RIYADH: The C-130 Hercules transport aircraft has long been known as the world’s workhorse, toiling away for 70 nations around the globe, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) relies on the C-130 to support a myriad of tactical airlift requirements, from regional peacekeeping exercises to delivering much-needed resources to countries and communities afflicted by natural disasters. Saudi Arabia’s C-130s are national assets that have long functioned as global resources.
“The Kingdom is home to the largest C-130 fleet outside of the United States. Our presence in the Kingdom goes back to 1965 when we delivered the first C-130 aircraft. Since then, our relationship has strengthened into a long-term relationship based on innovation, technology, security and active participation toward the realization of Saudi Vision 2030,” said Joseph Rank, chief executive, Lockheed Martin Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia has an active fleet of Hercules aircraft variations, including 52 C-130H/KC-130/L-100. At its peak, the Kingdom’s Hercules fleet was made up of 65 aircraft.
The Kingdom expanded its presence as a leader in the worldwide Hercules community in 2013 when it chose the C-130J Super Hercules with its initial acquisition of two KC-130J aerial refuelers.
The KC-130J is a variant of the C-130J Super Hercules, the current and most advanced C-130 production model. To date, 20 nations around the world operate or plan to operate Super Hercules aircraft.
The C-130J represents a complete reinvention of the legacy Hercules. Advanced avionics, two head-up displays, reduced crew requirements, automated maintenance systems, upgraded engines and Dowty six-bladed propellers help the C-130J go further and faster than older models.
The KC-130J operates as a tactical transport or tanker, with the ability to refuel fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft.
The KC-130J also has the capability to conduct rapid ground refueling operations. The KC-130J can also be used for airland and airdrop delivery of combat troops, personnel and cargo.
“The RSAF’s KC-130Js make a strong Hercules fleet even stronger and more dynamic. The KC-130J is a proven platform that is defined by its power, versatility and unmatched capabilities. It’s a natural addition to the RSAF’s fleet and we are proud that the RSAF crews use the KC-130J to support critical and vital transport and tanker requirements,” said Christopher Antone, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Vice President for Strategic Pursuits and Business Development – Saudi Arabia.