Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems has begun reselling up to 25 C-130K Hercules due to be traded in by the Royal Air Force in part-exchange for new-build C-130Js.

The US manufacturer plans to submit proposals to 13 different potential buyers in the next four to six weeks, says Lockheed Martin international-business-development vice-president Rick Huntley. Offers are being made to a mix of existing and new operators considered unlikely to be able to afford the new C-130J.

Target countries include those of the former Eastern Bloc, such as Poland and Slovenia, the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and nations in the Middle East such as Dubai and Oman. India has failed to take up an earlier offer for about ten of the former RAF aircraft.

Lockheed has contracted to take back as many as 25 RAF C-130s, including six to eight stretched -30s. The aircraft, between 25 and 30 years old, will be available for delivery in the fourth quarter of 1998 and have between five and ten years' life remaining, says Huntley.

The Royal Australian Air Force, also, is to trade in seven similar-standard C-130Es as part of its order for 12 new -Js. In a separate move, the RAF has put four former KC-130K tankers up for sale, but with flight-refuelling gear removed.

Lockheed Martin's Air Logistics Centre, meanwhile, has teamed with AlliedSignal to offer an avionics upgrade for the C-130. It has won a contract to retrofit 12 Spanish air force aircraft and is expected to tender for a similar Malaysian contract for 14 C-130Hs.

Malaysia has re-opened a competition to upgrade its C-130s, having earlier rescinded a contract with Rockwell Collins and CAE based on the FMS-800 flight-management system. Marshall and partner Sextant Avionique have registered their interest to compete with Sextant's Topdeck system, while Honeywell and Sabca are offering a solution based on the Belgian air force C-130 upgrade.

The Malaysian upgrade will also include the installation of a new inertial-navigation system with embedded global positioning, a replacement autopilot, multi-functional displays, VHF/UHF communications, an integrated radar-warning receiver and flare-and-chaff dispenser.

Source: Flight International