The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) marked the completion of a major upgrade of all 17 CC-130J Hercules aircraft.
The 17th and last upgraded Hercules was received on October 13, 2016, Canadian Department of National defense said in a statement Tuesday.
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 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.
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 staffs.
The upgrade contract was signed on November 8, 2013, and the first aircraft underwent a prototype installation trial from January to October 2015 at Lockheed Martin’s CC-130J production facility in Marietta, Georgia. After successful completion and testing of the prototype upgrade package, the remaining 16 aircraft began modification under a subcontract from Lockheed Martin to the Canadian company Cascade Aerospace in October 2015.