Zealand.

In January 2022, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) announced that its first upgraded C-130J-30 Hercules arrived back at RAAF Base Richmond in Australia from the US. The aircraft was modernised from Block 6.1 to Block 8.1configuration by Lockheed Martin, with assistance from the USAF.

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