SingaporeThe Australian Government will purchase 20 new C-130J Hercules aircraft for the Royal Australian Air Force for $9.8 billion. This will provide the Air Force with state of the art C-130 Hercules to meet the air transport needs of the future. The new acquisitions will replace and expand upon the 12 Hercules aircraft currently operated by Air Force with delivery of the first aircraft expected from late 2027.

There will be significant benefits for Australian industry from the expanded fleet size, with opportunities to construct facilities and infrastructure and to sustain the aircraft. The Australian Defence Force relies on the C-130J Hercules aircraft for the deployment of personnel, equipment and humanitarian supplies. The iconic aircraft is regularly used in search and rescue missions, disaster relief and medical evacuation.

The C-130J has been involved in almost every major Defence operation in recent decades, from Bougainville assistance and Timor-Leste peacekeeping through to conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. More recently the aircraft supported Australia’s response to COVID-19 in the region, delivering vaccines and medical supplies, as well bushfire and flood response.

The C-130J Hercules are made by Lockheed Martin and are being purchased from the United States. The aircraft will continue to be operated by No. 37 Squadron at RAAF Base Richmond in NSW.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles said: “The C-130J Hercules is an important capability for our defence force, but also for Australia as a nation. From bushfire and flood emergencies across the country, the delivery of crucial supplies to the region during the COVID-19 pandemic and more than two decades supporting peacekeeping operations, this has and will continue to be a crucial asset. The Albanese Government is committed to ensuring the ADF is equipped with the capabilities it needs to keep Australians safe, and this targeted expansion of the fleet size will do just that.”

Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy said: “The Government is ensuring the Australian Defence Force is equipped with brand new C-130J Hercules aircraft, and more of them, to respond to the wide range of challenges our nation will face in the future. Since 1999, the C-130J Hercules has served Australia across our region and beyond, proving to be a reliable workhorse in roles from humanitarian operations to conflict zones. Having 20 aircraft, up from 12, will mean more opportunities for local industry to sustain the aircraft, creating more Australian jobs. There’ll also be jobs associated with infrastructure redevelopments at RAAF Base Richmond.”

For Editorial Inquiries Contact:
Editor Kym Bergmann at

For Advertising Inquiries Contact:
Director of Sales Graham Joss at

Previous articleAPDR Podcast Episode 10 with host Kym Bergmann
Next articleChina’s growing military cooperation with Russia aimed at countering US in Indo-Pacific region


  1. 9.8 billion for 20 Hercules? That price better include their support and sustainment contracts for the next at least 20 dollars. The government paid waaay less than thst for the C-17s on a per airframe figure.
    But aside from that the ADF is showing the British MOD how to structure and equiped a defence force.

    • The number is unfortunately correct – and it’s completely outrageous. Replacing C-130Js for more C-130Js. There’s nothing wrong with the aircraft but there should have been an evaluation of both the A400M and especially the C-390 from Embraer. Yet here we are shoveling more money to the US.

  2. I’m not to fussed if the money goes to the US or anyone else so long as it provides good service and at a respectable price.
    The C-130J has it’s attributes, but it is still a 50’s sized aircraft tasked with the logistic challenges of the 21st century.
    A400M and C-390 should have being serious contenders going forward.
    The 1980’s era of transporting a ASLAV, M113 and Land Rover are history.
    Army vehicles are going big and heavy.
    Our future fleet needs to reflect that need.
    C-17 and suggest something more capable than a C-130.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here