The C-130J is the redesigned, current production version of the C-130 all-purpose theater transport. Missions include tactical and intertheater airlift, airdrop, AE, wildfire suppression using the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS), and humanitarian relief.
The aircraft first deployed to combat in Southwest Asia in 2004. The Super Hercules features three-crew flight operations, more powerful engines, composite six-blade propellers, and digital avionics and mission computers. The C-130J can fly faster, higher, and farther than the C-130H. The C-130J-30 variant features a 15-foot longer “stretched” fuselage.
The combined fleet is sustained via block upgrades. USAF combined Block 7/8.1 upgrades to reduce modification downtime. Block 7 includes Link 16, new flight management systems, civil GPS, and a special mission processor. Block 8.1 adds improved LOS data link and BLOS comms, improved precision navigational aids, enhanced covert lighting, replaces UHF comms with SATCOMS, and updates mission planning systems. Block 8.1’s Mode 5 IFF and air traffic management upgrades were successfully fielded ahead of cycle to meet the FAA’s 2020 compliance deadline.
Airframes delivered since 2009 incorporate enhanced service life center wings, and five of the 23 early production airframes programmed will be retrofitted in 2021.
The current multiyear contract procures 29 USAF C-130J-variants between FY19 and FY23 at a production rate of 16 aircraft per year. ANG units in Georgia, Texas, Kentucky, and West Virginia were selected to transition from the legacy C-130H to the C-130J starting in 2021, while Maryland will retain its A-10 mission instead of transitioning as previously planned.
Contractor: Lockheed Martin.
First Flight: April 5, 1996.
Delivered: February 1999-present.
IOC: October 2006.
Production: 2,600+ worldwide, 134 (USAF).
Operator: AETC, AMC, PACAF, USAFE, ANG, AFRC.
Aircraft Location: Dyess AFB, Texas; Little Rock AFB, Ark.; Ramstein AB, Germany; Yokota AB, Japan; and ANG in California, Kentucky, Rhode Island. Planned: ANG in Georgia, Texas, Kentucky, and West Virginia.
Active Variants: •C-130J Super Hercules. Current production version. •C-130J-30 Super Hercules. Stretched version capable of accommodating larger loads.
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 (J), 164,000 lb (J-30); max payload 42,000 lb (J), 44,000 lb (J-30).
Weight: Max T-O 155,000 lb (J), 164,000 lb (J-30); max payload 42,000 lb (J), 44,000 lb (J-30).
Power Plant: Four Rolls-Royce AE2100D3 turboprops, each 4,700 shp.
Performance: Speed 417 mph (J), 410 mph (J-30); range with 35,000 lb payload 1,841 miles (J), 2,417 miles (J-30).
Ceiling: With max payload, 26,000 ft (J), 28,000 ft (J-30).
Accommodation: Two pilots, 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 (J); 128 combat troops or 92 paratroopers or 97 litters or eight pallets or 24 CDS bundles or any combination of these up to max weight (J-30).