An illustration flight for an upgraded Royal Australian Air Drive (RAAF) Hercules transport plane grew to become a mission to assist flood-affected communities in regional NSW. No. 37 Squadron launched a C-130J Hercules on November 15 to showcase the way it might use sensors and community methods in a disaster-relief situation. As a part of a prototype trial, C-130J Hercules – serial quantity A97-448 – has been outfitted with an AN/AAQ-28(V) Litening pod beneath its left wing. The pod was beforehand utilized by the RAAF F/A-18A and B Hornet fleet and may document video in day and night-time circumstances.

Flying Officer Johnathan Gough, a Fight Methods Officer with No. 37 Squadron mentioned, “The upgrades offered larger consciousness for crew and commanders alike. We had been in a position to livestream footage to various senior leaders in Sydney and Canberra and show the aptitude we will present in future operations. Through the demonstration, we had been requested to straight assist an precise catastrophe going down at Forbes, the place some flooding was affecting the native inhabitants. We had been in a position to present various up to date imagery and reside video feed to Commander Joint Job Drive 629 and different events throughout that state of affairs.”


Flying Officer Johnathan Gough, a Fight Methods Officer with No. 37 Squadron, stands in entrance of a C-130J Hercules plane which is fitted with a Litening sensor pod on its wing. (Photograph by CPL Kylie Gibson/Australian Authorities Division of Defence)

Additionally underneath prototype, A97-448 has been enhanced to incorporate an augmented crew station within the cockpit, the place a Fight Methods Officer can function the Litening pod and numerous different plane methods. These embody a Ka-Band Satellite tv for pc Communications (SATCOM) antenna, which permits high-speed knowledge sharing across the globe. RAAF Hercules crews have supported operations since 1958 and up to date prototype upgrades are designed to trial most of the ways in which No. 37 Squadron might present related and credible air mobility missions in future working environments. Traditionally the Hercules has been utilized in direct assist of actually large-scale humanitarian help and disaster-relief operations.

This trial has proven RAAF may also present a direct line of communication and livestream video footage of the world whereas the mission is performed. It allows the crew to have a better situational consciousness of the world, or different senior leaders and related third events to have a view of what we’re doing in actual time. This probably consists of crews surveying injury to native infrastructure or a drop zone, and offering video to a headquarters on the bottom. Throughout disaster-relief operations, the C-130J can airdrop provides or land on semi-prepared airstrips to ship as much as 19 tonnes of provides and aid tools. Alternatively, crews can evacuate individuals from distant regional areas.

One RAAF Hercules had offered a check mattress to trial enhanced air mobility with the Litening pod and augmented crew station. Prototyping is an economical technique to allow innovation and permits scope for testing capabilities with a better danger of failure however with potential excessive profit. This enhanced air mobility demonstration will inform the longer term functionality growth of our medium fixed-wing airlift fleet. The broader C-130J fleet has developed considerably because it was launched in 1999, with many of those upgrades having made a big affect to how RAAF conduct operations. No. 37 Squadron might be proceed to ship a primary response in future Indo-Pacific operations, and it’s crucial that it flies these missions while networked to a bigger response.

The Royal Australian Air Drive (RAAF) has operated forty-eight Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport plane. The kind entered Australian service in December 1958, when No. 36 Squadron accepted the primary of twelve C-130As, changing its venerable Douglas C-47 Dakotas. The Royal Australian Air Drive was the second worldwide buyer for the C-130J-30, with an preliminary order of twelve plane. The Lockheed Martin C-130J Tremendous Hercules is a four-engine turboprop army transport plane. The C-130J is a complete replace of the Lockheed C-130 Hercules, with new engines, flight deck, and different methods. The C-130J is the latest model of the C-130 Hercules and the one mannequin in manufacturing. As of February 2018, 400 C-130J plane had been delivered to 17 nations. By July 2021, 450 had been delivered with 26 operators in 22 nations.

Royal Australian Air Force C-130J Hercules Enhanced Air Mobility Demonstration
Royal Australian Air Drive C-130J Hercules Enhanced Air Mobility Demonstration (Photograph by CPL David Mentioned/Australian Authorities Division of Defence)