Northrop Grumman Offers C-130 Center Wing Box Replacement
C-130H ex RAAF (Phillip Brown) ★
Northrop Grumman (NG, Chalet CD01) Technology Services is offering legacy C-130 Hercules operators a center wing box (CWB) replacement. The offer derives from a refurbishment program on five C-130H airlifters that Australia gifted to the Indonesian air force.
The Australian aircraft were overhauled before delivery by NG’s Integrated Defence Services (IDS) facility–the former Qantas Defence Services (QDS) company that the American corporation bought in 2013. QDS had provided deep maintenance support to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-130 fleet since 1958.
One of the five ‘Herks’ for Indonesia proved to have a corroded CWB that needed replacement, prompting IDS to turn to some design work that NG Technology Services had done in the U.S. when the U.S. Air Force was planning to retain C-130Hs. A new CWB was built at NG’s Lake Charles, Louisiana facility (where the company does heavy checks on the Air Force E-8 and KC-10 fleets). It was shipped to Australia, where IDS is now completing overhaul of the fifth C-130H for Indonesia.
Jim Sutton, director global relations for NG’s Technology Services, told AIN that there was lots of interest in the new capability. There are various reasons why CWBs on legacy C-130s might need replacing, ranging from corrosion to fluid leaks to hard landings, he said. The mod uses approved Lockheed Martin or certified materials, and is “an affordable and innovative solution” according to NG.