Royal Australian Air Force Aircraft
C-130J Hercules

The Royal Australian Air Force operates the Hercules C-130J transport aircraft. They are operated by No 37 Squadron, based at RAAF Base Richmond, near Sydney.

The Hercules is a key part of the Air Force fleet, providing medium to long range transport with an excellent short dirt runway capability, allowing it to perform:

  • tactical or strategic transport duties
    • troop transport
    • special forces insertion
    • parachuting (both static-line and free-fall)
    • airdrop of stores and equipment, including four-wheel drives, inflatable boats and artillery pieces
  • search and survivor assistance, including airdrop of Air-Sea Rescue Kits (life rafts, radios, water, emergency rations)
  • disaster relief, delivering necessities domestically (eg, Katherine floods, 1998) and internationally (eg, Pakistan earthquakes, 2005)
  • medical evacuations, whether as a result of military action (eg, Timor, 1999), terrorist bombings (eg, Bali, 2002 and 2005) or natural disasters (eg, Boxing Day 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami).

The C-130J Hercules, introduced in 1999, has:

  • 2 tone grey paint scheme
  • six-blade propellers
  • three crew – two pilots and a loadmaster
  • a larger, stretched cargo area, capable of fitting two more cargo pallets than a C-130H
  • updated avionics and 'glass cockpit' flightdeck featuring
    • fighter-style controls on the control columns
    • two head-up displays (HUDs)
    • four large multi-function displays
    • five monochrome displays
    • head-down display
    • traffic and ground collision avoidance systems
    • stick pusher to prevent inadvertent aircraft stall
  • compatibility with night-vision goggles and electronic counter-measures (not routinely fitted).
Manufacturer Lockheed Martin
Role Medium tactical and multi-role transport
Crew Pilot, co-pilot, loadmaster
Engine Four Allison AE2100D3 turboprops (4,590 shaft horsepower each) driving 6-blade variable-pitch propellers
Airframe Length: 34.4 m  Height: 10.1m
Wingspan 40.4m
Weight 79,378kg maximum (19,500kg payload)
Cruise Speed 643 km/h
Range 6,852 km (no payload)
Ceiling 40,000 feet

Depending on configuration:

  • 128 passengers
  • 74 paratroops
  • 97 stretcher patients and two medical attendants; or
  • 19,598kg of cargo