In early 2014, the Ministry of Defense made the decision to modernize the Argentine Air Force’s “C-130” fleet. The so-called “Hercules weapons system” constitutes one of the fundamental pillars of Air Force logistics. The country has had these aircraft for just over 50 years.
The military pilots consulted by Infobae clarified that once the modernization tasks have been completed according to the manufacturer’s programs, the aircraft are compared to the ones that have just left the production line.
The first upgrade was carried out in the United States and corresponded to the TC 69 registration device, and in parallel, the country acquired the know-how to perform the tasks in the aircraft factory that the Ministry of Defense has in the city of Córdoba.
The aircraft that is now returning to active duty went through a technological modernization process that extends its useful life in at least 20 years of regular operations.
Its navigation and communications systems were renewed, as well as those of alert and surveillance, night vision, search and rescue. All the instruments were digitized and renovations were made to engines, landing gear and electronic propeller control.
The president of the Air Force of Argentina board of directors, Mirta Iriondo, said that it was quite difficult to adapt the plant’s work processes to the demands of the pandemic.
“We have had to prepare for the contingency and we have managed to minimize the number of personnel present without affecting productivity and thus meet the requirement of the Ministry of Defense,” he said.
Spokesmen for the Air Force expressed to Infobae their satisfaction with the continuity that has been given to the industrial defense policy. The Air Force of Argentina has several years of uninterrupted work and did not suffer major changes due to the change in government management.
“All the production and maintenance plans have been maintained, we received a new Pampa III a few weeks ago and the reception of TC 66 in the midst of the repatriation operations for Argentines and the distribution of sanitary supplies throughout the country is a real relief for the demands of the service”, they pointed out.
A few weeks ago Infobae spoke with pilots of the C-130 Hercules squadron about the operations that the FAA – in coordination with the Ministry of Defense and the Foreign Ministry – armed to bring back to the country hundreds of Argentines stranded in different countries of the region.
“The C-130 is an apparatus configured for the transport of troops (especially paratroopers) or cargo. Carrying civilian passengers in these circumstances is a complex task since, on the one hand, aircraft are not entirely comfortable for those who are not familiar with a military aircraft, and on the other, the health precautions we must adopt are extreme.”
“Despite the discomforts that our passengers may suffer, they are forgotten when we touch land on Argentine soil and finally feel that they were able to return home,” they explained.
“It is a day of great joy because today another of the Hercules C-130 aircraft that was being modernized in the Air Force of Argentina is being added, through the modernization contract that we have for those aircraft. All the corresponding tests were carried out and it will be available to join all the operations that the Hercules are carrying out in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic,”:
said the minister, noting that:
“they are basically repatriation operations for Argentine citizens who are still abroad and also for logistical support, taking medical supplies to different Argentine provinces, those whose protagonists are these aircraft.”