After 55 years, a whole new look for the C-130?

MARIETTA, Ga. — Lockheed Martin has displayed a fuzzy image of a whole new version of the 55-year-old C-130 Hercules family tailored to support the needs of special operations forces.

The picture (above) was visible in the bottom-left corner of a briefing slide (below) presented to reporters yesterday, who traveled to Lockheed’s C-130J final assembly line to witness the keel-laying ceremony for the first production HC-130J.

Asked about the blurry concept image, Lockheed officials acknowledged developing plans for a larger version of the Super Hercules. It would feature extra storage capacity to house surveillance equipment and weapons required by special operations forces, who are emerging as a key new customer for Lockheed’s C-130J. The goal is to clean up the C-130′s outer mold line, while still providing special operators with all of their desired payloads.

Lockheed also displayed a slightly different version of a larger C-130 airframe slightly over a year ago. At that time, Lockheed said the enlarged version could be needed to support the US Army’s increasingly heavier ground vehicles, and compete with the Airbus A400M.


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2 Responses to After 55 years, a whole new look for the C-130?

  1. Jay 6 October, 2009 at 4:46 pm #

    Sounds like we are headed back to the C-133 CargoMaster or something a little smaller, with advancements in turbo-props who knows or maybe geared turbofans? How big is a little bigger?

  2. Herkeng 6 October, 2009 at 5:16 pm #

    This looks like the same picture they used for the C-130XL or C-130Wide whatever they were calling that fat herk a year or so ago. AFSOC wanting Js? Not the crews…

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