Process reforms carried out on the maintenance of the RAAF’s 12 C-130J transport aircraft have delivered the equivalent of an extra aircraft being available for missions, Head of the Defence Materiel Organisation’s (DMO) Aerospace Systems Division, Air-Vice Marshal Colin Thorne has said.
“Defence has increased C-130J availability by eight per cent, which for a fleet of 12 aircraft is tantamount to having an extra C-130J,” Thorne said.
In 2010, the DMO Air Lift Systems Program Office launched reforms with a goal of increasing the efficiency of C-130J maintenance practices. A Planned Servicing Schedule Review was launched by Australian Aerospace, which provides through-life support for the aircraft, in late 2011 to examine reliability data across the C-130J fleet. It also drew on the experience of international C-130J operators.
After a comprehensive review of maintenance tasks and their sequencing, Australian Aerospace has been approved to increase servicing intervals from 30 to 38 weeks, which extends the full cycle of scheduled maintenance from 480 to 608 weeks.
“Support contracts for the C-130J and other Australian military aircraft are increasingly being structured to encourage and assist collaboration with Defence and industry partners to deliver improvements of this type,” Thorne said.
The fleet of 12 C-130Js has been operated by 37 Squadron at RAAF Base Richmond since 1999.