Air Force to test flares off East Coast

Flares being deployed from a C130 Hercules.
Flares being deployed from a C130 Hercules. (AK00-0016)

13 April 2011

A Royal New Zealand Air Force C130 Hercules aircraft will be deploying flares off the east coast (Coromandel) of the North Island over the next few days. 

The flare trials are part of the routine development of the Electronic Warfare Self Protection System (EWSPS) fitted to the Hercules. The trials will be conducted at altitude over the sea to provide an additional safety element and are no cause for alarm. The flares burn hot and fast, reducing to ash which is then dispersed by the wind. The trials will be conducted in predesignated and notified areas clear of ships and pleasure craft.  

The closest land to the trials area include Cuvier, Mayor, Great Barrier and Mercury Islands.  It is unlikely that the flares will be visible in bright sunlight from the mainland however boaties and local island residents may see the aircraft and the flares.


For further information, please contact Squadron Leader Kavae Tamariki, Senior Media Adviser Air Force. Mobile 021 420 899.

C130 Hercules Life Extenstion Programme

The Air Force’s five C-130 Hercules aircraft are undergoing a progressive life-extension upgrade. Two have been completed and the remaining three will be upgraded over the next few years.

The upgrade was described by contractor L-3 Communications Spar Aerospace as the most comprehensive modernisation project ever undertaken on a C-130 worldwide. It includes centre wing refurbishment, a major rewire and new flight deck instrumentation, and replacement of the communication and navigation systems with more modern systems to ensure the aircraft complies with evolving air traffic control regulations.

C130 Hercules Electronic Warfare Self Protection System (EWSPS)

It is vital that the C-130 and NZDF personnel travelling onboard are protected against possible threats. The C-130 has been equipped with a self protection capability since the 1990’s, however an escalation in the sophistication and availability of anti-aircraft missiles means it is appropriate to upgrade the existing system to meet this evolving threat.

This page was last reviewed on 13 April 2011.