The first of the Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130J-30 Hercules to come off the Lockheed Martin production line in Georgia, United States has received its official livery - featuring the RNZAF Kiwi Roundel and No. 40 Squadron’s mariner's compass.

Five new aircraft are on track for delivery starting from late this year to replace the C-130H (NZ) Hercules aircraft, which were purchased in 1965.

The new aircraft can carry a greater number of pallets, due to their additional 4.5 metre length and payload capacity of 21 tonnes. The new fleet will be used as a first response option for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, as well as deployment of personnel and equipment both within New Zealand and overseas.