The Colombian Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Colombiana ) received the last two of three Lockheed C-130H Hercules from the U.S. Air Force on 4 August 2021. The three aircraft, from US surplus stocks, were acquired under a 2018 Defense Surplus Goods Sales Program bilateral agreement for $30 million. They will be the first Colombian C-130H Hercules equipped with chaff and flare countermeasure dispensers. The new Hercules, who arrived yesterday at the Air Transport Command (CATAM), based in Bogotá, will receive registration numbers FAC1017 and FAC1018, completing the list with the FAC1016 that arrived in Colombia on October 6, 2020.
The Lockheed C-130H Hercules is a tactical airlift platform capable of operating from rough, dirt air strips and is the U.S. Air Force’s primary transport for airdropping personnel and equipment. The Colombian air force will customize the aircraft over the coming months to meet the country’s specific needs, but adding it to the fleet improves readiness for a range of potential future missions, from disaster relief to humanitarian assistance to security operations. This is the first of several C-130 aircraft that will be donated by the United States under the Excess Defense Articles grant program.
The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is an American four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed (now Lockheed Martin). Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medevac, and cargo transport aircraft. The versatile airframe has found uses in a variety of other roles. More than 40 variants of the Hercules, including civilian versions marketed as the Lockheed L-100, operate in more than 60 nations. The C-130 Hercules is the longest continuously produced military aircraft at over 60 years.
The initial production model was the C-130A, with four Allison T56-A-11 or -9 turboprop engines. A total of 219 were ordered and deliveries began in December 1956. The C-130B introduced Allison T56-A-7 turboprop engines and the first of 134 entered Air Force service in May 1959. Introduced in August of 1962, the 389 C-130Es that were ordered using the same Allison T56-A-7 engine, but added two 1,290 gallon external fuel tanks and an increased maximum takeoff weight capability. June 1974 introduced the first of 308 C-130Hs with the more powerful Allison T56-A-15 turboprop engine. Nearly identical to the C-130E externally, the new engine brought major performance improvements to the aircraft.