Tag Archives: KC-130

The Kingdom’s Hercules fleet just got even bigger

The Hercules fleet of Saudi Arabia is getting bigger and bigger. Upon the 48 aircraft “the Kingdom” is already operating, just two new ones arrived.

The latest deliveries are two KC-130Js, making Saudi Arabia the 16th country operating the type for its in-flight refuelling needs. No other country in the world more C-130s than Saudi Arabia, apart from the aircraft’s homeland United States of course.

Saudi Hercules fleet

In total the Royal Saudi Air Force will receive 5 KC-130Js, while it has 20 regular C-130J-30s on order as well. They will be added to the 30 C-130E/H tactical airlifters, 7 KC-130H tankers, 6 L-100-30 airlifters and 5 VC-130H VIP aircraft.

Royal Saudi Air Force KC-130J Super Hercules 3209 (Image © Andrew McMurtie / Lockheed Martin)
Royal Saudi Air Force KC-130J Super Hercules 3209 (Image © Andrew McMurtie / Lockheed Martin)

The Saudi Hercs currently are based at Price Sultan Airbase (3 squadrons) and Jeddah (1 squadron). The Lockheed C-130 is a true workhorse, with Airheadsfly.com celebrating the 2,500 aircraft mark last year.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: Royal Saudi Air Force KC-130J Super Hercules 3208 (Image © Damien A. Guarnieri / Lockheed Martin)

First Eurofighter air-to-air refueling with KC-130J Hercules

In August, the first air-to-air refueling fights between Spanish Air Force Eurofighters and United States Marine Corps (USMC) KC-130J Hercules aircraft took place in Spain.

The Eurofighters were from Esc 111 (squadron), part of Ala 11 (11th Wing) based at Morón Air Base in Southern Spain. The ops with the tanker were part getting to the squadron’s evaluation of the operational capabilities in October. The USMC Hercules tankers are already at Morón as part of the Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa.

The Spanish Air Force is planning more tanker meetings with other units and aircraft, to increase the interoperability of its and allied armies.

Source: Ejército del Aire
Featured image: A Spanish Eurofighter C.16 in its usual habitat (Image © Ejército del Aire)

3-ship formation of Spanish air force Eurofighters behind a USMC KC-130J (Image © Ejército del Aire)
3-ship formation of Spanish air force Eurofighters behind a USMC KC-130J (Image © Ejército del Aire)
A single seat Spanish air force Eurofighter gets ready for the next contact (Image © Ejército del Aire)
A single seat Spanish air force Eurofighter gets ready for the next contact (Image © Ejército del Aire)
Air-to-air refueling above typical Spanish landscape (Image © Ejército del Aire)
Air-to-air refueling above typical Spanish landscape (Image © Ejército del Aire)

April Hercs

This post should actually be in our Shooting Range section, if it wasn’t for the fact that we tend to keep that section for our own cool shots. But since we do feel that the Hercules aircraft are cool, here it goes:

Lockheed Martin recently delivered a KC-130J Super Hercules tanker to the US Marine Corps and an HC-130J Combat King II personnel recovery / tanker aircraft to the US Air Force. The KC-130J was delivered to the Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 234 (VMGR-234) at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas, and the HC-130J was delivered to the USAF’s 347th Rescue Group at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia.

Well, there you have it, now enjoy the stars of this short message.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger

This HC-130J was delivered to the U.S. Air Force’s 347th Rescue Group at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, in April 2015. (Image © David Key / Lockheed Martin)
This HC-130J was delivered to the U.S. Air Force’s 347th Rescue Group at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, in April 2015. (Image © David Key / Lockheed Martin)
This KC-130J assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 234 (VMGR-234) at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas, was delivered in April 2015. (Image © Thinh D. Nguyen / Lockheed Martin)
This KC-130J assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 234 (VMGR-234) at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas, was delivered in April 2015. (Image © Thinh D. Nguyen / Lockheed Martin)

Argentine Herc upgrade slowly progressing

The upgrade of five Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport and tanker aircraft of the Argentine Air Force is slowly progressing with L-3 Communications in the United States. Rockwell Collins announced this week it has been contracted for flight avionics by L-3.

“Argentine Air Force pilots will experience greater situational awareness and communications capabilities with the new avionics onboard these aircraft,” says Troy Brunk, vice president and general manager of Airborne Solutions for Rockwell Collins. The Rockwell Collins Flight2 avionics system will provide the Fuerza Aérea Argentina C-130/KC-130 aircraft with new communications, naviagion, surveillance and air traffic management systems required for today’s airspace operations.

Included in the avionics upgrade is a full glass cockpit with new primary flight displays, Required Navigation Performance / Area Navigation flight management system with High Altitude Release Point/Computed Air Release Point precision air drop software. Additional equipment includes an autopilot, communication and SATCOM radios, APN-241 precision ground mapping radar integration, navigation sensors and surveillance systems including Traffic Collision Avoidance System, Terrain Awareness and Warning System and digital map.

The first aircraft integration and installation being performed by L-3 Platform Integration, the prime contractor for this upgrade program, is at its facility in Waco, Texas. The remaining four aircraft will be upgraded at the FAdeA modification facility in Cordoba, Argentina, with L-3 support.

Despite the official US State Department announcement of the upgrade contract in October 2011 speaks of C-130Hs, the Fuerza Aérea Argentina flies a mixture of types, comprising of one KC-130 tanker aircraft and four Hercules dedicated airlifters of the L-100-30, C-130B and C-130H types.

Source: Rockwell Collins, with additional reporting by Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image (top): An Argentine Air Force C-130 on a medevac mission at the Marambio Base in the Antarctics in January 2015 (Image © Fuerza Aérea Argentina)

The first ever landing of an Argentine Hercules, a C-130E, on Marambio Base permafrost in the Antarctics on 11 April  1970. Earlier attempts on four other days in that month were aborted due to bad weather. The aircraft with registration TC-61 was from 1 Air Brigade, flying in from Río Gallegos, transporting military personnel and 3,500 kilograms of food plus mail.  (Image © Fuerza Aérea Argentina)
The first ever landing of an Argentine Hercules, a C-130E back then, on Marambio Base permafrost in the Antarctics on 11 April 1970. Earlier attempts on four other days in that month were aborted due to bad weather. The aircraft with registration TC-61 was from 1 Air Brigade, flying in from Río Gallegos, transporting military personnel and 3,500 kilograms of food plus mail. (Image © Fuerza Aérea Argentina)

Money issue in USMC/USN expeditionary training

Two Navy MH-60S Seahawk helicopters with HSSCSS-25 land on Echo Field, Tinian, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, on 24 September 2014 (Image © Cpl. David Walters / USMC)
Two Navy MH-60S Seahawk helicopters with HSSCSS-25 land on Echo Field, Tinian, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, on 24 September 2014 (Image © Cpl. David Walters / USMC)

A tight budget is somewhat hampering US Marines and US Navy expeditionary training in practicing to defend the strategic very important Northern Marianas Island in the Pacific these days. During Exercise Forage Fury III at Guam and Tinian there, the Marines-led forces can train on preparing helicopter landing zones only. Larger airplanes – like the KC-130J Super Hercules planned to be put into action – have to stay at bay, which basically means less fun and probably a bit of a disappointment for many troops.

About 1,300 service men/women and supporting personnel of the US Armed Forces started Forage Fury III on 24 September 2014. Tinian is the satellite island right off the coast of the larger and better-known Saipan – all part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands and together with Guam one of the most militarized US areas in the world.

“The exercise has a heavy emphasis on tactical aviation and aviation ground support to further develop expeditionary combat capabilities in the Marianas Island Range Complex,” according to a USMC statement. The exercise main asset is the Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. It’s normal base is MCAS Iwakuni in Japan.

KC-130J
Part of the original plan was to build an austere landing zone for a KC-130J Super Hercules aircraft on Echo Runway at Tinian, according Capt. Kevin M. Wheeler, the actions officer for FF III and the aviation ground support detachment officer in charge with Marine Wing Support Squadron 171, MAG-12.

“Just like in real life, plans change,” said Wheeler. “The runway repairs were too much to handle within our budget. So, at this point, we had to change it over to helicopter operations.”

A KC-130J Super Hercules takes to the sky at 15 July 2014 from Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. This aircraft is flown by Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 (Image © Lance Cpl. Pete Sanders / USMC)
A KC-130J Super Hercules takes to the sky at 15 July 2014 from Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. This aircraft is flown by Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 (Image © Lance Cpl. Pete Sanders / USMC)

Helicopter Squadron
The US Navy’s Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25, Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Pacific, is the primary helicopter squadron using the 7,000 by 500 feet runway cleared by Marine Wing Support Squadron 171’s heavy equipment operators.

One of the main missions of MWSS-171, apart from building expeditionary runways, is to protect Marines before, during and after the building process.

Infrastructure
While at the small island of Tinian, the Marines also improve local roads and support other projects to help the community and keep the infrastructure at a good level.

Forager Fury III is scheduled till 6 October 2014.

© 2014 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger, incl. source information provided by the USMC