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Portugal receives first modernised Hercules airlifter

The first upgraded Hercules was delivered back to the Portuguese Air Force on 2 May. (Victor Barreira)

After several delays, the Portuguese Air Force (Força Aérea Portuguesa: FAP) took delivery of the first modernised Lockheed Martin C-130H Hercules transport aircraft on 2 May.

A ‘stretched' C-130H-30 Hercules was formally received by the Squadron 501 ‘Bisontes', the FAP said.

OGMA – Indústria Aeronáutica de Portugal was awarded a contract in November 2018 worth EUR15.5 million (USD16.7 million) to modernise two C-130Hs and two C-130H-30s.

The modernised fleet was scheduled for delivery during 2019 and 2020, however, the Covid-19 pandemic, budget restrictions, and other issues have significantly slowed the effort.

Delivery of the remaining three modernised aircraft is scheduled to take place during 2024 and 2025, Janes was told.

The modernisation, co-financed by the European Union through the Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research (SESAR) mechanism, aims to enable the Hercules fleet to comply with the Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Global Air Traffic Management (CNS/GATM) requirement.

As part of the modernisation, the Hercules received a Collins Aerospace Flight2 digital ‘glass' cockpit, and equipment from Becker Avionics, Flightcell, and other suppliers.

It principally includes adding a radio altimeter; very-high-frequency (VHF) radios; an intercom system; satellite communications terminal; multifunction displays; Mod S and automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast transponders; traffic collision avoidance system; cockpit voice and flight data recorder; integrated electronic standby instrument; attitude and heading reference system; embedded GPS/inertial navigation system; engine instrument display system; advanced caution and warning system; emergency locator transmitter; enhanced ground proximity warning system; weather radar; automatic flight control system; and distance measuring equipment.

For more information on the FAP C-130 fleet, please seePortugal – Air Force .

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