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Royal New Zealand Air Force Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules Gets Official Livery

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Royal New Zealand Air Force Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules Gets Official Livery

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Royal New Zealand Air Force Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules Gets Official Livery
Royal New Zealand Air Force Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules Gets Official Livery

The first of the Royal New Zealand Air Force Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules to come off the Lockheed Martin production line in Georgia, United States has received its official livery – featuring the RNZAF Kiwi Roundel and No. 40 Squadron’s mariner’s compass. Five new aircraft are on track for delivery starting from late this year to replace the C-130H (NZ) Hercules aircraft, which were purchased in 1965. The new aircraft can carry a greater number of pallets, due to their additional 4.5 metre length and payload capacity of 21 tonnes. The new fleet will be used as a first response option for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, as well as deployment of personnel and equipment both within New Zealand and overseas. The second Hercules in the fleet is not far behind, ready for its full-body paint job.

In June 2019, New Zealand’s Minister of Defence Ron Mark identified the C-130J-30 as the preferred replacement for the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s five remaining C-130Hs that are planned to be in service until 2023. In November 2019, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of the potential sale of five C-130Js, 24 engines and related equipment for an estimated cost of US$1.4 billion (~$1.59 billion in 2022). In June 2020 the New Zealand government signed a $1.5 billion deal for five new C-130J-30 Super Hercules planes. The current C-130H fleet dates back as far as 1965. A C-130J Super Hercules has a wingspan of 40 metres and weighs 34 tonnes. The aircraft is designed to operate from short or unprepared airstrips.

511 Tactical

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. The C-130J is the newest version of the C-130 Hercules, and the only model currently in production. The largest operator of the new model is the U.S. Air Force, which has ordered the aircraft in increasing numbers. Current operators of the C-130J are the U.S. Air Force (including the Air Force Reserve Command and the Air National Guard), U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, Indian Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Danish Air Force, Royal Norwegian Air Force, Israeli Air Force, and the Italian Air Force. As of March 2022, 500 C-130J aircraft have been delivered to 26 operators in 22 countries.

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, Dowty R391 six-bladed composite scimitar propellers that have blade tips swept by 35 degrees, digital avionics, 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. Because of the deicing problem discovered late in the certification program, the C-130J includes a black rubber deicing boot at the bottom of the vertical fin, which is another visual difference from previous versions of the Hercules. The J-model is available in a standard-length or stretched -30 variant.

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