July 17, 2006 (by Lockheed Martin) - Lockheed Martin officials briefed reporters attending the Farnborough International Air Show on how the C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft is both delivering capability to meet modern threats and is an active participant in crisis relief operations around the world.
Company officials also described how the C-130J's flexibility and multimission capability can help air forces meet short and long-term emerging requirements.
"The C-130J Super Hercules is a critical, integral part of airlift around the world," said Ross Reynolds, air mobility vice president at Lockheed Martin. "Whether it is engaged in combat, peacekeeping or humanitarian and disaster relief operations, the C-130J is proving itself on a daily basis. Worldwide, C-130Js have been involved in combat operations now for four years conducting re-supply and troop deployment missions, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan."
In May, U.S. Marine Corps KC-130J tankers set a new monthly record for tons of fuel offloaded, tons of cargo moved and passengers carried. The Royal Air Force has been the pathfinder in many operations by having the first J-model in combat, the first paratroop drops and the first re-supply operations in Afghanistan. An RAF C-130J was the first aircraft to fly into the reopened Baghdad International Airport in 2003.
Italy has a new deployment location at Herat in western Afghanistan and is setting records for numbers of flight hours - more than 10,000 per year. Italy's C-130Js have become a common sight around the world where relief and humanitarian support is needed. Australia is often the first to respond when a disaster or terrorist action strikes. Whether in Bali or Thailand, the ability of the Australian C-130J fleet to be on hand for evacuation of victims and the delivery of supplies is becoming well known. Denmark – the newest C-130J operator - has lost no time in deploying its aircraft around the world. They are now a common sight in and out of Afghanistan and locations on every continent.
"It seems like almost every month we are seeing new opportunities for the C-130J," Reynolds said. "We believe the J is the right choice for the new U.S. Army and Air Force Joint Cargo Aircraft. We think the J is the obvious replacement for a fleet of very old U.S. Special Operations platforms. There are numerous countries around the world that urgently need to replace worn out thirty or forty-year-old legacy C-130s. And finally, because today's threats are often operating in remote locations with no structured airfields, there is a growing demand for rugged tactical airlift. The C-130J is capable of global response for any mission, anywhere at any time."
The Royal Air Force (RAF) is celebrating 40 years of C-130 operations this year. The RAF recently let a contract for Hercules Integrated Operational Support that will ensure that the United Kingdom's C-130Ks and Js are maintained at a high level of readiness as the country continues its high tempo operations around the world. A total of 182 C-130Js are on order, and 139 have been delivered to date.
The worldwide C-130J fleet has accumulated over one quarter of a million flight hours in combat delivery, aerial delivery, air-to-air and ground refueling, and humanitarian relief operations.