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Lockheed C-130 Hercules

Tactical Transport / Multi-role / Multi-Mission Aircraft

Lockheed C-130 Hercules

Tactical Transport / Multi-role / Multi-Mission Aircraft

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
IMAGES
Overview



The storied Lockheed C-130 Hercules has become a proven and highly versatile tactical transport aircraft.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: United States
YEAR: 1956
STATUS: Active, In-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Lockheed Martin Corporation - USA
PRODUCTION: 2,300
OPERATORS: Algeria; Argentina; Australia; Austria; Bahrain; Bangladesh; Belgium; Bolivia; Botswana; Brazil; Cameroon; Canada; Chad; Chile; Colombia; Denmark; Ecuador; El Salvador; Egypt; Ethiopia; France; Gabon; Greece; Honduras; India; Indonesia; Iran; Iraq; Israel; Italy; Japan; Jordan; Kuwait; Liberia; Libya; Malaysia; Mexico; Morocco; Netherlands; New Zealand; Niger; Nigeria; Norway; Oman; Pakistan; Peru; Philippines; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Saudi Arabia; Singapore; South Africa; South Korea; Spain; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Sweden; Taiwan; Thailand; Tunisia; Turkey; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom; United States; Uruguay; Venezuela; Vietnam; South Vietnam; Yemen; Zambia
National flag of Algeria
ALG
National flag of Argentina
ARG
National flag of Australia
AUS
National flag of Austria
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National flag of Bahrain
BAH
National flag of Belgium
BEL
National flag of Bolivia
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National flag of Botswana
BOT
National flag of Brazil
BRA
National flag of Cameroon
CMR
National flag of Canada
CAN
National flag of Chad
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National flag of Chile
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National flag of Colombia
COL
National flag of Denmark
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National flag of Ecuador
ECU
National flag of Egypt
EGY
National flag of El Salvador
ELS
National flag of Ethiopia
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National flag of France
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National flag of Gabon
GAB
National flag of Greece
GRE
National flag of Honduras
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National flag of India
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National flag of Indonesia
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National flag of Iran
IRA
National flag of Iraq
IRQ
National flag of Israel
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National flag of Italy
ITA
National flag of Japan
JPN
National flag of Jordan
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National flag of Kuwait
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National flag of Liberia
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National flag of Libya
LIB
National flag of Malaysia
MLA
National flag of Mexico
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National flag of Morocco
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National flag of Netherlands
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National flag of New Zealand
NZ
National flag of Niger
NGR
National flag of Nigeria
NGA
National flag of Norway
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National flag of Oman
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National flag of Pakistan
PAK
National flag of Peru
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National flag of Philippines
PHI
National flag of Poland
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National flag of Portugal
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National flag of Romania
ROM
National flag of Saudi Arabia
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National flag of Singapore
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National flag of South Africa
SAF
National flag of South Korea
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National flag of South Vietnam
SVT
National flag of Spain
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National flag of Sri Lanka
SRI
National flag of Sudan
SUD
National flag of Sweden
SWE
National flag of Taiwan
TWN
National flag of Thailand
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National flag of Tunisia
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National flag of Turkey
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National flag of United Arab Emirates
UAE
National flag of United Kingdom
UK
National flag of United States
USA
National flag of Uruguay
URA
National flag of Venezuela
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National flag of ; Vietnam
VTN
National flag of Yemen
YEM
National flag of Zambia
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Technical Specifications



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Lockheed C-130H Hercules model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 5
POWER: 4 x Allison T56-A-15LFE turboprop engines developing 4,508 horsepower each.
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Armament



Typically none with transport forms though some specialized models outfitted with a variety of weapon options. Internal payload of up to 42,637lb of supplies, personnel and some light-class vehicles.
Variants / Models



• YC-130 - Prototype Model Designation; fitted with Allison T56-A-1A (3,750shp); three-blade propellers.
• C-130A - Initial Production Model designation.
• C-130B - Allison T56-A-7 turboprops introduced; increased fuel capacity; increase maximum weight.
• C-130E - Addition of two external fuel tanks; increased internal fuel capacity; 4,050shp turboprops of T56-A7a design; four-blade propellers.
• C-130H - More powerful Allison T56-A-15 engines; airframe and internal subsystem improvements.
• C-130H-30 - Lengthened fuselage.
• C-130J - Modernized variant; introduction of Allison AE 2100D3 turboprop engines; six-blade composite propellers; 2-pilot flight deck; multi-function displays; digital avionics.
• C-130J-SOF - Special Operations Forces version for export.
• C-130J-30 - Special 'stretched' version
• L-100 - Civilian Format
• L-100J - Civilian Format based on the C-130J-30 militarized variant.
• C-130J Mk.4 - RAF designation of C-130J model.


History



Detailing the development and operational history of the Lockheed C-130 Hercules Tactical Transport / Multi-role / Multi-Mission Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 7/9/2019. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
Easily one of the most successful military aircraft of the post-World War 2 age, the Lockheed C-130 "Hercules" continues in dedicated service today, some sixty years after its first flight. The versatility of this transport became such that a plethora of special mission variants emerged over the course of its steady and lengthy career. Production has reached over 2,300 units with operators ranging from Afghanistan and Algeria to Yemen and Zambia while the United States remains its largest global operator through its use by special operations forces, airlift squadrons, electronic warfare groups, transport sections and more - all falling under various service banners including that of the Air National Guard and Coast Guard.

The story of the Hercules began in a 1951 United States Air Force (USAF) requirement by which time America was already committed to a new war in Korea. The USAF requirement called for a new tactical-level transport with the ability to take-off and land on rough, unprepared runways in short order. As such, a high-winged, four-engined design was adopted from Lockheed that showcased the needed lift and control and low-altitude, low-speed flight. The design included an elevated flight deck and raised tail unit. The raised cockpit placement offered good views of the terrain ahead as well as the engine installations along each wing leading edge while the elevated tail section cleared the rear base of the aircraft for access to the hold within - the classic transport arrangement now copied by other manufactures the world over. The aircraft would serve as a direct replacement for aging, limited-scope transport types then in service and pressed to their limits over the Korean Peninsula.

The USAF commissioned for a pair of prototypes under the "YC-130" designation during July of 1951 to which then development and construction produced flyable forms, one taking to the air for the first time on August 23rd, 1954. Satisfied with the product, the USAF ordered the type into serial production, this coming from the Lockheed Marietta, Georgia facility - the legacy of the Hercules transport was officially born.

The initial operational model became the C-130A and a production form saw first flight in 1955. The aircraft lacked nose radar seen in future models and instead showcased a "blunt" nose configuration showcased by the YC-130 prototypes. Power was served through 4 x Allison T56-A-9 turboprop engines driving three-bladed propeller units. Quantitative deliveries followed in December of 1956.

With the A-model in service just a few short years, engineers managed an improved design which yielded the C-130B introduced in 1959. By this time, the engines were uprated and now driving four-bladed propeller units with improved efficiency resulting in extended operational ranges. The undercarriage was further reinforced for the rigors of unprepared airfields. The C-130B-II became a specialized electronics reconnaissance form and these featured faux underwing fuel tanks housing antenna equipment. The C-130D (there was no "C-130C" model) became a specialized winter variant of the C-130 complete with landing skis for Arctic-type service. This variant was taken on by the USAF and the Air National Guard.

The next major form emerged as the C-130E which appeared in 1962. More powerful Allison T56-A-7A turboprop engines were introduced with this mark which improved "hot and high" operating performance. Range was again extended through implementation of larger external fuel tanks and the airframe reinforced for battlefield abuses. The new fuel tanks were relocated from outboard of the engine pairing to between each installation. The aircraft's Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) was increased which broadened the tactical in-theater hauling capabilities of the design. The avionics suite was addressed for the better. The Canadian Air Force recognized this mark as the "CC-130E".

The line was once again improved with the arrival of the C-130H of 1965. These included yet more powerful Allison T56-A-15 turboprop engines and eventually saw the avionics suite modernized and the structure further reinforced for extended service lives.

The C-130J "Super Hercules" has emerged as a new, fully-modernized version of the base C-130 design (a design largely unchanged over all of these years). Introduced in 1999, it features all new avionics with cockpit, new engines and other modernized components to keep the platform viable into the foreseeable future. Over 300 have been manufactured and serve the USAF, USMC, the British Royal Air Force, the Italian Air Force and many other global operators.




Lockheed C-130 Hercules (Cont'd)

Tactical Transport / Multi-role / Multi-Mission Aircraft

Lockheed C-130 Hercules (Cont'd)

Tactical Transport / Multi-role / Multi-Mission Aircraft



Many "special mission" Hercules have been developed over the life of this aircraft. The DC-130 became a drone control platform and built from the A-, E-, and H-models. Electronic warfare versions were known under the "EC-130" designation and encompass some named variants such as the "Commando Solo", the "Rivet Rider", and "Compass Call". The HC-130 is used to signify a Search and Rescue (SAR) version born from several Hercules models - some named as in the "Combat King" and the "Combat King II". An aerial refueling version went on to serve the USMC under the KC-130 designation (F-, R-, T-, and J-models).

U.S. special forces marks have included the MC-130E/H "Combat Talon" (I and II), the MC-130W "Combat Spear" / "Dragon Spear", the MC-130P "Combat Shadow", and the MC-130J "Combat Shadow II" / "Commando II". The YMC-130H was a specially-modified C-130 used by special forces during the failed Iranian hostage rescue attempt on April 24th, 1980.

Several C-130s serve with the USAF/Air Force Reserve as hurricane-watching platforms for the American weather service. The VC-130H is a modified V.I.P. passenger transport.

One of the most famous - and easily identifiable - of the C-130 variants is the AC-130 "gunship" and its battery of weaponry installed along the portside of the aircraft. The mark has gone under the various names of "Spectre", "Spooky", "Ghostrider", and "Stinger II" and some 47 have been manufactured across Hercules A-, E-, H-, U-, and W-models. Weapon load outs include 7.62mm miniguns, 20mm Gatling guns, 40mm cannons, a 105mm field howitzer, a 30mm autocannon, AGM-114 Hellfire anti-tank missiles, conventional drop bombs, and general air-to-surface guided missiles and precision bombs depending on the sub-variants involved. The effect of a salvo delivered from the side of a circling AC-130 has proven to have utterly lethal effects on the receiving enemy.

Lockheed has also delivered a civilian-minded version of its ubiquitous C-130 under the L-100 "Hercules" designation.

C-130s have seen military service since their introduction during the Vietnam War (1955-1975) where some seventy of the type were lost in combat. Israeli commandos used the aircraft when overtaking a terrorist-held airliner in 1976. Argentine forces fielded the aircraft during the 1982 Falklands War with Britain. The Hercules was back in play during the 1991 Gulf War where it was used by several of the primary participating parties of the American-led coalition. More recent events have seen the C-130 fielded in the Afghanistan and Iraqi theaters of war following the respective 2001 and 2003 American-led invasions. Several other global operators have found the type useful in weeding out fanatical Islamist strongholds over unforgiving frontiers.

Amazingly, production of C-130s remains ongoing as of 2014 and major operators beyond the United States have become its allies in Britain and Australia and elsewhere. The type has proven a reliable transport and Close-Air Support platform capable of hauling anything from ammunition and supplies to the injured and specialist troops (even paratroopers). Its versatility has seen it undertake roles that include firefighting service and humanitarian assistance. Few aircraft today can match the track record of this Lockheed product and the story of the Hercules remains an ongoing one with no sure replacement in sight.




Program Updates

December 2015 - The British will retain the services of 24 C-130J models for their special forces ranks at least until 2030.

June 2017 - Lockheed Martin has introduced the C-130J-SOF special operations platform for export customers. This marks the first time the special mission version of the Hercules has been offered to foreign buyers.

August 2017 - The nation of Bahrain has committed to the purchase of two ex-Royal Air Force (United Kingdom) C-130J models adding the Gulf nation to the deep list of global operators.

July 2018 - UTC Aerospace was announced as the winner of a contract to upgrade some twenty-four USN Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) aircraft. The deal covers C/KC-130T transport models.
Media







Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (386mph).

Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
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  NYC
Graph showcases the Lockheed C-130H Hercules's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production (2,300)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
2300
2300

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.


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