SHAH ALAM: Thailand upgrading Hercules engines. It was announced at the Paris Air Show that the Royal Thai Air Force has become the first international customer to sign for the Rolls Royce T56 Series 3.5 engine upgrade.
From Rolls Royce
Rolls-Royce is pleased to announce the Royal Thai Air Force as the first international customer to update its C-130H transport fleet with the Rolls-Royce T56 Series 3.5 engine upgrade.
The technology upgrade has achieved considerable success with the US Air Force C-130 and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) P-3 fleets. The Series 3.5 upgrade allows T56 engines to operate at greatly reduced temperatures, extending parts life and improving reliability by 22 per cent. It is available for installation on T56 engines powering either C-130 or P-3 legacy aircraft.
The Series 3.5 upgrade will help the Royal Thai Air Force to reduce operational costs due to reduced maintenance requirements and potential fuel savings exceeding 12 per cent. It will also enable the fleet to remain in service until at least 2040.
Paul Craig, Rolls-Royce, President – Defence Services, said, “Rolls-Royce is pleased to secure the Royal Thai Air Force as our first international customer for the T56 Series 3.5 upgrade. The Series 3.5 package has already proven itself with the US Air Force and we are pleased that the Royal Thai Air Force will now be able to benefit from the improved fuel economy and enhanced performance and reliability that this upgrade offers.”
The first phase of the upgrade involves upgrading 20 engines from a total fleet of 58 engines over the next three years.
The Series 3.5 technology, which is based on proven advances from other Rolls-Royce engines, can be added during regular overhauls to reduce cost and requires no changes to the aircraft or controls.
The Royal Thai Air Force selected Segers Aero Corporation in the US to conduct the upgrade program following a competitive and comprehensive tender process. Segers Aero Corp is a Rolls-Royce Authorized Maintenance Center (AMC) and will be providing training, tooling, technical support, capability development and field service support in conjunction with the engine upgrade schedule.
The upgrades done for the USAF Hercules was reported here.
As you are aware RMAF is also trying to get the funding to ugprade its Hercules fleet. It is unclear however whether an engine upgrade is part of the plan however. Back in 2014, the contract for the Hercules upgrades mostly involving avionics were signed but the project never took off.
However the engine upgrades offered by Rolls Royce looked pretty promising and as mentioned in the release as these could be done during regular maintenance cycles, it could be piggy-backed later instead of being part of the current upgrade negotiations. Putting additional upgrades will only delay the start of the programme already four years behind schedule.
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