Here’s Why the C-130 Is Such a Badass Plane

The Lockheed Martin C-130 is US Air Force’s principal tactical cargo and personnel transport aircraft. The C-130J Hercules is the latest model, featuring a glass cockpit, digital avionics and a new propulsion system with a six-bladed propeller.

The C-130 has been in continuous production since 1954, and more than 2,500 Hercules aircraft were built for 63 countries.”The C-130J is equipped with four Allison AE2100D3 turboprop engines, each rated at 4,591 shaft horsepower (3,425kW).”

Cargo systems

The cargo bay of the C-130J has a total usable volume of more than 4,500ft³ and can accommodate loads up to 37,216lb. For example, three armoured personnel carriers, five pallets, 74 litters (stretchers), 92 equipped combat troops or 64 paratroops. The bay is equipped with cargo handling rollers, tie-down rings, stowage containers, and stowage for troop seats.

Radar

The Northrop Grumman MODAR 4,000-colour weather and navigation radar is installed in the upward-hinged dielectric radome in the nose of the aircraft. The weather radar has a range of 250nm.

Turboprop engines of C-130J

The C-130J is equipped with four Allison AE2100D3 turboprop engines, each rated at 4,591 shaft horsepower (3,425kW). The all-composite six-blade R391 propeller system was developed by Dowty Aerospace.

The engines are equipped with full-authority digital electronic control (FADEC) by Lucas Aerospace. An automatic thrust control system (ATCS) optimises the balance of power on the engines, allowing lower values of minimum control speeds and superior short-airfield performance.

The aircraft can carry a maximum internal fuel load of 45,900lb. An additional 18,700lb of fuel can be carried in external underwing fuel tanks. The refuelling probe installed on the centre of the fuselage has been relocated to the port side, over the cockpit.

Countermeasures

The ATK AN/AAR-47 missile warning system uses electro-optic sensors to detect missile exhaust and advanced signal processing algorithms and spectral selection to analyse and prioritise threats. Sensors are mounted near the nose just below the second cockpit window and in the tail cone.

The BAE Systems AN/ALR-56M radar warning receiver is a superheterodyne receiver operating in the 2GHz to 20GHz bands. A low-band antenna and four high-band quadrant antennae are installed near the nose section below the second window of the cockpit and in the tail cone.

The BAE Systems Integrated Defence Solutions (formerly Tracor) AN/ALE-47 countermeasures system is capable of dispensing chaff and infra-red flares in addition to the POET and GEN-X active expendable decoys.

The Lockheed Martin AN/ALQ-157 infra-red countermeasures system generates a varying frequency-agile infrared jamming signal. The infrared transmitter is surface-mounted at the aft end of the main undercarriage bay fairing.

USAF has selected the Northrop Grumman Large Aircraft Infra-red Countermeasures (LAIRCM) system to equip its C-130 aircraft. LAIRCM is based on the AN/AAQ-24(V) NEMESIS.

It entered low-rate initial production in August 2002 and completed initial operational test and evaluation in July 2004.

A five-year delivery order for the system was placed by USAF in July 2006. Australia requested the sale of LAIRCM to equip its fleet of 12 C-130J in May 2008.

Article originally appeared on Airforce technology 

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