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New Zealand prepares for C-130J-30 induction amid sale of C-130Hs

In a screenshot from a New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) video, the Royal New Zealand Air Force's (RNZAF's) first C-130J-30 Hercules emerges from the Lockheed Martin paint shop with RNZAF and squadron livery on 15 February 2024. (New Zealand Defence Force)

The New Zealand government has issued a tender for the sale of its old Lockheed Martin C-130H Hercules aircraft as it prepares to induct five new C-130J-30s in 2024.

The tender specified that the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) seeks to sell four of the five C-130Hs currently operational with the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF). A NZDF spokesperson told Janes on 8 March that the service “will be withdrawing the C-130H fleet from service on 31 January 2025”.

“In recognition of the significance the C-130H has played in the history of the … RNZAF, the minister of defence has approved the transfer of one C-130H to the RNZAF Museum,” the spokesperson said.

The New Zealand spokesperson added that the government “expects a number of parties interested” in the remaining four C-130Hs, “either as flying assets or for use as parts”.

According to the spokesperson, the four C-130Hs will be disposed of after the induction of the new C-130J-30s. “Delivery [of the C-130J-30] will begin later this year, and it is anticipated [that] all aircraft will be in New Zealand by the end of the year,” the spokesperson said, adding that no additional details on the timeline of deliveries of the C-130J-30s were available at this time.

On 15 February the NZDF said the first RNZAF-bound C-130J-30 received its official livery – “the RNZAF kiwi roundel and No 40 Squadron's mariner's compass” emblem – at the Lockheed Martin facility in Georgia.

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