Lockheed martin c-130 hercules

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Lockheed Martin C-130H Hercules
RoleTactical Transport
Crew2 pilots, 1 navigator, and 1 loadmaster
First Flight23 August 1954
Entered ServiceDecember 1956
Number built2,500 + (Still in production)
ManufacturerLockheed Martin
Length29.8 m97 ft 9 in
Wingspan40.4 m132 ft 7 in
Height11.6 m38 ft 3 in
Wing area162.1 m²1,745 ft²
Empty37,650 kg83,000 lb
Useful load32,650 kg72,000 lb
Maximum takeoff weight70,300 kg155,000 lb
Capacity92 passengers, 64 airborne troops, or 74 litter patients with 2 medical personnel
Enginesfour Allison T56-A-15 turboprops
Power3,210 kW (each)4,300 hp (each)
ThrustkN (each)lbf (each)
Maximum speed610 km/h379 mph
Operational range3,800 km2,360 miles
Service ceiling10,000 m33,000 ft
Rate of climbft/minm/min
AvionicsNorthrop Grumman Northrop Grumman AN/APN-241 tactical radar and Northrop Grumman MODAR 4000 weather and navigation radar



Only a few aircraft have earned the description "legendary." However, the C-130, named "Hercules" from the mythical Greek hero renowned for his great strength, has become a true, real-world legend. More than 2,200 C-130s have been built, and they are flown by more than 60 nations worldwide, in more than 70 variations. It carries troops, vehicles and armaments into battle; drops paratroopers and supplies from the sky; serves as airborne and ground refuellers; provides emergency evacuation and humanitarian relief; and conducts airborne early warning and maritime surveillance. It has recovered space capsules, and worn skis in Antarctica. Surviving the toughest flights, the roughest landings and the constant pounding of heavy cargo, many of the earliest C-130s are still active today. In the history of aviation design, the pre-eminent symbol for strength, durability and multimission success unquestionably belongs to the C-130 Hercules.


The first flight of the YC-130A prototype was made on August 23, 1954 from the Lockheed plant in Burbank, California. The aircraft, serial number 53-3397, was the second prototype but the first of the two to fly. The YC-130 was piloted by Stanley Beltz and Roy Wimmer on its 61-minute flight to Edwards Air Force Base; Jack Real and Dick Stanton served as flight engineers. Kelly Johnson flew chase in a Lockheed P2V Neptune. After the two prototypes were completed, production moved to Marietta, Georgia. On December 11, 2015, Lockheed Martin delivered the 2,500th C-130 Hercules from its production line there. This landmark Hercules is an HC-130J Combat King II personnel recovery aircraft assigned to the US Air Force. By 2015, the C-130 is operated from 68 nations and the global fleet has collectively logged more than 22 million flight hours.

First generation: C-130A

Second generation: C-130E/H

Extended range, strengthened airframe, higher MTOGW, more powerful engines.

Third generation: C-130J

Future developments

In December 2011, Lockheed Martin has quietly launched two new variants of the 57-year-old C-130 Hercules: the C-130XJ and the C-130NG.


The C-130XJ is aimed at the export market, and is designed to make the aircraft affordable to a broader set of foreign buyers. The "X" in the designation stands for "expandable", and buyers can upgrade to the C-130J's full capability. Most notionally is the removal of the C-130J's automated cargo handling system. Engine and avionics will remain the same.


The C-130NG, which includes winglets and a redesigned nose and tail, is expected to be offered after 2020 to replace the C-130H fleet.

SC-130J Sea Hercules

The Sea Hercules, proposed early 2012, would incorporate P-3C Orion capabilities into a C-130 airframe and be optimised for maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare duties.

C-130J Vigilant Watch

The Vigilant Watch is offered in four configurations, with capabilities including varying combinations of electro-optical/infrared sensors, SAR (including a modification for ship-monitoring), targeting capabilities and the automated ship traffic monitoring system. A single aircraft fitted with the system, known as Shadow Harvest, has been operated by the US Air Force in Afghanistan for a number of years and pre-dates the higher-profile Harvest Hawk program.

T56 Series III.V engine upgrade

Unsolicited proposed made by Rolls-Royce to upgrade existing T56s to T56 Series III.V standard, resulting in a 8% more fuel efficient engine.

Lockheed model numbers

Model 82

Designation for the YC-130 prototype.

Model 182

Designation for the C-130A and C-130D.

Model 182-1A

Designation for the C-130A/D.

Model 282

Designation for the C-130B and (K)C-130F.

Model 282-1B

Designation for the C-130B.

Model 282-2B

Designation for the HC-130B.

Model 282C

Designation for the C-130F/LC-130F and KC-130F.

Model 282C-6B

Designation for the LC-130F.

Model 382

Designation for the C-130E/G/H/K.

Model 382-4B

Designation for the C-130E.

Model 382-8B

Designation for the EC-130E.

Model 382-12B

Designation for the HC-130E.

Model 382-19B

Designation for the C-130K.

Model 382-20B

Designation for the HC-130P.

Model 382B

Designation for civil L-100.

Model 382C

Designation for the C-130H and derived models. The stretched C-130H-30 is designated Model 382T.

Model 382C-12B

Designation for the HC-130H-7.

Model 382C-12D

Designation for the HC-130H.

Model 382C-15D

Designation for the AC-130H.

Model 382C-20D

Designation for the KC-130H.

Model L-382C-33D

Designation for the EC-130H.

Model 382C-39

Designation for the KC-130T.

Model L-382C-43F

Designation for the HC-130H(N).

Model L-382C-58

Designation for the KC-130R.

Model L-382C-65

Designation for the LC-130H.

Model L-382C-65D

Designation for the LC-130R.

Model L-382C-77E

Designation for the MC-130H.

Model L-382C-84E

Designation for the EC-130V.

Model L-382C-96E

Designation for the AC-130U.

Model 382E

Designation for the civil L-100-20.

Model 382G

Designation for the civil L-100-30.

Model 382T

Designation for the stretched C-130H-30.

Model 382U

Designation for the C-130J.

Model 382U-17J

Designation for the EC-130J.

Model 382U-35J

Designation for the HC-130J.

Model 382U-73J

Designation for the MC-130J.

Model 382V

Designation for the stretched C-130J-30.

NP2000 propeller blades

The US Air Force is considering replacing the aircraft's four-blade propeller with the eight-blade Hamilton Sundstrand NP2000, as fitted to the E-2C/D Hawkeye.

Baseline production models


Initial Lockheed Model 182-44-03, powered by four T56-A-1A turboprops (2,796 kW each) and three-bladed propellers. Initially delivered with "Roman Nose", later redesigned to accommodate the weather radar. Some airframes modified as C-130A-II or RC-130A Elint platform, used for covert flights into Soviet airspace. One C-130A-II was shot down February 2, 1958 in Armenia.


Lockheed Model 282, with more powerful T56-A-7A (3.020 kW) and four-bladed propellers. The newer C-130B also had ailerons with more boost — 3,000 versus 2,050 lbf/in² (21 versus 14 MPa). The performance gains over the C-130A gave the C-130B the reputation of being the design's 'sports car' model. Submodel is the C-130B-II Talking Bird Airborne Command Post.


Planned STOL version, to be equipped with two additional straight YT56-A-6 jet versions of the T56 that the C-130 was already using. Tested in NC-130B (58-0712, l/n 3507). The C-130C was cancelled after just 23 hours of flight test and the NC-130B was given to NASA JSC in 1961 and given the serial number N929NA and was flown to do further tests on the boundary layer control system between June 1961 and December 1961 and then again between February 1963 and November 1967.


Some A models were redesignated C-130D after being equipped with skis and for jet-assisted takeoff. Later demodified and designsted C-130D-6.


Lockheed Model 382, delivered from 1962 with extended range. The increased range was achieved by underwing 5,150 litre (1,360 US gallon) fuel tanks and more powerful T56-A-7A turboprop engines. The E model also featured structural improvements, avionics upgrades and a higher gross weight. Unofficial designations were C-130H(CT) and HC-130E. Delivered to Canada as C-130E(RCAF), local designation CC-130E and designated Qarnaf in Israeli service (as well as the C-130H). The C-130E Talking Bird was a C-130E equipped with a special communications package in the cargo compartment manned by radio operators whose equipment maintained contact with US headquarters in the US and Europe all the way up to and including the White House. On May 1st, the US Air Force retired its last C-130E. Remarkably, the aircraft (serial 61-2358) in 1961 was also the first C-130E delivered to the US Air Force.

C-130E-1 Rivet Clamp

Fourteen USAF C-130E aircraft were modified beginning in 1965 for the long-range infiltration, resupply, and exfiltration mission. The original program was named Stray Goose, and the aircraft were assigned the identification C-130E(I). Some references use the designation C-130E-I, some use C-130E(I). Equipped with Fulton Surface-To-Air Recovery System (STARS), used to extract personnel and materials via air. Also equipped with electronic and infrared countermeasures suite; and the AN/APQ-115 navigational radar. This radar, adapted from the Texas Instruments AN/APQ-89 radar used in the RF-4C Phantom II photo reconnaissance aircraft, featured terrain following/terrain-avoidance (TF/TA), Doppler, and mapping radar modes, to enable it to operate at low altitudes at night and in all weather conditions and avoid known enemy radar and anti-aircraft weapons concentrations.


Initial designation for KC-130 tankers procured for the US Marine Corps. Missionized for tanker missions as KC-130F and for cold weather ops as LC-130F.


The US Navy's C-130G has increased structural strength allowing higher gross weight operation. As C-130E, transport version for the US Navy. Four aircraft delivered between 1963 and 1964.


Lockheed Model 382/C, the C-130H model has updated T56-A-15 turboprops, a redesigned outer wing, updated avionics and other minor improvements. The H model remains in widespread use with the US Air Force and many foreign air forces. Initial deliveries began in 1964, remaining in production until 1996. Models with minor differences in avionics were designated as C-130H1 (produced from 1964 to 1978), C-130H2 (produced from 1978 to 1992) and C-130H3 (produced 1992-1997). The C-130H-30 (originally designated C-130H(S)) is a 15 ft stretched version, the C-130H-7 is applied to upgraded C-130E airframes with C-130E engines and the C-130H(CT) designation was used for C-130E-1 aiframes before they were redesignated MC-130E. Export designation for Canada are CC-130H, KCC-130H and CC-130H-30. The C-130H(AEP) Airborne Emergency Hospital was delivered to Saudi Arabia, the C-130H(MP) was delivered to Malaysia and Indonesia as maritime patrol aircraft, later redesignated as PC-130H. The NC-130H is a specially modified aircraft equipped with the Advanced Tactical Laser weapon system. In 2009 it fired its laser while flying over White Sands Missile Range, N.M., successfully hitting a target board located on the ground. Equipped with a chemical laser, a beam control system, sensors and weapon-system consoles, the ATL is designed to damage, disable or destroy targets with little or no collateral damage. The US Air Force is modernizing its C-130E and C-130H aircraft in the Avionics Modernisation Program (AMP), which includes six new digital displays and flight management system as developed for the Next Generation 737 and replacement of the legacy Sperry AN/APN-59 weather radar with the Northrop Grumman AN/APN-241, as installed in the C-130J. Main contractor is Boeing, ultimate goal is to bring C-130E, C-130H1, C-130H2, C-130H2.5 and C-130H3 aircraft to a common standard. Amp-ed aircraft are provisionally designated C-130X AMP.

C-130J Hercules II

Second generation model with 3,425 kW Rolls-Royce Rolls-Royce AE2100 turboprop engines driving six blade props and EFIS flightdeck with two crew. Compared to the earlier production C-130E, maximum speed is up 21 percent, and climb time is down 50 percent. Cruising altitude is 40 percent higher, range 40 percent longer. With new engines and new propellers, the "J" can reach 28,000 feet in 14 minutes. Moreover, for tricky low-altitude maneuvers, the new avionics and dual head-up displays make it easier and safer to operate. Delivered to Royal Air Force as Hercules C.4 (stretched C-130J-30) and Hercules C.5 (standard length). Local Canadian designation CC-130J and named Samson in Israeli service. Originally, one production representative version software was to be released. Due to immaturity, the software was released in increments.

C-130J Block 1

Basic airworthiness software.

C-130J Block 2

Safety-critical 382J aircraft software.

C-130J Block 3

Military baseline of the C-130J aircraft software.

C-130J Block 4

Custom variants of the C-130J aircraft software.

C-130J Block 5

Block Upgrade Program.

C-130J Block 5.1

C-130J Block 5.2

C-130J Block 5.3

Although hardware and software modifications in Block 5.3 showed improved navigation functions, flight displays, technical publications, and reduced nuisance faults, a large number of deficiency reports remain open that need to be resolved to achieve operational capability that is equal to the current C-130E/H fleet. One specific deficiency rectified in Block 5.3 is allowing radar approaches and fully automatic formation flying. Block 5.3.6 is an upgrade that integrates defensive systems operations with the mission computer. RAF C-130Js were delivered in Block 5.3 software and subsequently upgraded to later blocks. Under Project Hermes, RAF C-130Js will gain two underwing fuel tanks.

C-130J Block 5.4

Block 5.4 is now designated the production representative version. The upgrade will upgrade will include the following: 1) Mission Computer; 2) Ground Maintenance System; 3) Common Communication Navigation Identification System and Global Air Traffic Management System; 4) Propulsion System; 5) Airframe, and Enhanced Cargo Handling System and 6) other efforts essential to accomplishing C-130J operation capability. The Block 5.4 software upgrade will be accomplished in accordance with software upgrade requirements for C-130J and derivative aircraft. RDAF C-130Js were delivered in Block 5.4 software and subsequently upgraded to later blocks.

C-130J Block 6.0

Block 6.0 is the first phase of at least four new block upgrades. The upgrades include the development, integration, and testing of aircraft modifications necessary to correct deficiencies identified in qualification and operational testing, as well as required operational upgrades identified by the United States Air Force. Block 6.0 includes (1) Terrain Awareness Warning System (TAWS), (2) Common Communication, Navigation and Identification (CNI), (3) Identify Friend or For (IFF) Enhanced Mode S, (4) Mission Computer Take-Off and Landing Data (MC TOLD), (5) AN/AAR-47 missile warning receiver sensor cant adjustment, (6) Obstacle Voice Warning Alert, (7) CNI Track Offset and (8) higher MTOGW (164,000 lbs vs the earlier 155,000 lbs limit).

C-130J Block 6.1

In October 2006, Lockheed Martin was awarded a contract by Australia, Britain, Italy and Denmark to develop the C-130J Block 6.1. Upgrades include the US Air Force's Block 6.0 upgrades as well as an updated loading ramp and door hydraulics system to support high altitude airdrops (up to 35,000 ft), a Safe/Gunbox /Storage unit on the aircraft and development of the Data Transfer and Diagnostics System (DTADS) to enhance aircraft diagnostics and health management. Also, a new mission computer, TAWS, updated IFF and [[MTOGW increase from 155,000 lbs to 164,000 lbs.

C-130J Block 7.0

Planned for 2013/2014, block 7.0 will also be the first Block Upgrade initiative that is a true International partnership, as the development costs will be shared by each participating nation. Block 7.0 requirements include civil instrument flying rules, upgraded GPS, Link 16 datalink and improved short field performance (reduced landing speed and ground roll).

C-130J Block 8.0

Introduced in FY07, includes Mobility 21 datalink, jam resistant GPS, Joint Precision Airdrop, Advanced Situation Awareness and Countermeasure System Phase I and Autonomous Approach and Landing System.

C-130J Block 8.1

Awarded by the US Air Force in December 2011, the Block 8.1 configuration includes updated IFF, Tempest compliance, automatic dependent surveillance broadcast, and a communications, navigation and surveillance/air traffic management data link. Lockheed Martin will also provide an enhanced inter-communication system, enhanced approach and landing systems, enhanced diagnostics and additional covert lighting.

C-130J Block 9.0

Scheduled for FY09, includes full Civil Required Navigation Compliance (RNP), Joint Tactical Radio System and Advanced Situation Awareness and Countermeasure System Phase II. Customer options include AN/ALR-56M RWR, AN/AAR-47 MWS, AN/ALE-47 CMDS and AN/AAQ-22 Star Safire FLIR system.


The equivalent model for export to the UK is the C-130K, known by the Royal Air Force (RAF) as the Hercules C.1. Subvariants are the Hercules C.1K (modified for inflight refuelling missions), Hercules C.1P (equipped with refuelling receptable). The Hercules W.2 was used in the weather reconnaissance mission, the Hercules C.3 the stretched C-130H-30 equivalent (probe equipped a/c designated as Hercules C.3P). Six Hercules C.3 were upgraded to Hercules C.3A standard with AN/AAR-47 MWS, RWR, AN/ALE-40 chaff/flare dispensers under the nose and AN/AAQ-24(V) Nemesis DIRCM.


The C-130R and C-130T are US Navy and USMC models, both equipped with underwing external fuel tanks. In both models, USMC aircraft are equipped with Allison T-56-A-16 engines. The USMC version is designated KC-130R when equipped with underwing refueling pods and pylons.


Designation for C-130R model with upgraded avionics and night-vision system compatible cockpit lightning. Designation KC-130T applied for the tanker mission. Late 2012, the US Navy initiated the Avionics Obsolescence Upgrade, enabling the aircraft to comply with Communication, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management requirements.

Special mission models

AC-130 Spectre

Gunship modification, see also AC-130 Spectre/Spooky

AC-130A Pave Pronto

Gunship model, based on C-130A airframe. Armed with two 7,62mm GAU-2/A mini-guns, two 20 mm M61 Vulcan guns and two 40 mm L60 Bofors guns (AC-130A Surprise Package). Target designation provided by Low Light Level TV (LLLTV), Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) en Laser Ranger and Marked Target Seeker (LRMTS).

AC-130E Pave Spectre/Pave Aegis

Gunship model, based on C-130E airframe. Armed with 2 M61 Vulcan guns, one 40 mm L60 Bofors gun and one 105 mm M102 howitzer (under Pave Aegis). Pave Spectre modified with AN/AVQ-19 Pave Spectre laser tracking and designator. Converted to AC-130H.

AC-130H Pave Spectre II

Gunship model, based on C-130H airframe. The 40 mm Bofors gun is replaced by a 105 mm howitzer. Equipped with refueling probe and Raytheon AN/AAQ-17 Infrared Detection System. See also AC-130 Spectre II.

AC-130J Ghostrider

Gunship version, based on the C-130J airframe. Based on the MC-130J and equipped with a Precision Strike Package, including dual electro-optical infrared sensors (probably the AN/AAQ-36, a 30-mm cannon, AGM-176A Griffin missiles, all-weather synthetic aperture radar and GBU-39 small diameter bomb capabilities. The sensors allow the gunship to visually or electronically identify friendly ground forces and targets at any time, even in adverse weather. 32 AC-130Js are planned with an Initial Operating Capability scheduled for 2015. First flight (after AC-130J conversion) January 31, 2014.

AC-130U Spooky II

Latest gunship model, fielded in 1995, based on the AC-130H with 13 men crew. Initially armed with one 25 mm GAU-12/A Equilizer gun, one 40 mm L60 Bofors gun and one 105 mm M102 howitzer. The 25mm and 40 mm guns are currently being replaced by the Bushmaster 30 mm cannon. Fire control radar replaced by the AN/APQ-180 multi-mode radar (derived from the AN/APG-70 as fitted to the F-15E Strike Eagle. Lockheed Martin AN/AAQ-39 FLIR. The Spooky II can attack two targets simultaneously and carry twice the munitions load of the AC-130H.

AC-130W Stinger II

In May 2012, the MC-130W Dragon Spear (an armed development of the MC-130W Combat Spear) was renamed the AC-130W Stinger II. Based on the C-130H airframe.


Airframes modified to launch and control remotely controlled vehicles (drones) were designated DC-130. Missions included reconnaissance, radar jamming (in particular SA-2 Guideline radars) and decoy (to give the radar return of a Lockheed U-2 Dragon Lady or even larger aircraft). See also DC-130 Hercules


Drone carrier, based on C-130A airframe. Initial designation for drone director conversions was GC-130A, redesignated as DC-130A in 1962. The DC-130As could only carry one drone pylon under each wing. Each drone pylon was placed between the engines, replacing the auxiliary fuel tank on earlier models.


When C-130E models were converted to drone carriers, they retained the underwing tanks and the drone pylons were installed outboard of the engines. This significantly increased the DC-130s' capability and operation time.


The DC-130H project was tested at Hill AFB, UT with the 6514th Test Squadron. The aircraft can carry up to four drones. In addition to its ability to deploy four drones, it could also provide control for up to 16 drones simultaneously. The DC-130H is frequently used to launch AQM-34 Firebee target drones to test the anti-air warfare systems of US Navy vessels.

EC-130 Commando Solo

The Lockheed EC-130 Commando Solo is a modified C-130 Hercules used to conduct psychological operations (PSYOP) and civil affairs broadcast missions in the standard AM, FM, HF, TV and military communications bands. Other variants include airborne command post and airborne communications jamming versions. See also EC-130 Hercules.


Initially designated C-130E-II, the EC-130E(ABCCC) is an Airborne Battlefield Command and Control Center, equipped with an AN/USC-48 Airborne Battlefield Command and Control Center Capsules (ABCCC III). These one-of-a kind aircraft include the addition of external antennae to accommodate the vast number of radios in the capsule, heat exchanger pods for additional air conditioning, an aerial refueling system and special mounted rails for uploading and downloading the USC-48 capsule. The ABCCC has distinctive air conditioner intakes fore of the engines ("Mickey Mouse ears"), two HF radio probes-towards the tips of both wings, and three mushroom-shaped antennas on the top of the aircraft - and, of course, numerous antennas on the belly. As an Air Combat Command asset, ABCCC (A-B-Triple-C) is an integral part of the Tactical Air Control System. While functioning as a direct extension of ground-based command and control authorities, the primary mission is providing flexibility in the overall control of tactical air resources. In addition, to maintain positive control of air operations, ABCCC can provide communications to higher headquarters, including national command authorities, in both peace and wartime environments. The EC-130E(ABCC) is powered by T56-A-15 engines and capable of inflight refuelling.

EC-130E Commando Solo/Comfly Levy/Rivet Rider

The EC-130E Commando Solo (initially known as Volant Solo) is used for psychological operations (PSYOP) and civil affairs broadcast missions in the standard AM, FM, HF, TV and military communications bands. Soon after the 193rd SOW received EC-130Es, the Air National Guard unit participated in the rescue of American citizens in Operation Urgent Fury in 1983. Then known as Volant Solo, the aircraft acted as an airborne radio station, keeping the citizens of Grenada informed about the US military action. The airborne radio and television broadcast mission originated in the mid-1960s with the EC-121S (known as Coronet Solo). The name Coronet Solo is sometimes - erroneously - used to identify initial EC-130E aircraft.

EC-130E Comfly Levy

Delivered to Pennsylvania Air National Guard. Reportedly used by National Security Agency and US Air Force Electronic Security Command). Equipped with a pallet-mounted Airborne Collection Electronic Signals II (ACES II) Sigint suite. This capsule accomodates from 4 to 12 operators of 2-MHz to VHF (Comint) and 2-18 GHz (Elint) bands, With the ACES II Sigint suite, the model becomes a EC-130E Senior Scout. Senior Scout actually is the name of the sensor suite, and can also be fitted in a C-130H airframe. The EC-130E Senior Hunter consists of a pair of aircraft that provide airlift for the Air Intelligence Agency [former Air Force Intelligence Command] Senior Scout mission. Senior Warrior is a US Marine Corps system that uses the US Air Force Senior Scout system fitted on Marine Corps C-130 used in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

EC-130E Rivet Rider

Upgraded model with VHF and UHF Worldwide format color TV, chaff/flare dispensers plus infrared jammers, vertical trailing wire antenna, radar warning receiver and self-contained navigation system.

EC-130E Commando Solo II

In the early 1990s the aircraft were upgraded and designated Commando Solo II. The EC-130E variants were replaced with new EC-130J Commando Solo III aircraft beginning in 2003.


Initial Take Charge And Move Out (TACAMO) aircraft for US Navy, introduced in 1966, equipped with 5,000 ft trailing antennae. For 30 years, from December of 1963 to August of 1993 these US Navy model EC-130G and EC-130Q kept flew non-stop 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide radio coverage for US Navy strategic submarines. Replaced by EC-130Q.

EC-130H Compass Call

Electronic jamming variant, delivered from 1982 to the US Air Force and Japan. The EC-130H Compass Call is an airborne tactical weapon system using a heavily modified version of the C-130 Hercules airframe, fitted with the Rivet Fire Electronic Countermeasures System (ECS). The system disrupts enemy command and control communications and limits adversary coordination essential for enemy force management. Current baseline is the EC-130H Block 20. The EC-130H Block 30 upgrade achieved a major redesign of the mission compartment and operating system software of the Block 20 aircraft. Its primary focus was to provide a reprogrammable capability against target C2 systems. The EC-130H Block 35 upgrade provides the Air Force with additional capabilities to jam communication, Early Warning/Acquisition radar and navigation systems through higher effective radiated power, extended frequency range and insertion of digital signal processing. Block 35s will have the flexibility to keep pace with adversary use of technology. It is highly reconfigurable and permits incorporation of clip-ins with less crew impact. It promotes enhanced crew proficiency, maintenance and sustainment with a common fleet configuration, new operator interface, increased reliability and better fault detection. Once the Block 35 upgrades are carried out, the rest of the force will receive the ultimate Block 40 upgrade. The scope of the Block 40 has not yet been determined, but may include a new antenna array, new software, expanded frequency.

EC-130J Commando Solo III

Sucessor of the EC-130E Commando Solo II, based on the C-130J airframe. The EC-130E was retired from service in 2006.


Take Charge And Move Out (TACAMO) aircraft for US Navy, based on C-130H airframe. 18 a/c delivered between 1967 and 1984. Crew trainer designated TC-130Q. Replaced by E-6A Mercury.

EC-130V Big Safari

The Lockheed Martin EC-130V Big Safari aircraft was first developed for the US Coast Guard as a proof of concept aircraft in 1992 by the General Dynamics company. As with the P-3 AEW, the EC-130V combined a C-130H airframe with the AN/APS-125 Radar and Mission System of early E-2C Hawkeyes. This aircraft was for counter-narcotics missions requiring greater endurance than the E-2 could provide, but has also been evaluated for Search and Rescue, Fisheries Patrols, EEZ enforcement and as a support aircraft for NASA Space Shuttle launches. Externally the EC-130 differs from a standard Coast Guard C-130 with the fitting of a large rotodome housing the E-2C Hawkeye ANAPS-125 radar. Internally the mission system is palletized and was rolled into the C-130 cargo bay to complete the conversion. Due to budget cuts the Coast Guard, the EC-130V program was terminated and the EC-130V was transferred to the US Air Force as the NC-130H for further development including upgrading to the latest AN/APS-145 radar, this time taken from the E-2C Group II Hawkeye



Search-And-Rescue variant for US Coast Guard, based on C-130B airframe. Initially designated R8V-1G, redesignated SB-130B, then HC-130G and finally HC-130B.


Unofficial designation for C-130E-I special ops modification.


Combat rescue aka covert operations version, delivered to the US Air Force's Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service, US Coast Guard and Air National Guard/Air Force Reserve (as HC-130H(N)). Equipped with nose mounted Fulton Surface To Air Recovery system. The HC-130H-7 received the C-130H-7 upgrade and was later redesignated HC-130H. Most airframes modified to HC-130P. The JHC-130H was used for aerial space capsule recovery.

HC-130J Combat King II

Combat personal recovery aircraft for the US Air Force, first delivered 19 April 2010. The model, which is based on the KC-130J tanker baseline, will have an Enhanced Service Life Wing, Enhanced Cargo Handling System, a Universal Aerial Refueling Receptacle Slipway Installation (UARRSI), boom refuelling receptacle), an electro-optical/infrared sensor, a combat systems operator station on the flight deck, and provisions for the large aircraft infrared countermeasures system. The US Air Force plans to replace its ageing fleets of combat search and rescue HC-130s and special operations MC-130s with HC-130J/MC-130Js.

HC-130J Long Range Surveillance

Confusingly, the US Coast Guard Long Range Surveillance (LRS) aircraft is also designated HC-130J. Sensors include the electro-optical/infrared- AN/AAQ-22 Star Safire III, DF- 430 UHF/VHF Direction Finder System, and SAAB Transponder AIS. The US Coast Guard HC-130J’s radar systems feature the EDO EL/M 2022A(V)3 maritime surface search radar, mounted beneath the plane’s fuselage, and a nose-mounted Northrop Grumman AN/APN-241 weather radar.

HC-130P King

Based on HC-130H, but capable of refueliing helicopters. Delivered 1966/1967, 13 later redesignated as MC-130P.

HC-130N King

As HC-130P, but with standard nose. Redesignated MC-130P.



Tanker version for export, based on C-130B airframe.


Tanker version for US Marine Corps, based on C-130B airframe. Initially designated GV-1.


Tanker version for export, based on C-130H airframe with underwing refuelling pods.


Tanker version for US Marine Corps, based on C-130J airframe. In May, the US Marine Corps announced a study to deploy KC-130Js as KC-130J Harvest Hawk gunship. Modifications would include a modular surveillance and targeting pod taking up the rear portion of the inboard left external fuel tank, an AGM-114 Hellfire missile rack on the left wing, and a modular 30mm ATK cannon rolled in and mounted in the troop door. In june 2010, the US Marine Corps announced it plans to integrate the Northrop Grumman GBU-44/B Viper Strike as well. In February 2012, the US Marine Corps received the first KC-130J Harvest HAWK armed tanker with a modified paratroop door that allows the crew to launch standoff precision-guided weapons while the aircraft remains pressurized. The new door, called the Derringer Door, eliminates the need for the crew to depressurize the aircraft and lower the cargo ramp prior to firing AGM-175 Griffin air-to-surface missiles. Currently deployed Harvest HAWK-equipped KC-130Js use a cargo ramp-mounted launch-tube system. The Derringer door and storage rack do not interfere with KC-130J cargo handling. Harvest HAWK (Hercules Airborne Weapons Kit) is a modular roll-on, roll-off weapons system that includes a fire-control console; an AN/AAQ-30 target sight (also carried by the AH-1Z Viper); a quad-mount AGM-114 Hellfire missile launcher; and the Derringer Door.


Tanker/transport version for US Marine Corps, based on KC-130H.


Tanker version for US Marine Corps, based on KC-130R, capable of refueling helicopters and with engine/avionics upgrade. Stretched model known as KC-130T-30.



As C-130B, Antarctic equipped for US Navy, engine upgrade. Delivered as UV-1L, US Air Force designation C-130BL, redesignated as LC-130F in 1962.


As C-130H, ski-equipped version for US Air Force.


As C-130H, ski-equipped version for US Navy. Three later upgraded to LC-130H configuration. Produced 1968 - 1977.


Specialized version for various covert special operations missions. See also MC-130 and MC-130.

MC-130E Combat Talon I

Spacial ops variant, equipped with AN/APG-170 Terrain-Following-Radar, Precision-Ground-Mapping, AN/AAQ-10/AN/AAQ-18 FLIR, secure-voice communications and self-protection equipment. From September 1996 the misison was modified to long-range, covert operations penetrating refueling tanker for helicopters. Subvariants are MC-130E-C Rivet Clamp, MC-130E-S Rivet Swap and MC-130E-Y Rivet Yank.

MC-130H Combat Talon II

Special missions aircraft based on C-130H airframe, equipped with AN/APQ-170 multi-mode radar and AN/AAQ-36 FLIR. Special modifications include YMC-130H Credible Sport and XFC-130H Coronet Bat, three a/c modified for planned Iran hostage crisis rescue attempt under project Credible Sport. Fitted with four forward firing retro-rockets, four downward firing Shrike-rocket engines and JATO booster rockets, the Credible Sport became airborne within 50 meters and reached an altitude of 10 meters after 70 meters after brake release. The Coronet Bat (74-1683) was lost during trials when the forward firing rockets ignited prematurely and the aircraft smashed from approx 10 meters altitude to the ground.

MC-130J Commando II

Selected in 2009 by the US Air Force to replace the aging fleets of both Air Combat Command and Special Operations Command aircraft. The configuration is based on the KC-130J operated by the US Marine Corps. The capabilities of the KC-130J very closely match the requirements for HC/MC-130 missions and will require little modification. The air-to-air refuelling mission of the KC-130J is very similar to the requirements set out by the US Air Force for the MC-130J. Equipped with UARRSI) boom refuelling receptacle. The MC-130J aircraft will provide global, day, night, and adverse weather capability to infiltrate, re-supply and ex-filtrate US and allied special operation forces. First airframe was rolled-out February 7th 2011 and had first flight on April 22nd 2011. Initially known as Combat Shadow II, renamed March 2012.

MC-130P Combat Shadow

In 1996, all HC-130N and HC-130P aircraft were designated MC-130P.

MC-130W Combat Spear

Special missions aircraft, developed to replace MC-130 Combat Talon combat losses experienced since 1997. Based on C-130H airframe, with structural improvements including the addition of the Universal Aerial Refuelling Receptacle Slipway Installation or UARRSI, and a strengthened tail empennage. The UARRSI allows the aircraft to conduct in-flight refueling as a receiver, and strengthening of the tail will allow High Speed Low Level Aerial Delivery System airdrop operations. The MC-130W is equipped with Mk 32B-902E refuelling pods. These pods are part of the most technologically advanced refuelling system available, and provide the ability to refuel special operations helicopters and the CV-22A Osprey. In service from 2006. In 2009, the US Air Force announced plans to arm Combat Spear aircraft with a medium-calibre gun (probably the Bushmaster 30 mm gun) and Precision Guided Munitions (probably AGM-114 Hellfire missiles). This program was designated MC-130W Dragon Spear. In May 2012, the MC-130W Dragon Spear was renamed the AC-130W Stinger II.


Designation for reconnaissance related modifications.

RC-130A Sun Valley

Aka C-130A-II, photo-mapping aircraft, 15 a/c converted in 1957 by E-Systems (now Raytheon), most converted back to C-130A.

RC-130B Sun Valley II/Rivet Vector

Aka C-130B-II, eleven modefied and all later converted back to standard configuration.


Aka JC-130A, equipped with powerful mounted searchlights for illumination of battlefield. Both later converted back to C-130A.

C-130H2 Scate View

Battlefield surveillance version, fitted with an extensive communications fit, including SATCOM. In addition, they carry a FLIR daylight TV system, a spotter scope, a laser rangerfinder as well as a AN/AAQ-24(V) Nemesis DIRCM turrets on the rear fuselage. A particularly important capability carried by this aircraft is the ability to provide a video link to the ROVER (Remote Operations Video Enhanced Receiver) that can provide near real-time sensor fed video footage to laptop based portable ground receivers.

C-130J Shadow Harvest

Roll-on/roll-off suite of intelligence sensors for the C-130J Hercules that is designed to identify targets concealed under camouflage or foliage, designated Shadow Harvest. No official designation has been released so far.



Prototype crew trainer version, later became the first RC-130A prototype.


EC-130G crew trainer.


C-130H crew trainer.


EC-130Q crew trainer.



As C-130B, conversion for various covert courier duties.


As C-130H, VIP aircraft for Saudi Arabia. Some additional C-130H's also upgraded to this standard.



As C-130B, weather reconnaissance version, 11 C-130B-LM also converted with almost all later converted back.


As C-130E, weather reconnaissance conversions.


Former HC-130H, converted for weather reconnaissance missions. Eight later converted back.


The WC-130 Hercules is a high-wing, medium-range aircraft flown by the Air Force Reserve Command for weather reconnaissance missions. The aircraft penetrates tropical disturbances and storms, hurricanes and winter storms to obtain data on movement, size and intensity. The WC-130J is the weather data collection platform for the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron located at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. The WC-130J is a C-130J transport configured with palletized weather instrumentation that collects weather data, and is capable of staying aloft almost 18 hours at an optimum cruise speed of more than 300 mph.



Lockheed Model 382B, introduced 1964. Civil certified C-130, based on C-130E airframe. Some a/c upgraded to L-100-20 and -30.


Lockheed Model 382E, introduced 1968. Civil certified 8.3 ft stretched L-100 with engine upgrade.


Lockheed Model 382G, introduced 1970. As L-100-20 with 6.7ft. fuselage stretch. Two delivered to Canada as CC-130H-30.

L-100F Super Hercules

Proposed freight civil version, introduced 1992. Not built.

L-100 HTTB

High-Technology-Test-Bed aircraft based on L-100-20 for testing STOL capabilities for further C-130 development, crashed 1993.


Proposed civil version of the C-130J.


Military Operators


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