The US State Department has determined to approve a potential Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of 24 Lockheed C-130J-30 Hercules transport aircraft and associated equipment to the Government of Australia for an estimated price of USD 6,35 billion on November 2, 2022.
The Australian Defense Force (ADF) has determined that the new C-130J is the only alternative that can guarantee Defense’s medium air mobility capability without significantly increasing cost, schedule, or capability risk. It also satisfies all of Australia’s capability requirements. As a result, in 2023, the ADF will only forward the C-130J for government approval as part of Project AIR 7404 Phase 1.
Since 1999, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has operated a fleet of twelve C-130J-30s at RAAF Base Richmond (NSW) with 37 Squadron Foremost and ten C-27Js at RAAF Base Amberley with 35 Squadron Adept (Qld). The C-27J’s deliveries only began in 2014 and concluded in April 2018.
Although Project AIR 7404 has not yet made public the number of new Hercules aircraft that will be purchased, the`US Department of State mentioned that 24 will be sold.