New Zealand’s C-130J-30 Super Hercules flight simulator has completed its first phase of construction in Montreal, Canada, and is on its way to Florida for the next wave of fittings.
Preparations for the construction of the simulator’s 16-meter (52.5-foot) building at the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF)’s Auckland base has also begun.
The Super Hercules $38-million flight simulator project is a part of the New Zealand Ministry of Defence’s goal of modernizing the RNZAF’s current C-130H fleet, which dates back to 1965. It began its decommissioning cycle back in February.
The simulator is scheduled to arrive in New Zealand in 2025, where RNZAF Base Auckland’s Number 40 Squadron will maintain the facility.
Stronger New Zealand Skies
Ministry of Defence Integrated Project Team Leader Andrew Rooney stressed the importance of the simulator’s role in the RNZAF’s modernization initiative.
“Simulators reduce maintenance and flight time on actual aircraft, saving money and time, and reducing the risk to people and aircraft. They also improve crew safety and preparedness as they can train for different emergency situations and poor weather conditions in a simulated flight environment,” he said.
The flight simulator is part of the New Zealand government’s $1.4-billion deal with the US to acquire five Lockheed Martin C-130J-30s, as well as spare parts, crew training, and a simulator.
All five C-130J-30s are now on the production line, with the first scheduled to arrive in the country by 2024.