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.
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).
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
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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.
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