Denel Aviation of South Africa has been certified by Lockheed Martin as a service center for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of C-130s. Although there are already eight of these facilities around the world, this is the first one in Africa. Denel says that there are 140 C-130s or L-100s (the commercial version) flying in Africa with 14 operators. Denel has been maintaining C-130s for the South African Air Force (SAAF) for many years. Denel’s MRO facility at Johannesburg airport meets the new standards that Lockheed Martin devised last year for the other C-130 service centers.
At a commissioning ceremony last month, Lt. Gen. Carlo Gagiano, chief of the SAAF, noted that the SAAF is experiencing a critical shortage of skilled personnel. It is relying on Denel (and South African Airways) to compensate. Gagiano noted that the SAAF has chosen the A400M as a new airlifter, but delays to that program meant that the service would be relying on Denel to keep its vintage C-130s flying for a longer period.