Australia to buy 20 C-130J Hercules aircraft from the US

The Australian Government will be purchasing 20 new C-130J Hercules aircraft for the Royal Australian Air Force for A$9.8 billion ($6.60 billion).

This will provide the Air Force with state of the art C-130 Hercules to meet the air transport needs of the future.

The new acquisitions will replace and expand upon the 12 Hercules aircraft currently operated by Air Force with delivery of the first aircraft expected from late 2027.

Previously in November 2022, the U.S. State Department had already approved the potential sale of the aircraft, manufactured by Lockheed Martin and related equipment to Australia.

Noteworthy, the Australian Defence Force relies on the C-130J Hercules aircraft for the deployment of personnel, equipment and humanitarian supplies.

The aircraft is regularly used in search and rescue missions, disaster relief and medical evacuation.

Besides, the C-130J has been involved in almost every major Defence operation in recent decades, from Bougainville assistance and Timor-Leste peacekeeping through to conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

More recently the aircraft supported Australia’s response to COVID-19 in the region, delivering vaccines and medical supplies, as well bushfire and flood response.

The C-130J Hercules are made by Lockheed Martin and are being purchased from the United States.

Further, the aircraft will continue to be operated by No. 37 Squadron at RAAF Base Richmond in NSW.


About C-130J Hercules Aircraft

The Lockheed C-130J Hercules is an American four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built by Lockheed Martin.

Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medevac, and cargo transport aircraft.

The C-130J is the newest version of the C-130 Hercules, and the only model currently in production. As of March 2022, 500 C-130J aircraft have been delivered to 26 operators in 22 countries.


Length: 112 ft 9 in/34.37 m

Height: 38 ft 10 in/11.84 m

Wingspan: 132 ft 7 in/40.41 m

Powerplant: Four Rolls-Royce

                   AE 2100D3 engines

                  GE-Dowty Aerospace R391

                 6-blade propellers

                 all composite

Maximum take-off weight: 164,000 lb/74,389 kg

Maximum Payload: 46,700 lb/21,183 kg

Operating weight empty: 88,252 lb/40,030 kg

Zero fuel weight: 129,000 lb/58,513 kg

Landing Distance (135,000 lb): 3,000 ft/914 m

Range (40,000 lb payload): 2,160 nm/4,000 km

Maximum Cruise Speed: 365 KTAS/675 km/hr