New Zealand begins retiring its C-130H(NZ) Hercules fleet
In 2020, the New Zealand government announced that five Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Super Hercules aircraft would replace the C-130H(NZ) aircraft. Deliveries of the first aircraft are slated to begin in 2024. The NZ$1.5 billion C-130J project includes a full mission flight simulator and other supporting infrastructure.The NZ7003 has received a number of modifications and upgrades, including the Life Extension Programme (LEP) initiated in 2005. The aircraft received improved avionics on the flight deck and structural improvements.Compared to the H series, the C-130J-30 has more capacity due to the additional length of 5.4 m and payload capacity of 21 tonnes. Carrying a payload of 15 tons, the C-130J-30 has a range of 2,400 nautical miles, compared to 1,800 with the H series.The aircraft will also be equipped with additional special equipment. Each will be equipped with a wide-bandwidth, high-speed satellite communications system and electro-optical/infra-red cameras. Imaging, video, and data can be streamed in real-time.The aircraft is also equipped with cameras for aerial surveillance, including when carrying out transportation tasks. This device is useful during search and rescue missions as well as humanitarian and disaster relief missions.