C-130J surpasses two million flight hours

A major milestone has been passed for Lockheed Martin's C-130J Super Hercules as the type recently surpassed two million flight hours.

The figure was calculated from flight hours amassed by the C-130J's international operators, from 22 independent operators under 18 separate nations. These hours were logged from the aircraft's first flight on April 5, 1996 through to the end of July 2019. 

KC-130J [Jamie Hunter]
A US Marine Corps Lockheed Martin KC-130J Super Hercules, BuNo 168070, from the Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 (VMGR-252) 'Otis' in flight. Jamie Hunter

The C-130J achieved this figure in just over 20 years and through providing operators with multiple mission roles including humanitarian relief, aerial refuelling, aerial firefighting, weather reconnaissance, special operations, medevac, search and rescue, commercial freight delivery, along with transport of troops and equipment inside and outside active combat areas.

Rod McLean, vice president and general manager of the Air Mobility and Maritime Missions line at Lockheed Martin, said: "The C-130J has earned a reputation as the world's workhorse and this most recent achievement is a powerful reminder of the Super Hercules' unmatched global reach." 

"Crews continue to [demonstrate] the C-130J's proven capability and versatility with every mission they fly. The Lockheed Martin team is proud of the work of the Super Herc crews who rely on the C-130J to support vital missions, both home and abroad," he added.

C-130J-30 [Khalem Chapman]
A US Air Force Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Super Hercules, serial 08-8602 from the 37th Airlift Squadron 'Blue Tail Flies,' based at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, performs a flypast at the Royal International Air Tattoo 2017. Khalem Chapman

In alphabetical order, the C-130J Super Hercules is in military service with Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, France, India, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Kuwait, Norway, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Tunisia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

More countries have also ordered the type, with Bangladesh starting to receive its order of five ex-Royal Air Force C-130Js to replace the country's ageing C-130B fleet. The first aircraft was delivered in August 2019. Egypt and Libya have ordered two C-130Js each and Germany has ordered three C-130J-30s and three KC-130Js respectively, which will be operated at Évreux-Fauville air base in northern France as part of a joint Franco-German unit.