The familiar CC-130 Hercules is a mainstay of the Canadian Forces’ transport fleet. Renewing the tactical airlift fleet is a priority of the Government of Canada, as part of the Canada First Defence Strategy, and its commitment to a modernized and strengthened Canadian Forces. The new aircraft will enable troops to conduct safer and more effective operations at home and abroad.
The Air Force team demonstrated its agility, flexibility and professional capabilities by readying the aircraft and its crews for deployment to Afghanistan in less than seven months after receiving the first new J-model aircraft. Training, maintenance and operation procedures needed to be adapted to the specific characteristics of this aircraft, while ensuring an efficient and effective implementation schedule that would facilitate safe, effective, and sustained operations.
The CC-130J Hercules is a four-engine, fixed-wing turboprop aircraft that can carry up to 92 combat troops or 128 non-combat passengers. It is used for a wide range of missions, including troop transport, tactical airlift (both palletized and vehicular cargo) and aircrew training.
While on the outside the CC-130J looks almost identical to the older Hercules, internally the J-model Hercules is essentially a completely new aircraft. The new "Hercs" fly faster, higher and farther, and they carry heavier loads while burning less fuel. They can use shorter landing and take-off fields and their climb time is reduced by up to 50 per cent compared to the older models. They deliver cutting edge technology to provide the Canadian Forces with a modern, cost-effective, operationally-proven tactical airlift capability.
Not only is the new Hercules a more capable aircraft, it also requires fewer crew members than the older Hercules; it flies with a minimum crew of three – two pilots and a loadmaster – compared to five on the older Hercules.
The first of the 17 CC-130J Hercules tactical aircraft arrived in Canada on June 4, 2010, six months ahead of the original scheduled delivery date. The next four aircraft were delivered in 2010, while the final one was delivered in 2012, in accordance with the contract. All 17 CC-130Js will be based at 8 Wing Trenton, along with the future Air Mobility Training Centre that will house the equipment and personnel required to train the operators and maintainers of the CC-130J Hercules aircraft.
To emphasize the “newness” of this aircraft, the J models have been given a new series of tail numbers – the 600 series. The older Hercules have 300 series tail numbers (e.g., 130337). Thus, the first CC-130J Hercules has the tail number 130601.