Jun 15, 2012
Lockheed Martin says latest version of renowned airlifter ideal for SAAFBack
Port|Africa|Defence|Design|Engines|Hercules|Lockheed Martin|Marine|System|Systems|Africa|Australia|Canada|Denmark|India|Iraq|Israel|Italy|Korea|Kuwait|Norway|Oman|Qatar|South Africa|Tunisia|United Kingdom|United States|Defence|Equipment|Maintenance|Service|Systems|Infrastructure|Boeing 707|C-130 Hercules|C-130BZ|C-130J|C-130XJ|C-47TP|Douglas C-47TP Dakotas|Hercules|KC-130J|Operations
© Reuse this
The C-130BZ is currently the SAAF’s largest aeroplane, fulfilling the medium/heavy transport role, but these aircraft are now almost 50 years old (the first was delivered in 1963) and are among the oldest Hercules still in operation anywhere in the world. But the SAAF’s maritime surveillance aircraft are even older, being Douglas C-47TP Dakotas, whose airframes are now almost 70 years old.
In comparison with earlier-generation Hercules, the C-130J has a new cockpit, new engines, new propellers and new avionics, giving increased speed, agility and surviv- ability as well as improved high-temperature and high-altitude performance. Its ability to fly at night and in bad weather is also much improved. It also has a new enhanced cargo handling system.
The aircraft in service have accumulated 900 000 flying hours and demonstrated a mission capability of 89.3% (the design target figure was 84%) and a mean time between (equipment) failure of 6.5 hours (the design figure was 2.5 hours). The C-130J has been proven to need only 1.07 man maintenance hours per flying hour, instead of the expected four hours per flying hour.
However, Lockheed Martin discovered that not all potential customers needed the full spectrum of capabilities required by the world’s major air forces for operations in combat zones. “We listened very carefully to what our customers said to us,” highlights Lockheed Martin VP: Business Develop- ment Initiatives Dennys Plessas. “So we came up with a different con- figuration – the C-130XJ. This has a lower initial acquisition cost but 100% of the C-130J’s flight performance. It has basic military functionality, with true plug-and-play provision for growth to full military capability.”
Although more basic in its configura- tion than the C-130J – for example, it lacks the new cargo handling system – the C-130XJ can also be fitted to undertake a wide range of missions, including air-to- air refuelling and maritime surveillance. For the latter role, the aircraft can be fitted with maritime search radar and electro-optical and infrared sensors, with mission control stations either in the cockpit or (if more than two are required) in the cargo bay.
In fact, air-to-air refuelling and maritime surveillance equipment can be installed on the same airframe. (The C-130J serves in the dual air-to-air refuelling and trans- port roles with the US Marine Corps, under the designation KC-130J, and in the mari- time surveillance, search and rescue and transport roles with the US Coast Guard, as the HC-130J.)
Moreover, customer countries can supply their own systems, if they desire. “Many of these pieces of equipment are produced locally and can be supported by local industry,” points out Plessas. “The XJ has structural provisions for special mission stations.” Like the C-130J, the C-130XJ comes in standard and lengthened versions (the latter to carry greater volume, not greater weight). The aircraft is fast enough to refuel the SAAF’s Gripen fighters. “The tests have been done and the aircraft is qualified,” he assures.
“The C-130J/XJ can carry 90% to 95% of the payloads the SAAF carries,” argues Plessas. “We believe that the C-130J/XJ is the right aircraft for the SAAF. Strategic and tactical transport, maritime surveillance and air-to-air refuelling – it is more cost- effective to have one type for all these missions. “All these capabilities have been proven, and have already been developed for other customers. We believe that the C-130J/XJ can replace the C-130BZ, the C-47TP and the [already retired] Boeing 707 in the SAAF.”
Mission systems can be designed, developed and installed in South Africa. As with the C-130BZ, maintenance support can be provided by local industry with assistance from Lockheed Martin. “South Africa already has more than 50% of the required support infrastructure for the C-130J/XJ,” he stresses. “Acquisition or lease options can be developed to meet South Africa’s financial constraints.”
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Defence News
Late last year, the South African electronics industry, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the South African National Defence Force, the Air Traffic and Navigation Services and other institutions celebrated the 75th anniversary of radar in...
Late last year the South African electronics industry, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the South African National Defence Force, the Air Traffic and Navigation Services and other institutions celebrated the 75th anniversary of radar in this...
Article contains comments
South African defence and aerospace company Paramount Group has concluded a deal with Jordan’s State-owned defence company King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KADDB) for the manufacture of 50 6x6 Mbombe infantry combat vehicles in Jordan and South Africa....
Recent Research Reports
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
This Week's Magazine
The World Bank, the European Union, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the government of Sweden have agreed to provide Zimbabwe and Zambia with $294-million for the repair of structural deformations on the Kariba dam wall and avert the possible collapse of the...
Executive chairperson of the Global Electricity Initiative (GEI) Philippe Joubert says energy utilities globally, together with the business community more generally, have come to terms with the science of climate change, particularly as extreme weather events begin...
JSE-listed Emira Property Fund reported distribution growth per participatory interest (PI) of 9% for the six months ended December 31, 2014.
Sub-Saharan Africa is still faced with the challenge of providing citizens access to electricity and an additional $450-billion will need to be invested to ensure that people in urban areas have access to electricity by 2040.
Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) last month said it was dismayed that the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) was seconding 35 Cuban engineers on a two-year contract to share their expertise with South African engineers in the water sector.