RCAF marks completion of major upgrade on CC-130J Hercules

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) marked the completion of a major upgrade of all 17 CC-130J Hercules aircraft on Oct. 18, keeping Canada’s CC-130J Hercules at the forefront of airlift operations. The 17th and last upgraded Hercules was received on Oct. 13, 2016.

Hercules model J aircraft
The Hercules model J can now fly more efficiently amongst large commercial aircraft in heavily congested and controlled airspace and perform much more fuel-efficient long-range flights. Mike Reyno Photo
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The modifications include significant improvements to navigation, communication, and maintenance capabilities. The Hercules model J can now fly more efficiently amongst large commercial aircraft in heavily congested and controlled airspace and perform much more fuel-efficient long-range flights. It can now also conduct approaches in poor visibility and receive critical mission information from allied ground, air, and naval partners via a high-speed, encrypted link.

“The improved capabilities of the CC-130J Hercules will allow Canada to sustain our forces on future operations, including peace support operations and domestic interventions, while continuing our meaningful contributions in supporting allies,” said the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence.

The successful completion of the upgrades was possible thanks to the close collaboration between the Department of National Defence, Lockheed Martin, and the Canadian company Cascade Aerospace. With these modifications, the RCAF can continue to count on the CC-130J Hercules to provide exemplary support to operations, such as defending Canada’s sovereignty in the Far North or helping communities facing natural disasters.

“The procurement of the CC-130J is an ongoing success story. Not only were the first two aircraft delivered significantly ahead of schedule and the remaining 15 on time, but thanks to the professionalism of Lockheed Martin and the Canadian company Cascade Aerospace, the latest upgrade has been implemented in an equally timely fashion,” said Col Bruce Cooke, project manager of the CC-130J procurement, Department of National Defence.

About 100 Canadian employees were involved in delivering the most recent upgrade modifications on the CC-130J Hercules: from shippers, receivers, and warehousers, to technicians, engineers, project managers, suppliers, and their staff.

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“436 Transport Squadron is pleased to receive the final fully upgraded CC-130J Hercules into its fleet. As commander of this hardworking and proud squadron, I know these upgrades to the aircrafts navigation, communication and maintenance capabilities will only serve to make this squadron more effective in all training and operational missions–in fact, the first international exercise to see this upgrade was Exercise BULLSEYE, a Commonwealth Tactical Air Transport Exercise, at the end of September,” said LCol Spencer V. Selhi, Commanding Officer of 436 Transport Squadron, 8 Wing, Canadian Forces Base Trenton.

The successful procurement of the CC-130Js demonstrates the government’s commitment to providing the RCAF with a cost-effective tactical airlift capability to support operations at home and abroad.

Quick Facts

• The CC-130J Hercules is the workhorse of the RCAF’s transport fleet and has been in service since 2010;

• Based in 8 Wing Trenton, the CC-130J is used to transport troops and equipment, for airlifts in operations, to train aircrew, and more;

• This upgrade program started in November 2013, when Lockheed Martin was awarded a contract amendment to modify the fleet to meet new Global Airspace requirements; and

• This upgrade was completed as per the program schedule established between the Government of Canada and Lockheed Martin.

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