Royal Australian Air Force will receive 20 new C-130J Hercules to replace the 12 currently operated by No. 37 Squadron at RAAF Base Richmond, NSW – expanding Australia’s fleet by nearly 70 per cent.
FILE PHOTO: C-130J Hercules aircraft from No.37 Squadron fly in formation over RAAF Base Richmond. Photo by Corporal Craig Barrett.
Valued at for $9.8 billion, this contract will begin delivery of the first aircraft in late 2027.
Minister for Defence Richard Marles said the Australian Defence Force relied on the C-130J Hercules for the deployment of personnel, equipment and humanitarian supplies.
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,” Mr Marles said.
“We are committed to ensuring the ADF is equipped with the capabilities it needs to keep Australians safe, and this targeted expansion of the fleet size will do just that,” Mr Marles said.
“The C-130J Hercules is an important capability for our defence force, but also for Australia as a nation.”
C-130J Hercules are made by Lockheed Martin and are being purchased from the United States.
These aircraft will continue to be operated by No. 37 Squadron at RAAF Base Richmond in NSW.
CEO Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand Warren McDonald congratulated Defence on its commitment to procure a new and expanded C-130J fleet.
“These aircraft will add to the 65-year legacy of continuous C-130 operations by Australia,” Mr McDonald said.
“The C-130J has proven its ability to meet all of Australia’s medium air mobility requirements and is an excellent choice to support [Australian] operations.”