Lockheed Martin to support Australian Defence in expanding C-130J fleet

C-130J aircraft fleet. Image supplied.

Lockheed Martin Australia has expressed its intent to support the Australian Department of Defence in its effort to “replace and expand” its C-130J-30 Super Hercules tactical airlifters fleet. 

In an announcement in November 2022, the Defence Department said the C-130J-30 “represents the only option that meets all of Australia’s capability,” calling it the only option that Defence will progress for government approval under Project AIR 7404 Phase 1 in 2023. 

“We are immensely proud of our very long-standing C-130 partnership with  Australia. We welcome the opportunity to supply and sustain a larger fleet of the world’s most capable and proven battlefield airlifters,” said Warren McDonald, chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand. 

Approximately 520 C-130Js are in service worldwide, with more than 2.5 million mission success hours, often in the most arduous operational environments. It is also the longest continuously deployed aircraft in the history of the Royal Australian Air Force

With the potential acquisition of a new and expanded fleet of C-130Js, Lockheed Martin Australia said it is fully committed to a long-term sustainment partnership for the new fleet. 

The company also expressed its plans to continue its relationships with Airbus, Standard Aero Limited, Rolls-Royce, Dowty, and CAE in the sustainment of the new and expanded C-130J fleet. 

“With more than 100 C-130Js now operating in the Indo-Pacific, we foresee significant  opportunity to leverage Lockheed Martin’s direct connection with regional and global programs to establish Australia as a regional C-130 sustainment hub,” McDonald said.  “Our collective Super Hercules expertise brings hundreds of long-term high-tech roles to  Australian industry and deepens sovereign industry resilience, agility and  responsiveness to RAAF C-130J capability needs.”