WELLINGTON — The Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) on Oct. 16 issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the provision of simulator training for its C-130H(NZ) Hercules personnel.

The simulator will be usedtilized to conduct conversion to type training, continuation training and maintenance engine ground running training, together with initial night-vision goggle (NVG) training.

The five aircraft fleet, already in RNZAF service for 50 years, underwent a life extension program (LEP) more than five years ago, originally intended to extend the aircrafts' life only until 2017.

At the time the first LEP Hercules made its public debut, in October 2010, a CAE part-task trainer, replicating the updated aircraft's cockpit, was displayed too, having been delivered in 2009. Three CAE flight management system trainers were also supplied as part of the LEP project.

According to the RFP, the C-30H(NZ) fleet will remain in service for "approximately" another 10 years.

Five years ago then-Defence Minister Wayne Mapp said that the Hercules would be replaced in 2020. Of similar vintage are the RNZAF’s six P-3K2 Orions, which have been in service since 1966. At this stage it seems likely that both fleets will have served for 60 years before they are retired.

Email: nframpton@defensenews.com

Nick Lee-Frampton is the New Zealand correspondent for Defense News.

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