It is the end of service life for Swedish airlifter 843. The TP 84, as the Lockheed C-130 is called in Swedish Air Force Service, flew its last operational exercise on 12 November 2014. The Hercules supported Joint Action, the final training of the Nordic Battlegroup that took place in the first two weeks at Uppsala Airbase (Ärna / F16) and southern Sweden.
Sweden once had eight C-130s, flying with F7 Skaraborgs Flygflottilj based at Såtenäs. Amongst them were some of the oldest C-130Es in Europe. But with the aging, cutbacks on the military expenses and the availability of the EU/NATO Strategic Airlift Wing’s three C-17s the four-engine propeller planes are in their Autumn of their lives.
The first of the TP 84s went to Cambridge in June this year, while this second machine with serial no. 4628 and registration 843 made its final flight home before it will depart to Cambridge as well. In the UK it will wait its final faith: to be sold or to be axed.
Swedish Hercules 843 has been airborne more than 16,000 hours, after entering service in 1975. She was deployed many times, including on aid missions to Africa and on support missions in the early stages of the Swedish military involvement in the Balkan Wars of the 1990s.
The parliament in Stockholm decided in 2009 to reduce the number of tactical transport aircraft of the Flygvapnet to six. With the decommissioning of no. 843 that decision is now in full effect. So far no plans exist to replace the remaining six TP 84s by newer C-130J versions, like neighbouring Norway and Denmark did.
© 2014 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger, based on source information provided by Försvarsmakten