Lockheed MC-130 Combat Talon (I / II) Special Forces Transport Aircraft
In service since the Vietnam War, the Combat Talon series of aircraft has served in a multitude of mission types and is still in operational service today.
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The MC-130 series is represented by the MC-130E Combat Talon I and the MC-130H Combat Talon II systems. Both utilize the hugely successful C-130 Hercules airframe and were designed specifically for use with special forces operators but have also been featured in humanitarian efforts as well and have seen action since the Vietnam War. Their primary role is that of insertion/extraction of special forces groups and delivering cargo to such forces when operating behind enemy lines. Both series of aircraft are still in operational use with the United States Air Force, which as of this writing, maintains 20 active MC-130H types and 10 reserve MC-130E types.
Though similar in many ways, each Combat Talon variant is made different by its internal computer and avionics packages. The Combat Talon I was, however, designed in the 1960's while the Combat Talon II represents a much improved version of that base platform though both operate in similar roles. The Combat Talon series is powered by the Allison series T56-A-15 turboprop engines, two mounted to each wing high and away from ground activity when landed. Entry is available through the large rear-opening cargo door and the cargo hold can sustain personnel in the following numbers: