The first three C-130J Super Hercules for India take the final positions on Lockheed Martin’s assembly line in Marietta, Ga. India will receive six aircraft plus support, with the first aircraft arrival in India scheduled for February 2011. The six C-130Js will give the Indian Army and Air Force new special operations capabilities using the world’s most advanced airlifter. Indian Air Force had ordered six to be delivered starting December 2010. Option to purchase six more.
The C-130J is the newest version of the Hercules and the only model still in production. Externally similar to the classic Hercules in general appearance, the J model sports considerably updated technology. These differences include new Rolls-Royce AE 2100 D3 turboprops with Dowty R391 composite scimitar propellers, digital avionics (including Head-Up Displays (HUDs) for each pilot) and reduced crew requirements (two pilots and one loadmaster—no navigator or flight engineer).
The aircraft can also be configured with the “enhanced cargo handling system”. The system consists of a computerized load masters station from where the user can remotely control the under floor winch and also configure the flip floor system to palletized roller or flat floor cargo handling. The cargo compartment is approximately 41 feet long, 9 feet high, and 10 feet wide, and loading is from the rear of the fuselage. Initially developed for the USAF, this system enables rapid role changes to be carried out and so extends the C-130J’s time available to complete taskings. These combined changes have improved performance over its C-130E/H siblings, such as 40% greater range, 21% higher maximum speed, and 41% shorter take-off distance.