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NATO air force gains Super Hercules cockpit armour upgrade

21st March 2022 - 11:36 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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C-130J-30 is operated by NATO allies Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, the UK and the US

Lightweight high-tenacity polyethylene cockpit armour from QinetiQ has been installed on a fleet of C-130J-30 Super Hercules airlifters.

Marshall Aerospace has certified and installed the latest generation of LAST lightweight cockpit armour from QinetiQ on a fleet of C-130J-30 Super Hercules aircraft.

UK-based Marshall announced on 21 March that it is the first company able to certify the armour on the C-130 platform.

It did not divulge the identity of the customer, but Shephard reported in November 2020 that Marshall had been awarded a contract to certify and install QinetiQ armour aboard Royal Danish Air Force C-130J-30s.

The C-130J-30 is also operated by NATO allies Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, the UK and the US.

The new armour is a tool-free installation design that minimises aircraft downtime and maximises aircraft availability, Marshall noted. The modular design also enables damaged panels to be easily replaced whilst in operation without having to replace the entire system.

The armour is manufactured from high-tenacity polyethylene, making it extremely robust, and approximately 380kg or more than 50% lighter than the previous-generation LAST solution.

This weight saving in particular ‘not only makes it easy to install, but has helped to save fuel, reduce the impact on the aircraft’s centre of gravity and allowed for full cargo-carrying capacity across our fleet’, said a representative of the NATO air force customer.

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