C-130 Hercules Aircraft Life Extension Programme

Office of the Minister of Defence

16 February 2010

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is working to ensure the successful completion of the C-130 Hercules life extension programme, following the news that Safe Air in Blenheim is planning to reduce its workforce by a hundred positions. 

US based company L-3 Communications, the lead contactor for the upgrade of the aircrafts’ centre wings and other structures, avionics systems, new "glass" flight decks, navigation and communication suites and night vision systems has contracted Safe Air to undertake this work in Blenheim on three of the RNZAF’s aircraft.

Unfortunately the programme has been delayed due to issues surrounding the integration of software for these systems meaning the contractor has been unable to meet the schedule and delivery has been held up for over two years.
“The Royal New Zealand Air Force needs its aircraft in operation and the Ministry of Defence understands this,” says Deputy Secretary for Acquisitions with the MOD, Des Ashton. “We have sent a Senior Project Director to L-3’s Texas facility and we’re working  with L-3 Communications to ensure the programme’s successful completion.” 


Contacts: Des Ashton (021) 664 920 or Chris Wright 04 496 0296, or 021 487 980

NOTE: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is responsible for the management of the upgrade contract, not the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) or the Royal New Zealand Air Force.


This page was last reviewed on 19 January 2011.