Lockheed Martin to deliver C-130J weapon system trainer for New Zealand
The US DoD has awarded Lockheed Martin a $38,5 million fixed-priced contract for C-130J Super Hercules Weapons Systems Trainer, the DoD announced on 30 September.
The agreement covers the procurement of engineering, manufacturing and development, production, integration, testing and delivery of training devices for New Zealand, as well as spare parts and support equipment.
Work will be carried out in Orlando, Florida, and is expected to be concluded by the autumn of 2025.
The US State Department announced that it had approved a possible FMS to New Zealand of five C-130J aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $1.4 billion in 2019.
Lockheed Martin is expected to begin assembly of the new aircraft in March 2023, once a critical design review is complete. Five new aircraft will then begin arriving in Aotearoa in 2024, with the full fleet operating from 2025.
If the sale is approved, when the first aircraft is delivered, New Zealand will become the 23rd nation to employ the C-130J operationally — it currently operates the C-130H.
The C-130Js would assist New Zealand's requirement to conduct extensive maritime surveillance and reconnaissance as well as improve its SAR capability.
Additionally, the extra cargo capacity and aircraft performance would greatly increase New Zealand's Antarctic mission capabilities.
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