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      1. C-130 HERCULES

        C-130

        Description: C-130 Hercules


        The C-130 Hercules primarily performs the tactical portion of the airlift mission. The aircraft is capable of operating from rough, dirt strips 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 Air Mobility Command (stateside based), Air Force Special Operations Command, theater commands, Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve Command, fulfilling a wide range of operational missions in both peace and war situations. Basic and specialized versions of the aircraft airframe perform a diverse number of roles, including airlift support, Antarctic ice resupply, aeromedical missions, weather reconnaissance, aerial spray missions, fire-fighting duties for the U.S. Forest Service and natural disaster relief missions.

        Features: Using its aft loading ramp and door the C-130 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 air drop loads up to 42,000 pounds or use its high-floatation landing gear to land and deliver cargo on rough, dirt strips. 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, air drop platforms, container delivery system bundles, vehicles and personnel or aeromedical evacuation. The C-130J is the latest addition to the C-130 fleet and will replace aging C-130E's. The C-130J incorporates state-of-the-art technology to reduce manpower requirements, lower operating and support costs, and provide life cycle cost savings over earlier C-130 models. Compared to older C-130s, the J model climbs faster and higher, flies farther at a higher cruise speed, and takes off and lands in a shorter distance. The C-130J-30 is a stretch version, adding 15 feet to fuselage, increasing usable space in the cargo compartment. C-130J/J-30 major system improvements include: advanced two-pilot flight station with fully integrated digital avionics; color multifunctional liquid crystal displays and head-up displays; state-of-the-art navigation systems with dual inertial navigation system and global positioning system; fully integrated defensive systems; low-power color radar; digital moving map display; new turboprop engines with six bladed, all composite propellers; digital auto pilot; improved fuel, environmental and ice protection systems; and an enhanced cargo handling system.

        Background: Four decades have elapsed since the Air Force issued its original design specification, yet the remarkable C-130 remains in production. 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 introduced Allison T56-A-7 turboprops and the first of 134 entered Air Force service in May 1959. Introduced in August of 1962, the 389 C-130E's that were ordered used the same Allison T56-A-7 engine, but added two 1,290 gallon external fuel tanks and an increased maximum takeoff weight capability. June 1974 introduced the first of 308 C-130H's with the more powerful Allison T56-A-15 turboprop engine. Nearly identical to the C-130E externally, the new engine brought major performance improvements to the aircraft. The latest C-130 to be produced, the C-130J entered the inventory in February 1999. With the noticeable difference of a six bladed composite propeller coupled to a Rolls-Royce AE2100D3 turboprop engine, the C-130J brings substantial performance improvements over all previous models, and has allowed the introduction of the C-130J-30, a stretch version with a 15-foot fuselage extension. Air Force has selected the C-130J-30 to replace retiring C-130E's. Approximately 168 C-130J/J-30s are planned for the inventory. To date, the Air Force has purchased 29 C-130J aircraft from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company.

        WEFT Description

        • WINGS
          C-130 Wings
        • ENGINE
          C-130 Engine
        • FUSELAGE
          C-130 Fuselage
        • TAIL
          C-130 Tail





























        Description: HC-130 Combat Shadow


        Background: The HC-130N/P Combat Shadow flies clandestine or low visibility, low-level missions into politically sensitive or hostile territory to provide air refueling for special operations helicopters. The HC-130 primarily flies its single- or multi-ship missions at night to reduce detection and intercept by airborne threats. Secondary mission capabilities include airdrop of small special operations teams and small bundles, tactical airborne radar approaches and night vision goggle takeoffs and landings.

        Originally ordered in 1963 and first flown in 1964, the HC-130s have served in many roles and missions. In the Vietnam War they were used to refuel Jolly and Super Jolly Green Giant helicopters and, as an airborne command post, to direct rescue efforts. Four aircraft were modified to deploy and control 10,000-pound remotely piloted vehicles. It was initially modified to conduct search and rescue missions, provide a command and control platform, air refuel helicopters and carry supplemental fuel for extending range or air refueling. In 1986, the active-force HC-130 aircraft changed to a special operations mission.

        Air Force Special Operations Commands HC-130s were deployed to Saudi Arabia and Turkey in support of Desert Storm. Their missions included air refueling of special operations forces helicopters over friendly and hostile territory, as well as psychological operations and leaflet drop misions.

        Features: The HC-130 has improved navigation, communications, threat detection, and countermeasures systems. When fully modified, the Combat Shadow will have a self-contained navigation system to include an inertial system, a global positioning system, and interior and exterior lighting compatible with night vision goggles. It will also have a forward looking infrared radar missile and radar warning receivers, chaff and flare dispensers and a night-vision goggle head-up display. In addition, it will have satellite communications, a data burst device and in-flight refueling capability as a receiver. Combat Shadow crews fly night, low level, air refueling and formation operations using night-vision goggles. The aircraft's daytime role is limited to reduced threat environments.

        Note: These photos also include the US Coast Guard variant of the C-130, also designated HC-130. These aircraft are easily distinguished by their US Coast Guard Orange-on-White paint scheme.



        Description: EC-130E/J Commando Solo


        Mission: The EC-130E/J Commando Solo, a specially-modified four-engine Hercules transport, conducts information operations, psychological operations and civil affairs broadcasts in AM, FM, HF, TV and military communications bands. A typical mission consists of a single-ship orbit offset from the desired target audience -- either military or civilian personnel.

        Background: Commando Solo conducts psychological operations and civil affairs broadcast missions in the standard AM, FM, HF, TV and military communications bands. Missions are flown at maximum altitudes possible to ensure optimum propagation patterns. The EC-130 flies during either day or night scenarios with equal success, and is air refuelable. A typical mission consists of a single-ship orbit which is offset from the desired target audience. The targets may be either military or civilian personnel. Secondary missions include command and control communications countermeasures (C3CM) and limited intelligence gathering. The three variants are EC-130 ABCCC, EC-130E Commando Solo, and the EC-130H Compass Call.

        The EC-130 was originally modified using the mission electronic equipment from the EC-121, known at the time as the Coronet Solo. Soon after the 193rd SOG received its EC-130s, the unit participated in the rescue of US citizens in Operation Urgent Fury, acting as an airborne radio station informing those people on Grenada of the US military action. Commando Solo was instrumental in the success of coordinated psychological operations in Operation Just Cause, again broadcasting continuously throughout the initial phases of the operation to help end the Noriega regime. Most recently, in 1994, Commando Solo was utilized to broadcast radio and television messages to the citizens and leaders of Haiti during Operation Uphold Democracy.

        The EC-130s deployed early in the operation, highlighting the importance of PSYOP in avoiding military and civilian casualties. President Aristide was featured on the broadcasts which contributed significantly to the orderly transition from military rule to democracy. In 1990 the EC-130 joined the newly formed Air Force Special Operations Command and has since been designated Commando Solo, with no change in mission. This one-of-a-kind aircraft is consistently improving its capabilities. The next few years should see continued enhancements to the EC-130 and its worldwide mission.

        Features: Highly specialized modifications have been made to the latest version of the EC-130 (Commando Solo). Included in these mods are enhanced navigation systems, self-protection equipment, and the capability of broadcasting color television on a multitude of worldwide standards through out the TV VHF/UHF ranges. The ABCCC is a an Airborne Battlefield Command and Control Center used as an airborne command post. Last, but not least, Compass Call is an airborne communications jamming platform. It was used extensively in the Gulf War disrupting Iraqi communications at both the strategic and tactical levels.


        Description: EC-130H Compass Call


        Mission: Compass Call is the designation of a modified version of the C-130 Hercules aircraft configured to perform tactical information warfare. Specifically, the modified aircraft prevents or degrades communications essential to command and control of weapon systems and other resources. The system primarily supports tactical air operations, but also can provide jamming support to ground forces and amphibious operations.

        Background: In the world of airborne electronic warfare, the major players are the EC-130H Compass Call, the EA-6B Prowler and F-16CJ Fighting Falcons. Forming the "suppression of enemy air defenses triad," these forces jam communications and radar and destroy critical air defense and command and control targets. Compass Call is tasked by all the unified commands, and therefore, subject to worldwide deployment in support of tactical air, ground and amphibious forces on very short notice.

        All Compass Call aircraft are assigned to Air Combat Command. The EC-130H Compass Call is operated by the 41st and 43d Electronic Combat Squadrons at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. Although located at Davis-Monthan, the squadrons report to the 55th Wing at Offutt AFB, Neb.

        Features: Modifications to the aircraft include the primary mission equipment, an air refueling capability and associated navigation and communications systems. Compass Call has demonstrated its powerful effect on enemy command and control networks in military operations over Kosovo, Haiti, Panama, Iraq, Serbia and Afghanistan.

        The EC-130H aircraft carries a combat crew of 13 people. Four members are responsible for aircraft flight and navigation from the flight deck, while nine members operate and maintain the Compass Call primary mission equipment at the rear of the aircraft. The mission crew consists of an electronic warfare officer, who is the mission crew commander; an experienced cryptologic linguist is the mission crew supervisor; four analysis operators; one high band operator, one acquisition operator and an airborne maintenance technician.

        Compass Call integrates into tactical air operations at any level. The versatile and flexible nature of the aircraft and its crew enable the power of electronic combat to be brought to bear in virtually any combat situation.


        Description: MC-130E/H Combat Talon I/II


        Background: The mission of the MC-130E/H Combat Talon I and II is to provide global, day, night, and adverse weather capability to airdrop and airland personnel and equipment in support of U.S. and allied special operations forces. These aircraft are equipped with aerial refueling equipment, terrain following, terrain-avoidance radar, an inertial navigation system, and a high speed aerial delivery system. The special navigation and aerial delivery systems are used to locate small drop zones and deliver people or equipment with greater accuracy and at higher speeds than possible with a standard C-130. The aircraft is able to penetrate hostile airspace at low altitudes. Crews are specially trained in night and adverse weather operations.

        During Desert Storm, the MC-130E Combat Talon I played a vital role. The first airdrops of the war were performed exclusively by the 7th Special Operations Squadron. One third of all airdrops in the first three weeks of the war were performed by MC-130s. In its primary role of psychological operations, the MC-130E air-dropped 11 15,000-pound BLU-82/B general purpose bombs and flew multiple missions air-dropping and dispersing leaflets. Its secondary role was combat search and rescue. Following the Persian Gulf war, MC-130s flew extensively in support of Operation Provide Comfort.

        Features: The MC-130H features highly automated controls and displays to reduce crew work load. The integrated control and display subsystem combines basic aircraft flight , tactical and mission sensor data into a comprehensive set of display formats. The pilot and copilot displays and the navigator and electronic warfare operator console on the aft portion of the flight deck each have two video displays and a data entry keyboard. The navigator uses radar ground map displays, forward looking infrared display, tabular mission management displays, and equipment status information. The electronic warfare operator's displays are used for viewing the electronic warfare data and to supplement the navigators in certain critical phases.

        The MC-130E is equipped with a surface-to-air Fulton recovery system, a safe, rapid method of recovering personnel or equipment from either land or water. It involves use of a large, helium filled balloon used to raise a 450-foot nylon lift line. The MC-130E flies to the lift line, snags it with scissors-like arms located on the aircraft nose and the person or equipment is lifted off, experiencing less shock than that caused by a parachute opening. Aircrew members then use a hydraulic winch to pull the person or equipment aboard through the open rear cargo door.


        Description: MC-130P Combat Shadow


        Mission: The Combat Shadow flies clandestine or low visibility, single or multi-ship low-level missions intruding politically sensitive or hostile territory to provide air refueling for special operations helicopters. The MC-130P primarily flies missions at night to reduce probability of visual acquisition and intercept by airborne threats. Secondary mission capabilities may include airdrop of leaflets, small special operations teams, bundles and combat rubber raiding craft, as well as night vision goggles, takeoff and landing procedures and in-flight refueling as a receiver.

        Features: Recent modifications to the MC-130P feature improved navigation, communications, threat detection and countermeasures systems. The Combat Shadow fleet has a fully-integrated inertial navigation and global positioning system, and night vision goggle compatible interior and exterior lighting. It also has forward looking infrared, radar and missile warning receivers, chaff and flare dispensers, night vision goggle compatible heads-up display, satellite and data-burst communications, as well as in-flight refueling capability as a receiver (on 15 aircraft). The Combat Shadow can fly in the day against a low threat. The crews fly night low-level, air refueling and formation operations using night vision goggles. To enhance the probability of mission success and survivability near populated areas, employment tactics incorporate no external lighting and no communications to avoid radar and weapons detection.


        Description: WC-130H Hercules


        Mission: The WC-130 Hercules is a high-wing, medium-range aircraft flown by the Air Force Reserve Command for weather reconnaissance missions.

        Features: The WC-130H is capable of staying aloft nearly 15 hours during missions. It is equipped with two external 1,400 gallon (5,320-liter) fuel tanks, an internal 1,800 gallon (6,480 liter) fuel tank, and has uprated engines. An average weather reconnaissance mission might last 11 hours and cover almost 3,500 miles while the crew collects and reports weather data every minute. Weather equipment aboard the aircraft include the Improved Weather Reconnaissance System (IWRS). This system consists of the Atmospheric Distributed Data System (ADDS) and Omega Dropsonde Windfinding System (ODWS).

        The ADDS system provides a high-density, high-accuracy horizontal atmospheric sensing capability. Sensors installed on the aircraft measure per second outside temperature, humidity, absolute altitude of the aircraft, pressure altitude, wind speed and direction. This information, along with an evaluation of other meteorological conditions, turbulence, icing, radar returns and visibility, is encoded by the onboard meteorologist and transmitted by satellite to the National Weather Services' National Hurricane Center in Miami, Fla.

        The ODWS system measures the atmosphere vertically by using an expendable instrument which is dropped from the aircraft. The 16 inch-long cylinder is dropped every 400 miles while on a weather track and in the center or hurricane eye. A vertical atmospheric profile of pressure, temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed and direction is received from the dropsonde as it descends to the ocean surface. The dropsonde is slowed and stabilized by a small parachute. From this information, the dropsonde system operator analyzes and encodes data for satellite transmission to the National Hurricane Center.

        The WC-130 is flown exclusively from Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., by the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, an AFRC organization known as the Hurricane Hunters. The hurricane reconnaissance area includes the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and eastern Pacific Ocean areas.

        Background: The WC-130H Hercules is a modified version of the C-130 transport configured with computerized weather instrumentation for penetration of severe storms to obtain data on storm movements, dimensions and intensity. The WC-130B became operational in 1959, the E model in 1962, followed by the H model in 1964. Only the H model is currently in operation. The WC-130J, currently in testing, is scheduled to replace the WC-130H.

        The WC-130 provides vital tropical cyclone forecasting information. It penetrates tropical cyclones and hurricanes at altitudes ranging from 500 to 10,000 feet (151.7 to 3,033.3 meters) above the ocean surface depending upon the intensity of the storm. The aircraft's most important function is to collect high-density, high-accuracy weather data from within the storm's environment. This includes penetration of the center or hurricane eye of the storm. This vital information is instantly relayed by satellite to the National Hurricane Center to aid in the accurate forecasting of hurricane movement and intensity.


        PHOTOS: C-130

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        PHOTOS: HC-130

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        PHOTOS: EC-130

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        PHOTOS: MC-130

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        PHOTOS: WC-130

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        PHOTOS: KC-130

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        PHOTOS: LC-130

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