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Norway upgrades first C-130J to latest newbuild standard

A file photo of an RNoAF C-130J-30. Norway has four such aircraft, which it is now retrofitting to the latest Block 8.1 standard for greater global reach, enhanced navigation, and additional defensive capabilities. (Lockheed Martin)

Norway has upgraded the first of its Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules transport aircraft to the latest standard now rolling off the production line.

The manufacturer announced on 21 February that the first of four ‘stretched' C-130J-30 aircraft operated by the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) has been retrofitted with the latest Block 8.1 enhancements and delivered back to the service.

“Lockheed Martin is installing the Block 8.1 upgrade kit on these aircraft at its site in Greenville, South Carolina. The [first] aircraft was recently ferried from Greenville by an RNoAF crew [back] to Norway,” the company said.

As noted in the announcement, the Block 8.1 upgrade contains software and hardware enhancements that include a new flight management system that complies with communication, navigation, surveillance (CNS)/air traffic management (ATM) mandates, and includes vertical navigation with coupled auto throttle; civil GPS; ground power modes; updated identification friend or foe; CNS/ATM datalink; enhanced intercommunication system; enhanced approach and landing systems; expanded diagnostics; an improved public address system; additional covert lighting; and International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue (IAMSAR)-compliant search pattern programming. The upgrades are geared at delivering greater global reach, enhanced navigation, and additional defensive capabilities.

The RNoAF received five C-130J-30 aircraft from 2008 to 2012, with one subsequently being lost in a crash. They are operated by 335 Squadron out of Gardermoen Air Station/Oslo Airport.

For more information on the RNoAF, please seeNorway – Air Force.

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