U.S. Navy officials describe upgrade of C-130 Aircraft Hercules aircraft.
The Navy provides a continuous forward-deployed maritime strike and expeditionary power protection force, Navy Rear Adm. Scott D. Conn, director of air warfare in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. said, adding that supporting the force calls for a unique logistics infrastructure.
That capability is Navy Unique Fleet Essential Airlift aircraft, he said, noting that its fleet comprises 24 C-130T Hercules aircraft and 15 C-40 aircraft for responsive, flexible and rapidly deployable air logistics support to combat operations from the sea.
“The C-130T fills the [airlift] requirements for outside cargo,” Conn said. “It is the only Navy aircraft capable of lifting all modules of the F-35 engine.”
Further, he said, the C-130T provides unique ability to deliver passengers and cargo to austere locations, including unprepared fields and runways less than 3,000 feet long.
The Navy completed the procurement of the C-130T’s in 1996, he said, and now is looking to recapitalize the effort beginning with advance procurement in fiscal year 2019 by buying three aircraft in fiscal year 2023.
“But it’s not just [about] recapitalizing,” Conn said. “It’s [about] modernizing the aircraft. We have to keep them relevant.”