According to official announcements, Australia has confirmed the purchase of 20 new C-130J-30 Super Hercules military aircraft for USD 6.6 billion . In November of last year, the U.S. State Department approved the potential sale of 24 of these aircraft to Australia.
The new C-130J Hercules aircraft will replace and expand the aging fleet of 12 aircraft currently used by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), with the first delivery expected in 2027. The new fleet will be stationed at the RAAF base in Richmond, Hawkesbury, New South Wales.
The C-130J Super Hercules is the latest and currently the only version of the Hercules being produced. Despite its external resemblance to previous variants, it has undergone significant improvements. The changes include the installation of four new Rolls-Royce Allison AE21000 engines (equipped with six-bladed composite propellers in a curved shape), as well as new digital avionics systems (including HUD displays for both pilots).
The introduced enhancements have, among other things, reduced the size of the crew. The modernization has also resulted in a more than 1/4 reduction in operating costs and increased the reliability of these aircraft. Over the last 20 years, these aircraft have been incorporated into the transport aviation of various countries, such as Australia, Denmark, France, India, Iraq, Israel, Canada, Qatar, South Korea, Germany, Norway, Oman, the United States, Tunisia, the United Kingdom, and Italy.