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The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has declared Final Operational Capability (FOC) for the C-130J Large Aircraft Infra-Red Counter-Measures, the service announced on 4 December.

Director General Air Combat Enablers, Air Cdre Mark Green, said the project, delivered under AIR 5416 Phase 4B2, provided a critical defensive capability ahead of schedule and significantly under budget.

“The Large Aircraft Infra-Red Countermeasures provide enhanced protection against infrared guided missiles for Air Force’s fleet of C-130J tactical transport aircraft […] Maintaining effective defences against these prolific and increasingly sophisticated weapons is essential to the safe operation of the aircraft […] Defence has been able to complete this critical upgrade three months earlier than projected, and under budget by $146.85 million,” he stated.

He also pointed out that the project generated around $11 million in revenue for Australian defence industry. “Eight of the twelve aircraft were modified in Australia by Airbus Australia Pacific under a local commercial licencing arrangement […] CAE Australia has also modified the C-130J Full Flight Simulator to reflect the changes to the aircraft,” he added.

Logistics and operational support infrastructure has been constructed at RAAF Base Richmond, including a laser test firing facility, secure storage in compliance with Defence’s obligations under International Traffic of Arms Restrictions and an updated air base security system.

The RAAF’s C-130J HERCULES fleet now enjoys state-of-the-art protection against IR-guided missile threats. (Photo via Wikipedia)

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