Hercules Avionics Upgrade Up For Tender

Soldiers from the 10th Para Brigade getting ready to jump out of a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft in March 2020.

SHAH ALAM: Hercules avionics upgrade for tender. Last year. Malaysian Defence wrote that one local company was trying to get a contract for the upgrade of RMAF Hercules fleet via direct negotiations. The attempt failed however as the word on the street is that the capability upgrade – the supply of advanced flight and navigation instruments – will be done through an international tender to be floated soon.

Paratroopers jumped from a Hercules during the 2019 Pahlawan exercise. MAB

The capability upgrade for the Hercules has been in the books since 2010. Infact, an LOI was issued back in 2014 for the same capability upgrade but floundered for various reasons. And while we look for reasons, neighbouring Thailand just went ahead with its own Hercules upgrade (see below).

From Shephard

With eight aircraft upgrades completed, four Royal Thai Air Force C-130Hs remain to be worked on in 2023
Thai Aviation Industries (TAI) has completed a two-year upgrade of most of the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) C-130H Hercules transport aircraft fleet at a cost of $24.32 million.

The C-130Hs emerged from the capability upgrades with more advanced flight and navigation instruments to meet the existing requirements. In addition, the structure of the aircraft has been strengthened and certified according to international standards.

Upgrade work on the eight aircraft began on 1 October 2020, mainly covering the replacement of multi-function displays, the installation of an improved Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System

Hercules M30-08 taking off from Labuan airport in 2017.

From the above article, I am fairly sure the budget allocated for the RMAF Hercules capability upgrade was sufficient to cover the whole fleet. Whether or not it will be done during RMK12, I am not sure though as it will depend on maintenance schedule of the fleet itself. It will also be interesting to see whether Airod will be involved in the project, or will it be frozen out? I was told that the international company which win the tender to supply the avionics can choose its local partner to conduct the upgrade work.
Hercules M30-12, one of the planes of the 20th Squadron.

RMAF itself is currently doing most of the heavy maintenance work on its Hercules fleet though it also relies on various companies including Lockheed Martin and Airod to repair or overhauled some parts.

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam


  1. Better still, as the aircrafts avionics are being upgraded, will the RMAF consider upgrading the turbines of the planes so as to be more piwerful n economical?

  2. Hasnan – ”Are we not considering the second hand RAF’s Js and selling off our Hs?”

    – The intention in the long term is to standardise on a common 4 engine transport fleet.
    As it stands our Hs still have plenty of life left in their airframes and merely need their long delayed overhaul in order for them to be operated for the next 10/15 years. Getting used/pre owned RAF airframes doesn’t add much value from our perspective. It might for others but not for us.

    – The market is not exactly short of used/ pre owned Hs. Selling ours might not get us a decent price.

  3. Hasnan

    Yes but for some reason the dozens of other H operators are haven’t reported experiencing the same issue; at least not yet.


    At DSA Expal demonstrated a 81mm mortar carrier; basically a mortar on a turntable and a FCS mounted on a flatbed of a 4×4. Any idea of this was the “mortar carrier” the army was looking at?

    Did you come across the report about Malvous Sense selling a few Chinese sourced UASs to the army?

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