IED blamed for Hercules loss

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Hostile action was responsible for the loss of a UK Royal Air Force Lockheed Martin C-130J tactical transport in Iraq on 12 February, according to the UK Ministry of Defence. "The initial investigation suggests that it was struck by an improvised explosive device [IED] similar to a roadside bomb," minister for defence procurement Lord Drayson revealed last week.
The aircraft, ZH876, suffered significant damage while landing at an airstrip in Iraq's western Maysan province, but all the crew and personnel aboard survived without serious injury (Flight International, 20-26 February). Worth an estimated £45 million ($87.7 million), the platform was destroyed after an assessment that it "could not be recovered without undue risk to personnel", says Drayson. The RAF's remaining C-130J fleet now totals 24 aircraft.