The Royal Air Force has received the first of 14 C-130Js to undergo enhanced service life extension with a center wingbox replacement.
The aircraft returned to its base at RAF Brize Norton after being delivered by Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group.
The company modified the aircraft with a new kit that delivers significant durability enhancements and extends the service life of the center wingbox by up to three times. The company said the modification would enable the RAF C-130J fleet to remain in operation until 2035 and beyond.
“It was truly inspiring to see this aircraft undergoing such innovative modification in our hangar,” Marshall ADG CEO, Alistair McPhee, said. “The C-130 has been in production longer than any other aircraft and with more than 450 C-130Js in service it continues to be the transporter of choice with air forces across the globe.”
Marshall is undertaking this modification in parallel with scheduled maintenance to maximise fleet availability. Modification of the second aircraft is also already well underway.
The RAF was the first adopter of the Super Hercules C-130J platform, which is now in operation across all continents of the world with the air forces of New Zealand, France and Germany being the latest to order new fleets from Lockheed Martin.