C-130J Hercules

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Product Type:

Tactical Airlift Aircraft

Using Service (US):

Air Force (USAF)

Program Status:

In production (C-130J & C-130J-30)

Prime Contractors:

Lockheed Martin Corp.

Specifications Armament DoD Spending FY2017/18 Budget

The C-130J Hercules

About the C-130J:

The Lockheed Martin C–130 Hercules is an advanced tactical airlifter. The C-130J is the latest addition to the C-130 fleet and will replace aging C-130Es. The C-130J-30 (aka CC-130J) is a stretch version of the C-130J, adding 15 feet (4.6 meters) to the fuselage, thus increasing usable space in the cargo compartment. The C-130J/C-130J-30 is powered by four Rolls-Royce AE 2100D3 turboprop engines rated at 4,591 shp each. The older C-130E/H Hercules are powered by four Rolls-Royce Allison T56 turboprop engines.

Using its aft loading ramp and door, the C-130J can accommodate a wide variety of oversized cargo, including everything from utility helicopters and six-wheeled armored vehicles to standard palletized cargo and military personnel. In an aerial delivery role, it can airdrop loads of up to 42,000 pounds (19,050 kg) or use its high-flotation landing gear to land and deliver cargo on austere, rough, dirt/grass airstrips. The C-130J carries up to six 463L standard pallets or 74 litters or 16 Container Delivery System (CDS) bundles or 92 combat troops or 64 paratroopers, or a combination of any of these up to the cargo compartment capacity or maximum allowable weight. The C-130J-30 carries up to eight 463L pallets or 97 litters or 24 CDS bundles or 128 combat troops or 92 paratroopers.

The flexible design of the Hercules enables it to be configured for many different missions, allowing for one aircraft to perform the role of many. Much of the special mission equipment added to the Hercules is removable, allowing the aircraft to revert back to its cargo delivery role if desired. Additionally, the C-130 can be rapidly reconfigured for the various types of cargo such as palletized equipment, floor-loaded material, airdrop platforms, container delivery system bundles, vehicles and personnel or aeromedical evacuation.

The C-130J incorporates state-of-the-art technology to reduce manpower requirements, reduce operating and support costs, and provides significant life-cycle cost savings over earlier C-130 models. The C-130J climbs faster and higher, has greater range, flies at a higher cruise speed, and has a shorter take-off and landing roll.

Major system improvements on the C-130J and C-130J-30 include an advanced two-pilot flight station with fully integrated digital avionics; fully populated Combat Systems Operator (CSO) and auxiliary flight deck stations; 13-color multifunctional liquid crystal displays; head-up displays (HUD); fully integrated navigation systems with dual inertial navigation system and global positioning system (INS/GPS from Honeywell); integrated defensive systems; Northrop Grumman AN/APN-241 weather/navigation radar; digital moving map display; Dowty R391 six-bladed all-composite propellers; digital auto pilot; improved fuel, environmental and ice-protection systems; enhanced cargo-handling system. Countermeasures include the BAE Systems AN/ALR-56M Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) and AN/ALE-47 Countermeasures Dispenser, the ATK AN/AAR-47 Missile Warning System (MWS), the Lockheed Martin AN/ALQ-157 Infrared Countermeasures System, and the Northrop Grumman AN/AAQ-24(V) Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) system.

The C-130J/C-130J-30 has a crew of three (two pilots and one loadmaster) compared to the C-130E/H with five crew members (two pilots, navigator, flight engineer and loadmaster).

The C-130J Hercules first flew on April 5, 1996 and entered the Air Force inventory in February 1999. However, the initial C-130 was developed already back in the 1950s. The initial production model was the C-130A, with four Allison T56-A-11 or -9 turboprops. A total of 219 were ordered and deliveries began in December 1956. The C-130B featured Allison T56-A-7 turboprops and the first of 134 entered Air Force service in May 1959. Introduced in August of 1962, the C-130E (389 ordered) used the same Allison T56-A-7 engine, but added two 1,290 gallon external fuel tanks and an increased maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) capability. In June 1974, the first of 308 C-130H Hercules were introduced equipped with more powerful Allison T56-A-15 turboprop engines.

Since the 1950s, Lockheed Martin has delivered more than 2,470 C-130s and the C-130 production line in Marietta, Georgia is the longest continuously operating military aircraft production line in the history of aviation. In February 2012, Lockheed Martin announced the delivery of the 250th C-130J. Aircraft #300 was delivered in December 2013 (these figures include all "J" Variants: C-/AC-/EC-/HC-/KC-/MC-130J).

As of September 2014, the Air Force C-130 inventory (C-130 "vanilla" only) is 2 C-130E models, 259 C-130H models, and 100 C-130Js for a total fleet of 361 aircraft.

To date, 16 countries operate or have ordered the C-130J. The aircraft is in operation with the Royal Air Force, the Royal Australian Air Force, the Italian Air Force, the Royal Danish Air Force, the Royal Norwegian Air Force, the Royal Canadian Air Force, the Indian Air Force, and the Qatar Emiri Air Force. Countries that have ordered the C-130J include the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, Oman, Iraq and Israel.

With more than 300 aircraft delivered, production of the C‑130J now exceeds total production of the C-130B (230 aircraft built) and the C-130A (231 aircraft built).

Lockheed Martin also offers a commercial/civil variant of the C-130J called the LM-100J.



Price/Unit Cost:

The unit cost of the C-130J is $68.12 million (flyaway cost in FY 2015).

Total Cost - Life of Program (LoP):

This data is available in Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, which provides the total procurement cost of the C-130J program as well as research and development (RDT&E) funds + military construction (MILCON) costs and Operations & Maintenance (O&M) costs in support of the program.


The C-130J is the newest generation of the C-130 Hercules and primarily performs the tactical portion of the airlift mission. The aircraft is capable of operating from austere, rough, dirt airstrips and is the prime transport for air dropping troops and equipment into hostile areas. The C-130 operates throughout the U.S. Air Force, serving with the Air Mobility Command, the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), theater commands, the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC), fulfilling a wide range of operational missions.

FY 2017 DoD C-130J Program:

This data is available in Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, which provides historic C-130J spending figures and quantities as well as a unique 10-Year Budget Forecast.

FY 2018 DoD C-130J Program:

This data is available in Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, which provides historic C-130J spending figures and quantities as well as a unique 10-Year Budget Forecast.

Source: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Lockheed Martin Corp.,
Northrop Grumman, and Rolls-Royce plc.

Last Update: May 26, 2015.

By Joakim Kasper Oestergaard Balle /// Contact Forecast International

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Defense Budget Data

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C-130J DoD Spending, Procurement and RDT&E: Historical Data + 10-Year Forecast

With Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, you not only get the latest program news, the DoD funding, worldwide inventories
and planned quantities, long range forecasts, but most important – an expert's rationale for all programs and the overall market.

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Aircraft Specifications: C-130 Hercules

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Primary Function: Airlift
Prime Contractor: Lockheed Martin Corporation
Power Plant:
C-130E: 4x Rolls-Royce/Allison T56-A-7 turboprop engines rated at 4,200 shp
C-130H: 4x Rolls-Royce/Allison T56-A-15 turboprop engines rated at 4,591 shp
C-130J: 4x Rolls-Royce AE-2100-D3 turboprop engines rated at 4,591 shp
Wingspan: 132 ft 7 in (39.7 m)
C-130E/H/J: 97 ft 9 in (29.3 m)
C-130J-30: 112 ft 9 in (34.7 m)
Height: 38 ft 10 in (11.9 m)
Cargo Compartment:
C-130E/H/J: length, 40 ft (12.31 m); width, 119 in (3.12 m); height, 9 ft (2.74 m)
C-130J-30: length, 55 ft (16.9 m); width, 119 in (3.12 m); height, 9 ft (2.74 m)
Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW):
C-130E/H/J: 155,000 lbs (69,750 kg)
C-130J-30: 164,000 lbs (74,393 kg)
Maximum Allowable Payload:
C-130E: 42,000 lbs (19,090 kg)
C-130H: 42,000 lbs (19,090 kg)
C-130J: 42,000 lbs (19,090 kg)
C-130J-30: 44,000 (19,958 kg)
Maximum Normal Payload:
C-130E: 36,500 lbs (16,590 kg)
C-130H: 36,500 lbs (16,590 kg)
C-130J: 34,000 lbs (15,422 kg)
C-130J-30: 36,000 lbs (16,329 kg)
Cargo Capacity:
C-130E/H/J: 6 pallets; 74 litters; 16 Container Delivery System (CDS) bundles; 92 combat troops; 64 paratroopers
C-130J-30: 8 pallets; 97 litters; 24 Container Delivery System (CDS) bundles; 128 combat troops; 92 paratroopers
C-130E: Mach 0.49/300 kts/345 mph (556 km/h) at 20,000 ft (6,060 m)
C-130H: Mach 0.52/318 kts/366 mph (589 km/h) at 20,000 ft (6,060 m)
C-130J: Mach 0.59/362 kts/417 mph (671 km/h) at 22,000 ft (6,706 m)
C-130J-30: Mach 0.58/356 kts/410 mph (660 km/h) at 22,000 ft (6,706 m)
Service Ceiling:
C-130J: 28,000 ft (8,615 m) with 42,000 lbs (19,090 kg) payload
C-130J-30: 26,000 ft (8,000 m) with 44,500 lbs (20,227 kg) payload
C-130H: 23,000 ft (7,077 m) with 42,000 lbs (19,090 kg) payload
C-130E: 19,000 ft (5,846 m) with 42,000 lbs (19,090 kg) payload
Range (at Maximum Normal Payload):
C-130E: 1,000 nm/1,150 miles (1,853 km)
C-130H: 1,050 nm/1,208 miles (1,946 km)
C-130J: 1,800 nm/2,071 miles (3,335 km)
C-130J-30: 1,700 nm/1,956 miles (3,150 km)
C-130E/H: Five (two pilots, navigator, flight engineer and loadmaster)
C-130J/J-30: Three (two pilots and one loadmaster)
Aeromedical Evacuation Role: A basic crew of five (two flight nurses and three medical technicians) is added
for aeromedical evacuation missions. Medical crew may be decreased or increased as required by the needs of patients
Price/Unit Cost:
C-130E: $11.9 million; C-130H: $30.1 million (FY 1998 constant dollars)
C-130J: $68.1 million (flyaway cost in FY 2015)
Deployed: C-130E: August 1962; C-130H: June 1974; C-130J: February 1999

Inventory FY 2012: 17x C-130E; 279x C-130H; 82x C-130J (as of September 30, 2011)
Inventory FY 2013: 13x C-130E; 265x C-130H; 91x C-130J (as of September 30, 2012)
Inventory FY 2014: 6x C-130E; 263x C-130H; 92x C-130J (as of September 30, 2013)
Inventory FY 2015: 2x C-130E; 259x C-130H; 100x C-130J (as of September 30, 2014)

Defense Program

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C-130 Hercules The C-130J Hercules The HC-130J Combat King II The MC-130J Commando II The KC-130J Hercules The AC-130H/U Spectre/Spooky
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