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First flying 68 years ago, the Lockheed Hercules is a four-engine military transport plane that has seen extensive service throughout NATO and other nations around the world and is still in production as the C-130J Super Hercules. In addition to transport, operators of the C-130 have found a variety of different uses for the type. This has included being a gunship armed with artillery cannons, search and rescue, scientific research, aerial refuelling, electronic combat and maritime patrol to name but a few. Whilst the C-130J is still in production and is still receiving new orders, the RAF were the launch customer for this new version of the Hercules in 1995 and will be retiring their last example shortly before this year's Air Tattoo.
Jordan operates a mixed fleet of seven C-130H and three C-130E models all based with 3 Squadron which was formed on the type in 1959. Three of the C-130H models operated by the squadron were recently received from the USAF under the Ramp to Ramp (R2R) program. The R2R program allows the US Air Force to transfer airworthy C-130 airframes directly following a decision to cap the number of C-130 in the United States inventory.
The Royal International Air Tattoo would not be the same without its regular annual support from the Royal Jordanian Air Force who this year will once again be sending one of their C-130H Hercules to appear on static display, it is anticipated that this will be one of their recently received ex-USAF examples. Photo Credit: Eric Coeckleberghs