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Norway receives first C-130J-30 with Block 8.1 Upgrade

February 21, 2024 (by Stephanie Stinn) - Lockheed Martin delivered the first of four C-130J-30 Super Hercules tactical airlifters with the Block 8.1 upgrade to the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF), delivering advanced capabilities and increased Super Hercules interoperability in the Nordic region and across Europe.

The RNoAF operates a fleet of our C-130J-30 tactical airlifters and received its Super Hercules fleet between 2008–2012. Lockheed Martin is installing the Block 8.1 upgrade kit on these aircraft at its site in Greenville, South Carolina. The aircraft was recently ferried from Greenville by an RNoAF crew to Norway, where these Super Hercules are operated by the 335 Squadron Gardermoen Air Station.

"Norway's C-130J-30 fleet is a national asset with tremendous regional reach and impact, supporting critical missions with NATO, European Union, and global Super Hercules partners," said Danya Trent, vice president of International Programs for the Air Mobility & Maritime Missions line of business at Lockheed Martin. "As security demands increase, the Royal Norwegian Air Force C-130J-30 fleet must always be prepared to support any mission requirement. The Block 8.1 upgrade ensures that Norway's Super Hercules fleet is mission-ready at any given time, delivering unprecedented reach, protection, and connection."

The Block 8.1 upgrade contains software and hardware expansions that deliver greater global reach, enhanced navigation, and additional defensive capabilities, which include:

  • A new flight management system that complies with CNS/ATM mandates, and includes vertical navigation with coupled autothrottle
  • Civil GPS
  • Ground power modes
  • Updated Identification Friend or Foe
  • CNS/ATM Data Link
  • Enhanced inter-communication system
  • Enhanced approach and landing systems
  • Expanded diagnostics
  • Improved PA system
  • Additional covert lighting
  • IAMSAR compliant search pattern programming

The C-130J Super Hercules Joint User Group (JUG) drives the ongoing Block Upgrade program and is the most mature tactical airlift operators' group in the world. As a JUG member, Norway shapes and develops the Super Hercules Block Upgrade Program. Block 8.1 is now the standard for all new production model Super Hercules airlifters and operators include/will include: the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, as well as Australia, France, Germany, and New Zealand.

Norway's C-130J-30s are true workhorses, supporting a multitude of tactical mission requirements including personnel and equipment transport, humanitarian operations, aeromedical airlift, Special Operations, cold weather operations, and natural disaster relief.

A long-time Hercules operator, the RNoAF has the distinction of being the first Foreign Military Sale for the C-130J Super Hercules program.

The Super Hercules is the worldwide choice in tactical airlift, serving 26 operators in 22 nations. To date, more than 540 C-130Js have been delivered and certified by over 20 airworthiness authorities, with the Super Hercules global fleet reaching almost 3 million flight hours — including hours flown by RNoAF C-130J-30 crews.

Defining advantages separating C-130J-30s from other medium jet cargo transports include the best short-field takeoff and landing performance, lower fuel consumption, reduced carbon footprint, increased range, the most pallet and passenger capacity, and superior survivability.

Courtesy of Lockheed Martin Corporation

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