In a significant milestone for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), the Australian Defence Force has given the Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules transport its Military Type Certification. This approval enables the RAAF to begin initial military operations immediately. Full clearance, which will add clearance for paratroop, airdrop, assault landings on unprepared fields, and maximum alternate weights missions, is anticipated early next year. Australia recently took delivery of the last of the 12 C-130J-30s it had on order, which will be operated by No 37 Squadron. The aircraft are based at RAAF Richmond in New South Wales.
Australia is the second country to issue type certification in the last two weeks. On July 14, Italy issued its type certification prior to the first of the 22 C-130Js it has on order being delivered to Pisa in Italy. These certifications show how the C-130J is rapidly beginning to play a significant role in airlift operations around the world.
Forty years ago, the RAAF became the first international customer to take delivery of the C-130A aircraft with subsequent purchases of the E and H models, reinforcing its enthusiasm for the aircraft. The Hercs proved to be especially suited to the country's unique environmental and geographic demands, and are tough and effective workhorses with an impressive safety record. Since the first A models were introduced more than 40 years ago, the RAAF has recorded an amazing 600,000 accident-free flying hours on Hercules aircraft.
SOURCE: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
Contact: Peter Simmons of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company,