Intratheater Airlift; Information on the Air Force's C-130 Aircraft.
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DIV
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The current C-130 fleet is comprised of 12 different variants and the missions vary with each variant. While most of the current fleet is comprised of combat delivery aircraft, many of the C-130 variants perform specialized missions. The combat delivery C-130 fleet, designated as C-130Es and C-130Hs, is used in a wide variety of wartime and peacetime missions. in wartime, the C-130 combat delivery aircraft primarily performs the intratheater portion of the airlift mission, leaving the long-range intertheater transport mission to larger aircraft such as the C-5 and C-17. These C-130s primarily provide rapid transportation of personnel or cargo for delivery by parachute to a designated drop zone, or by landing at austere locations within the conflict area. These aircraft are also the primary aeromedical evacuation aircraft in a conflict. In peacetime, the combat delivery C-130 is used for training flights, regularly scheduled channel operations, and special assignment missions. It is also used in fire fighting and humanitarian relief missions. For example, it has been used to airlift heavy equipment into remote areas of other countries to build airports and roads, and transport local goods. In addition to the missions performed by the basic combat delivery C-130 aircraft, 11 other variants perform specialized missions. These missions include 1 weather reconnaissance, performed by the WC-130 aircraft 2 special communication missions, performed by the EC-130 aircraft and 3 search and rescue, performed by the HC-130 aircraft. The 12 different C-130 models that are currently in the fleet and their respective missions are summarized in table 1.
- Military Aircraft Operations
- Transport Aircraft