Elbit Systems has been awarded a contract to upgrade the Israeli air force's Lockheed Martin C-130H tactical transports, with the work to extend the type's service life and significantly improve its operational capability.
The Israeli company says it will integrate cutting-edge digital systems in place of obsolete analogue equipment that has become unreliable and costly to maintain after four decades of intensive service. The enhancements will contribute to reduced operating costs and improved flight safety, particularly in adverse weather conditions and during precision and low-level night flying, it adds.
Israel has an active inventory of 16 Hercules, as recorded by Flightglobal's MiliCAS database. This includes six C-130H transports and four KC-130H tankers, plus six older E-model examples, which are to be retired from use.
The air force will this year receive its first of three new-generation C-130Js, under a contract signed in 2010, but has recently begun talks with Lockheed about a possible follow-on order for three more. The service's first batch of aircraft are being manufactured to allow for the future installation of some Israeli-produced systems, and feature a three-crew cockpit configuration.