Royal Australian Air Force to replace and expand C-130J Hercules fleet

U.S. Air Force photo

Australia has announced the purchase of 20 C-130J Hercules aircraft for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) for $9.8 billion. 

The new transport aircraft ordered by the Albanese Government of Australia are set to replace and expand upon the existing fleet of 12 C-130J Hercules aircraft currently operated by the RAAF. The delivery of the first aircraft is anticipated in late 2027.  

Within the Australian Defence Force (ADF), the C-130J Hercules aircraft serves for the deployment of personnel, equipment, and vital humanitarian supplies. The aircraft is renowned for its versatility, being regularly deployed in critical missions such as search and rescue operations, disaster relief efforts, and medical evacuations. 

“The C-130J Hercules is an important capability for our defence force, but also for Australia as a nation,” Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles commented. “From bushfire and flood emergencies across the country, the delivery of crucial supplies to the region during the COVID-19 pandemic and more than two decades supporting peacekeeping operations, this has and will continue to be a crucial asset.” 

The newly acquired aircraft will be operated by No. 37 Squadron at RAAF Base Richmond in New South Wales, which has been flying the model since 1999 and previous variants of the Hercules since 1966. 

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