New Zealand’s First C-130J-30 Performs Maiden Flight

Contract for these transport aircraft worth $990M was inked in June 2020.
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 02:26 AM, April 12, 2024
  • 772
New Zealand’s First C-130J-30 Performs Maiden Flight
RNZAF C-130J-30 transport plane's first flight on April 12, 2024 @LM

Lockheed Martin announced today that the first C-130J-30 transport plane for New Zealand has successfully completed its maiden flight.

In June 2020, the New Zealand government confirmed plans to acquire five C-130J-30 Super Hercules transport aircraft for NZ$1.52 billion ($990.6 million).

As part of this initiative, the comprehensive C-130 project will include the delivery of a full mission flight simulator and other necessary supporting infrastructure. These aircraft and simulator are being acquired through the United States’ Foreign Military Sales process, which also encompasses aircrew and maintainer training.

New Zealand’s First C-130J-30 Performs Maiden Flight
RNZAF C-130J-30 transport plane @LM

The new C-130J-30 aircraft offers increased payload capacity, greater speed, and extended range compared to the existing Hercules aircraft. Each plane will be equipped with specialized capabilities, such as a wide-bandwidth, high-speed satellite communications system and an electro-optical/infrared camera. The satellite communications system will enable real-time streaming of imagery, video, and data, while the camera supports aerial surveillance concurrently with transport missions—proving particularly valuable for humanitarian efforts, disaster relief operations, and search and rescue missions.

The first of these new Hercules aircraft is scheduled for delivery in 2024, with the entire fleet expected to be operational by 2025, facilitating a phased retirement of the current fleet.

New Zealand’s First C-130J-30 Performs Maiden Flight
Specifications of C-130J-30 Super Hercules transport aircraft
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