Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130Js to Get Specialist Equipment and Advanced Sensors
Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130Js to Get Specialist Equipment and Advanced Sensors

Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130Js to Get Specialist Equipment and Advanced Sensors

The five Lockheed Martin C-130J-30s Super Hercules to be procured by New Zealand will have specialist equipment and sensors. The aircraft will be fitted with L3 WESCAM MX-20 electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) cameras and a Honeywell JetWave Ka-band wide bandwidth, high-speed satellite communications (satcom) system. Janes also previously reported that the modular design of the system supports up to seven sensor payloads simultaneously. In addition to the above two specific systems, the New Zealand variant will include the ability for video and images to be captured while the aircraft is in use.

WESCAM MX-20 EO/IR imaging system
WESCAM MX-20 EO/IR imaging system

The WESCAM MX-20 EO/IR imaging system is designed for high-altitude intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) operations. Able to provide more than x400 magnification in the EO sensor and more than x75 magnification in the IR sensor, the MX-20 also uses Enhanced Local Area Processing (ELAP) to improve feature recognition. This comprises a daylight CCD (charged-coupled device) camera with zoom lens, a colour or monochrome daylight camera with four-step spotter lens, a night camera with four-step spotter lens, a thermal imager with high magnification four-step zoom, a laser rangefinder, and two choices of laser illuminator/pointer.

WESCAM MX-20 EO/IR imaging system

The Honeywell JetWave satellite communications terminals enable global consistent connectivity via Inmarsat Aviation’s Global Xpress (GX) Ka-band network. The hardware and network are optimized for mobility to provide a consistently outstanding passenger experience all over the world. The satcom system supports up to 50 Mbps of speed via the fuselage-mounted antenna. The tail-mounted antenna is capable of speeds up to 30 Mbps. Designed to provide broadband-class data connectivity, the hardware and network are optimized for mobility to provide a consistently outstanding passenger experience all over the world.

Honeywell JetWave satellite communications terminal

Royal New Zealand Air Force ordered five Lockheed Martin C-130J-30s Super Hercules transport planes from Lockheed Martin includes a flight simulator and supporting infrastructure for $1 billion. The aircrafts will replace the military’s existing fleet of Hercules, all of which are more than 50 years old and have been involved in a series of embarrassing breakdowns over recent years. Three of the nation’s current C-130 Hercules planes date back to 1965 and the other two to 1969. New Zealand will take delivery of the first of the new C-130J-30 aircraft in 2024 with the full fleet operating by 2025.

Honeywell JetWave satellite communications terminal