Lockheed Martin handed over its final C-130J Super Hercules to the USAF’s Air Mobility Command (AMC) on May 27.
The aircraft, a C-130J-30 – serial 17-5897 – was delivered to the 19th Airlift Wing (AW) “Black Knights” at Little Rock Air Force Base (AFB), Arkansas, which is the largest Super Hercules operator in the world. Dubbed “Herk Nation”, the base boasts a fleet of 47 C-130Js, shared between the 19th AW and 314th AW.
Col John Schutte, commander of the 19th AW, said: “It’s an [honour] to be part of the team of airmen that welcomed the final C-130J to the home of Herk Nation… This latest addition to the world’s largest C-130J fleet will be put to immediate use as we continue to project and sustain agile combat airlift, globally.”
The 19th AW began its transition from the older C-130H to the C-130J in 2004. The ‘J’ variant offers a longer fuselage with additional pallet positions for increased airlift capabilities. It features an updated cockpit and digital avionics, more efficient six-bladed Rolls-Royce AE 2100D3 turboprop engines, which provide improved range and speed in comparison to older C-130 models.
As per AirForces Intelligence, the USAF currently operates a total of 125 C-130J-30s and ten C-130Js. The 19th AW operates the former under the 41st Airlift Squadron “Black Cats” and the 61st AS “Green Hornets” from Little Rock AFB.