The Australian government will spend almost $10 billion on a new fleet of C-130J Hercules aircraft for the Royal Australian Air Force.
Australia will purchase 20 new C-130J Hercules military transport aircraft for $9.8 billion.
According to a press release from the Australian Government Department of Defense, this will provide the Air Force with state-of-the-art C-130 Hercules to meet the air transport needs of the future.
The new acquisitions will replace and expand upon the 12 Hercules aircraft currently operated by Air Force, with delivery of the first aircraft expected from late 2027.
There will be significant benefits for the Australian industry from the expanded fleet size, with opportunities to construct facilities and infrastructure and to sustain the aircraft.
The Australian Defence Force relies on the C-130J Hercules aircraft for the deployment of personnel, equipment and humanitarian supplies. The iconic aircraft is regularly used in search and rescue missions, disaster relief and medical evacuation.
The C-130J has been involved in almost every major Defence operation in recent decades, from Bougainville assistance and Timor-Leste peacekeeping through to conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. More recently the aircraft supported Australia’s response to COVID-19 in the region, delivering vaccines and medical supplies, as well bushfire and flood response.
“The C-130J Hercules is an important capability for our defense force, but also for Australia as a nation,” the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, the Hon Richard Marles MP said.
The C-130J Hercules are made by Lockheed Martin and are being purchased from the United States. The aircraft will continue to be operated by No. 37 Squadron at RAAF Base Richmond in NSW.