The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) has recently inducted the first Austrian Air Force C-130 aircraft for a ‘C’ Check into Depot Level Maintenance at its contractor facility in Portugal. The ‘C’ check is an extensive check of individual systems and components for the serviceability and functionality of the aircraft. It involves extensive tooling, equipment testing and requires special skill levels. These activities normally take between 6 to 18 months to be completed. In addition to the Austrian aircraft, the other four C-130 aircraft are currently at the NSPA’s contractor facilities undergoing various types of maintenance activities.
NSPA will complete further ‘C’ Checks for other aircraft of the Austrian AF C-130 fleet. Austria is one of the three Nations of the NSPO Fixed Wing Aircraft Support Partnership participating in the C-130 aircraft Depot Level Maintenance project. Nations benefit from an extensive range of services and capabilities for their C-130 aircraft fleets, managed by NSPA through existing contracts. This includes maintenance (overhaul, repair, and upgrade) of the aircraft and its mechanical, electrical, and avionics components. The C-130 Hercules is the longest-running military aircraft in production for over 60 years, with its latest version C-130J Super Hercules currently under production.
In 2003 Austria’s transport capability was improved when it purchased three C-130 Hercules from the Royal Air Force. These aircraft were needed for the demanding UN peacekeeping missions in which Austria played a role. The Austrian Air Force has awarded a multi-million-pound contract to Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group (Marshall ADG) to update the navigation systems on its fleet of three C-130K aircraft. Following on from the Night Vision System upgrade modification of the Flight Management System in 2017, Marshall ADG will now design and update the Electronic Flight Instrument System displays, Standby Instrument, and Flight Management System across the fleet.
The equivalent model for export to the UK is the C-130H, known by the Royal Air Force (RAF) as the Hercules C-130K orC.1. The C-130K is used by the RAF Falcons for parachute drops. Three C-130Ks (Hercules C Mk.1P) were upgraded and sold to the Austrian Air Force in 2002. The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is an American four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed. Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings. The versatile airframe has found uses in a variety of other roles, including as a gunship, for airborne assault, search and rescue, scientific research support, weather reconnaissance, aerial refueling, maritime patrol, and aerial firefighting.