Sydney-based CAE Australia has been awarded a $26 million contract to upgrade an aircraft simulator and other training systems as part of the C-130J Block Upgrade Program at RAAF Base Richmond, NSW.
Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said Defence’s partnership with CAE Australia would deliver game-changing capability for the Air Force.
“This will equip Defence with a state-of-the-art C-130J aircraft simulator so that our Air Force can access the highest quality of training available,” Minister Price said.
“A modern training system closely aligned with the upgraded C-130J aircraft configuration is essential to providing a robust and safe capability.
“This partnership demonstrates CAE Australia’s in-country expertise in this field, and their commitment to supporting these Air Force capabilities.”
Minister Price said the contract would also create seven new full-time jobs over the next four years.
“The first students will commence training on the new simulator and training systems in early 2023, which is designed to train 16 pilots, eight loadmasters and up to 100 maintenance crew each calendar year,” Minister Price said.
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 is 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.
The Australian Defence Force 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.