Australia has moved a step closer to a major renewal of its strategic airlift capabilities with the U.S. State Department’s approval of the possible sale of two dozen C-130J Super Hercules, worth up to $6.35 billion.
The U.S. State Department on Wednesday cleared possible foreign military sale of 24 Super Hercules aircraft to Australia, according to a statement from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
“Australian Air Force (RAAF) with replacements for its aging cargo fleet, guaranteeing a reliable airlift capability, and allowing the RAAF to improve its overall operational capability,” DSCA’s notice regarding the proposed deal says. “Australia will have no difficulty absorbing these articles and services into its armed forces.”
In addition, its notice says that the principal contractor will be Lockheed Martin Corporation, Marietta, GA. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
The C-130J is the latest addition to the C-130 fleet and has replaced aging C-130Es and some of the high time C-130Hs. The C-130J incorporates state-of-the-art technology, which reduces manpower requirements, lowers operating and support costs, and provides life-cycle cost savings over earlier C-130 models.
The C-130J-30 is a stretch version, adding 15 feet to the fuselage, increasing usable space in the cargo compartment.