The C-130H is an all-purpose theater transport that performs diverse roles, including tactical and inter-theater airlift and airdrop, AE, aerial spraying, aerial firefighting, and humanitarian support.
The developmental YC-130A first flew in August 1954 with the C-130A entering USAF service in 1956. The H model improved on the later C-130E and was delivered starting in 1965, with delivery of the current, more advanced models starting in 1974. Improvements included uprated engines, redesigned outer wing, improved pneumatic systems, new avionics, improved radar, and NVG lighting.
C-130Hs are being replaced by the C-130J. Ongoing upgrades include critical center wing box replacement, electronic propeller controls/engine efficiency mods, NP2000 propellers, and the C-130H Avionics Modernization Program (previously Viability and Airspace Access Program).
USAF is upgrading 55 aircraft, including Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems (MAFFS)-equipped airframes, with eight-bladed NP2000 propellers to enhance performance and safety. The service eventually aims to retrofit the entire fleet. AMP increment 1, concluding in FY21, adds new CNS/ATM to bring the fleet into compliance with international airspace rules. Increment 2 will add terrain awareness and warning, new flight management, and modern MFDs starting in FY22.
USAF announced plans to cut 24 ANG airframes in FY21, but Congress barred the service from cutting solely ANG tails or reducing the total tactical airlift fleet below 230 aircraft.
Contractors: Lockheed Martin, L3Harris (AMP Increment 2), Collins Aerospace (AMP/NP2000).
First Flight: 1965 (C-130H).
Delivered: March 1965 onward (C-130H1); April 1975-96 (current C130H2/H3).
IOC: Circa 1974.
Production: 1,202 (C-130H).
Operator: ANG, AFRC, AFSOC
Aircraft Location: Dobbins ARB, Ga.; Little Rock AFB, Ark.; Maxwell AFB, Ala.; Minneapolis-St. Paul Arpt./ARS, Minn.; Peterson AFB, Colo. (MAFFS); Youngstown ARS, Ohio (Aerial Spray); and ANG in Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada (MAFFS), Ohio, Texas, West Virginia, Wyoming (MAFFS).
Active Variant: •C-130H Hercules. Updated late-production version of the legacy C-130.
Dimensions: Span 132.6 ft, length 97.8 ft, height 38.8 ft.; J-30 length 112.8 ft.
Weight: : Max T-O 155,000 lb; max payload 42,000 lb.
Power Plant: Four Allison T56-A-15, or Rolls-Royce T56 3.5 turboprops, each 4,591 shp.
Performance: Speed 366 mph; range with 35,000 lb payload 1,496 miles.
Ceiling: With max payload, 23,000 ft.
Accommodation: Two pilots, navigator, flight engineer, loadmaster.
Load: Up to 92 combat troops or 64 paratroopers or 74 litters or six cargo pallets or 16 Container Delivery System (CDS) bundles or any combination of these up to max weight.