c 130

C-130 Hercules life extension

This programme extended the operational life of the five C-130 Hercules aircraft operated by the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF). 

Current Status

This project is complete. 

The Life Extension Programme replaced specific mechanical, avionic and structural components, and designed and installed flight deck communications and navigation improvements to meet air traffic management regulations.

The final aircraft was completed at Woodbourne, Blenheim, in February 2017.

Government approval

December 2004
Project budget of NZ$226 million (excl. GST) is approved.

May 2007
A further NZ$21.2 million (excl. GST) is approved to upgrade the self-protection system fitted to the aircraft.

July 2010
A further NZ$9.85 million (excl. GST) is approved to complete the production phase for the upgrade of the remaining three aircraft.


  • L-3 Communications Spar Aerospace of Edmonton Canada, signed December 2004.
  • L-3IS of Waco Texas – assigned the contract after L-3 closed. The first two aircraft were modified in Canada and testing continued in Texas.
  • Mid-2010 - L-3, the Ministry of Defence and Safe Air Limited reached an agreement for the Ministry to take over the management of the production phase to upgrade the remaining three aircraft.
  • March 2011 - RNZAF Base Woodbourne started on the first of the three aircraft.
  • Aviation Labour Group - principal labour provider for the programme.
  • Safe Air - support services.



Updated: September 2019