Lockheed HC-130

Lockheed HC-130

Infobox Aircraft
name = HC-130 Hercules
type = STOL military transport aircraft
manufacturer = Lockheed Corporation

caption = USAF HC-130P refuels an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter. Both aircraft are assigned to the 920th Rescue Wing at Patrick AFB, Florida.
designer =
first flight = 1964
introduction =
retired =
status = In production
primary user = United States Air Force
more users = United States Coast Guard
produced =
unit cost =
developed from = C-130 Hercules
variants with their own articles =
The HC-130 is an extended-range, combat search and rescue version of the C-130 Hercules transport. HC-130H versions are operated by the U.S. Coast Guard and HC-130N and P models are operated by the U.S. Air Force, who use the aircraft to extend the range of combat search and rescue helicopters by providing air refueling.


First flown in 1964, the aircraft has served many roles and missions. It was initially modified to conduct search and rescue missions, provide a command and control platform, in-flight-refuel helicopters and carry supplemental fuel for extending range or air refueling. Some of them had been modified to employ the Fulton surface-to-air recovery system.

The HC-130 can fly in the day against a reduced threat; however, crews normally fly night, low-level, air refueling and airdrop operations using night vision goggles (NVG). It can fly low-level NVG tactical flight profiles to avoid detection. To enhance the probability of mission success and survivability near populated areas, crews employ tactics that include incorporating no external lighting or communications, and avoiding radar and weapons detection.

Secondary mission capabilities include performing tactical airdrops of pararescue specialist teams, small bundles, zodiac watercraft, or four-wheel drive all-terrain vehicles; and providing direct assistance to a survivor in advance of the arrival of a recovery vehicle. Other capabilities are extended visual and electronic searches over land or water, tactical airborne radar approaches and unimproved airfield operations. A team of three pararescue specialists (PJ's), trained in emergency trauma medicine, harsh environment survival and assisted evasion techniques, is part of the basic mission crew complement.

Combat Air Forces HC-130 aircraft are undergoing extensive modifications. These modifications include night vision goggle-compatible interior and exterior lighting, a personnel locator system compatible with aircrew survival radios, improved digital low-power color radar and forward-looking infrared systems.

Coast Guard operations

The USCG operates 27 HC-130H aircraft from five bases around the U.S., CGAS Sacramento, CGAS Clearwater, CGAS Elizabeth City, CGAS Kodiak and CGAS Barbers Point.cite web | title =HC-130 "Hercules" Long Range Surveillance Aircraft | work =Aircraft and Cutters | publisher =U.S. Coast Guard | date =2007-02-16 | url =http://www.uscg.mil/datasheet/hc-130.asp | accessdate =2007-08-01] The aircraft are used for search and rescue, enforcement of laws and treaties, illegal drug interdiction, marine environmental protection, military readiness, International Ice Patrol missions, as well as cargo and personnel transport.

Air Force operations

The HC-130N/P is the only dedicated fixed-wing combat search and rescue platform in the Air Force inventory. The 71st and 79th Rescue Squadrons (RQS) in the US Air Force's Air Combat Command, the 102nd RQS, 129th RQS and 211th RQS in the Air National Guard, and the 39th RQS and 303rd RQS in the Air Force Reserve Command operate the aircraft.

In October 2003, the Continental U.S. (CONUS) search and rescue (SAR) mission was transferred to Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) at Hurlburt Field, Florida. HC-130s were assigned to Air Combat Command (ACC) from 1992 to 2003. Previously, they were assigned to the Air Rescue Service as part of Military Airlift Command (MAC).

In October 2006, all USAF CSAR forces were reassigned back to Air Combat Command. The CONUS SAR mission was also transferred back to ACC. However, the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) that had been previously located at McClellan AFB, California and Scott AFB, Illinois under MAC and at Langley AFB, Virginia under ACC, was relocated to Tyndall AFB, Florida under the control of 1st Air Force, ACC's numbered air force for the Air National Guard.

While under AFSOC and since returning to ACC, USAF, AFRC and ANG HC-130s have been deployed to Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Djibouti, and Iraq in support of Operations Southern and Northern Watch, Allied Force, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. HC-130s also support continuous alert commitments in Alaska, and provide rescue coverage for NASA space shuttle operations in Florida.


;HC-130H:Specialised rescue version of the C-130H, 55 built (43 for the USAF and 12 for the USCG).;HC-130N:As HC-130H with equipment changes, 15 built for the USAF.;HC-130P:HC-130H with changes for flight refuelling of helicopters, refulling pods on underwing pylons, 20 built for the USAF.


*United States Air Force
*United States Coast Guard

pecifications (HC-130H)

aircraft specifications
jet or prop?=prop
plane or copter?=plane
ref=USCG Specscite web
title=HC-130 Hercules Specifications
payload main=
payload alt=
payload more=
length main=97 ft 9 in
length alt=29.8 m
span main=132 ft 7 in
span alt=40.4 m
height main=38 ft 3 in
height alt=11.6 m
area main=1,745 ft²
area alt=162.1 m²
empty weight main=76,780 lb
empty weight alt=34,826
loaded weight main=
loaded weight alt=
useful load main=
useful load alt=
max takeoff weight main=175,000 lb
max takeoff weight alt=79,379 kg
engine (prop)=Allison T56-A-15
type of prop=turboprops
number of props=4
power main=4,300 shp
power alt=3,210 kW
max speed main=330 knots
max speed alt=380 mph, 611 km/h
cruise speed main=290 knots
cruise speed alt=333 mph, 537 km/h
range main=4,500 nm
range alt=5,178 mi, 8,334 km
ceiling main=33,000 ft
ceiling alt=10,000 m
climb rate main=
climb rate alt=
loading main=
loading alt=
power/mass main=
power/mass alt=


ee also

* C-130 Hercules
* AC-130 Spectre
* MC-130 Combat Talon
similar aircraft=
* Airbus A400M
* Antonov An-12
* Transall C-160
*C-127 - C-128 - C-129 - C-130 - C-131 - C-132 - C-133
* List of Lockheed aircraft
* List of military aircraft of the United States

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