Airbus Australia Pacific has been awarded a two-year contract extension to provide sustainment services through to 2024, including engineering, maintenance and supply support for the RAAF’s C-130J fleet.
Defence Minister Christopher Pyne said the contract extension was granted after Airbus provided outstanding sustainment support to the C-130J fleet.
"Airbus reduced sustainment costs by $10 million over the 2019 to 2024 period," Minister Pyne said.
Originally signed in 2009, the contract is structured as a six-year rolling agreement, the continuation of which is linked to demonstrated performance and cost containment.
Under the terms of yesterday’s agreement valued at A$175m, the six-year rolling contract will be extended by an additional two years, out to 2024, securing the ongoing employment of about 220 industry personnel, located at RAAF Base Richmond.
The C-130J Hercules is a medium-sized tactical air-lifter that can deliver cargo to airfields with short unsurfaced runways, and airdrop cargo and paratroops by parachute.
A fleet of 12 are operated from RAAF Base Richmond by No. 37 Squadron. They were delivered to the base between 1999 and 2001. The C-130J is an important air link for Australian Defence Force personnel overseas, with two aircraft deployed in the Middle East to provide assistance to medical treatment locations.
Commenting on the latest extension, Rob Elder, Acting Managing Director, Airbus Australia Pacific, acknowledged the contribution of Airbus personnel engaged on C-130J TLS and deep maintenance at RAAF Richmond and other Airbus precincts.
"I wish to thank our employees for their special contribution to enabling this achievement," he said.
"The C-130J TLS Contract Extension is the best recognition we can receive from our customer, and will ensure long-term employment opportunities for our people in the technical and professional disciplines as we support the C-130J to fly, to succeed and to come home safely, every time," Elder added.
Defence Industry Minister Steven Ciobo congratulated Airbus on the contract extension, saying "Australian content is valued at approximately $110 million for the two-year extension and comprises about 62 per cent of the contract," Minister Ciobo said.
The ADF relies extensively on the C-130J when deploying personnel and aid.
The C-130J Hercules can carry up to 128 passengers, or eight pallets of cargo. It can work alongside other airlifters, including the C-27J Spartan and C-17A Globemaster III.
Upgrades to the C-130J have enhanced communications and information-sharing, and improved the aircraft's endurance during battle. The C-130J Hercules can also be used in other roles, such as search and survivor assistance and medical evacuation of wounded or sick patients.