Austria starts looking for C-130 Hercules replacement

Austria C130 Hercules replacement
Austrian Air Force C-130K Hercules transport aircraft.

Austrian Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner recently told the media that she had commissioned the acquisition of a new transport aircraft to replace the Austrian Air Force's C-130 Hercules. A team will soon begin to draw up the list of requirements in order to proceed with the selection of candidates.

The Austrian Air Force currently has three Lockheed Martin C-130K aircraft in service which need to be replaced by 2030. Austria procured them second-hand from the UK in 2002. They all come from the Royal Air Force fleet which retired them to switch to the C-130J.

The three Hercules have received major systems and avionics upgrades over the past decade. The works were all carried out by the Marshall Aerospace and Defense Group which is in charge of maintaining the aircraft since their entry into service in the Austrian Air Force.

As is the case for many nations today, the cargo fleet plays a major role in Austria. The introduction of a new transport aircraft appears to be on top of the defense acquisitions. The Saab 105 trainer jet/light fighter, for example, was withdrawn from service on December 31, 2020 without being replaced.

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Written by Matteo Sanzani
Photo Credit: Austrian Air Force

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