The Austrian air force's three Lockheed Martin C-130K tactical transports are to be modernised under a new project to run through 2015.

"These critical upgrades will encompass a major avionic overhaul for each aircraft," said Steve Fitz-Gerald, chief executive of Marshall Aerospace, which will conduct the work at its Cambridge airport site in Cambridgeshire, eastern England.

Describing the deal as a "substantial contract", the company said the upgrade will replace equipment including autopilots, radar altimeters and analogue cockpit displays.

It will also provide "software updates to their transponders and flight management systems that will provide CNS/ATM [communications, navigation and surveillance/air traffic management] compliant systems", it said.

 Austrian C-130K - Austrian air force

© Katsuhiko Tokunaga/Austrian air force

Modification work will being after the arrival of the first Austrian aircraft in August 2012, with all three transports to be returned to operational use by early 2015.

The C-130Ks were originally delivered to the UK Royal Air Force between 1967 and 1968, as listed in Flightglobal's MiliCAS database. Austria acquired the surplus aircraft in 2002, with Marshall Aerospace having supported them since their introduction.

Source: Flight International