RAAF Project AIR 7404 Phase 1 – medium air mobility replacement

1 November 2022

Defence is replacing and expanding its current medium air mobility fleet of 12 C-130J Hercules aircraft via Project AIR 7404 Phase 1.

The C-130J Hercules variant is a reliable and combat proven aircraft operated by the Royal Australian Air Force since 1999.

Defence has approached a number of aircraft manufacturers and received information on all available medium air mobility options. The relative merits of each aircraft type have been assessed against Australia’s capability requirements.

Defence seeks a low risk, certified in all roles, proven, mature and affordable replacement aircraft that meets Australia’s air mobility needs. Project principles have incorporated lessons learned from previous major Defence acquisitions as well as the in-service experience with the current C‑130J fleet.

Defence has identified that the new C-130J aircraft represents the only option that meets all of Australia’s capability requirements and assures Defence’s medium air mobility capability without introducing substantial cost, schedule and capability risk.

As a result, new C-130J aircraft will be the only option that Defence will progress for Government approval under Project AIR 7404 Phase 1 in 2023.


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