Rolls-Royce announced Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) as the first international customer to update its C-130H Hrcules transport aircraft fleet with the Rolls-Royce T56 Series 3.5 engine upgrade.
The technology upgrade has achieved considerable success with the U.S. 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.