Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $328.8 million, five-year contract from the Indian Air Force (IAF), to provide dedicated and comprehensive support for the IAF’s fleet of 12 C-130J-30 Super Hercules Aircraft. Through this Follow On Support II (FOS) contract, Lockheed Martin teams manage the program, logistics and engineering support elements necessary to sustain the IAF’s C-130J fleet. The contract spans a five-year-period, is a Direct Commercial Sale, and is a continuation of a prior five-year FOS I contract where Lockheed Martin provided similar support for the IAF’s C-130J fleet. Lockheed Martin is the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of the C-130Js and provides research grants for teams from Indian universities to work with local industry partners and mentors from India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation
The FOS II contract includes Lockheed Martin’s sustainment efforts for the IAF’s entire Super Hercules fleet, as well as extended options including Lockheed Martin support for the C-130J airframe, Contractor Furnished Equipment (CFE), peculiar and common spareable items, engines, propellers, software, publication services, ground handling equipment (GHE), ground support equipment (GSE) and test equipment. A total of eight employees representing Lockheed Martin, GE (propeller manufacturer) and Rolls-Royce (engine manufacturer) serve as on-site technical support for the duration of the contract. Additionally through the FOS II contract, five C-130J Hercules aircraft will undergo 12-year servicing (depot maintenance) at a Lockheed Martin-approved Heavy Maintenance Center (HMC) beginning in 2022.
India’s connection to the C-130J goes beyond its fleet of Super Hercules with the Tata Lockheed Martin Aerostructures Limited (TLMAL) joint venture that is the single, global source of C-130J empennage assemblies included on all new Super Hercules aircraft. Located in Hyderabad, TLMAL exemplifies the Government of India’s “Make in India” objectives and has delivered more than 120 empennages over its first 10 years of operations. India’s C-130Js are also used to support a variety of critical missions, including humanitarian aid, airlift, natural disaster support, and search and rescue operations. Recently, the IAF has been extensively using its fleet of 12 Super Hercules for humanitarian efforts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as for transportation of relief materials, equipment and personnel in the areas affected by cyclones Yaas and Tauktae.
The Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. The C-130J is a comprehensive update of the Lockheed C-130 Hercules, with new engines, flight deck, and other systems. Externally similar to the classic Hercules in general appearance, the J-model features considerably updated technology. These differences include new Rolls-Royce AE 2100 D3 turboprop engines with Dowty R391 composite scimitar propellers, digital avionics (including head-up displays (HUDs) for each pilot), and reduced crew requirements. These changes have improved performance over its C-130E/H predecessors, such as 40% greater range, 21% higher maximum speed, and 41% shorter takeoff distance. The C-130J is the newest version of the C-130 Hercules and the only model in production. As of February 2018, 400 C-130J aircraft had been delivered to 17 nations. By July 2021, 450 had been delivered with 26 operators in 22 countries.