Can a C-130 Carry a Tank?


What is C-130? 

The C- 130 Hercules is an American military aircraft. It is designed originally by Lockheed Martin. It was built and designed as a cargo and troop aircraft. Read further to know that can a C-130 carry a tank.

It took its first flight in 1954 on the 23rd of August and it is still in service.  Although it was inducted into the military forces of the United States in 1956.

Its features and details are as follows:

  • It is a four-engine turboprop aircraft that is used by America.
  • It is used for military transport purposes. It has a flight 
  • The mechanical structure of C-130 aircraft is versatile and has been used for many roles.
  • It can be used for carrying heavy aircraft guns that are used for airstrikes to attack their ground targets. Or in short, C-130 carries gunships (AC-130).
  • The military aircraft C-130 Hercules has a top speed of 592 kilometers per hour and a wingspan of about 40 meters. 
  • It weighs 34,400 kilograms, with an engine type – Allison T56. It has a flexible design allowing it to perform several missions and roles in the service.
  • The military transport aircraft can be used for search operations, rescue operations, refueling of aircraft in the air, aerial firefighting, regarding weather conditions, aeromedical operations or missions, airlifting supplies and troops, and maritime patrolling. 
  • It has participated in numerous military activities, including human-air operations, and civilian operations. 
  • It has been widely used for transporting and delivering cargo and supplies for military purposes globally.
  • Lockheed’s design and around 45 variants of C-130 have been serving at least 60 nations worldwide due to its features and properties. 
  • The C-130 Hercules is one of the longest-serving aircraft marking more than 60 years of its service in the United States for its Air Force.
  • Lockheed cooperation or Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company has been working on producing the updated version of the C-130 Hercule aircraft that is c130J. 
  • It is being produced and will have updated features like a new flight deck, new engines, and several other parts.

With these fabulous features, C-130 Hercules is primarily used by the United States Air Force, Royal Air Force., United States Coast Guard as well as the Royal Guardian Canadian Air Force.

To learn more about the history of the C-130 and its variants refer to this link given below:

What can C-130 carry?

The mission of C-130J (the modified variant of C-130 Hercules) is to perform tactical airlift operations. The aircraft is the primary source for airdropping arms, equipment, and troops in rough or hostile areas. 

It is capable of carrying around 93 combat troops along with tanks and other types of equipment. The J model can carry more and fly higher and faster.

The C-130J Hercules has satisfied all operations and roles in situations with both peace war. 

  1. The C-130J Hercules can carry or transport tanks
  • The aircraft is capable of carrying at least 2 M1A2 Abrams tanks which are the main battle tanks. 

The C-130J Hercules is also capable of carrying 10 armored vehicles (8×8). 

  • The United States Marine corps replaced the KC-130F tanker fleet that was aging with the new KC-130J tanker, which has several new features that can increase the performance and improve all its utility. 
  • The tanker KC-130J is a force multiplier tank and helps to refuel the wings of the aircraft (fixed wings as well as rotary wings). 
  • The J tanker can help in conducting rapid refueling to enhance the performance as well.
  1. The C-130 Hercules can carry 60 plus paratroopers along with their armaments and several other types of equipment. They are seated on the side-facing part of the aircraft.
  1. Below is a picture showing C-130J aircraft that can carry 3 tankers and the other variant C-130J-J30 that is stretched approximately 15 feet than C-130J. 

So C-130J-J-30 is able to carry 4 tanks. 

  1. C-130J is capable of carrying  45,000 pounds of cargo, and it can airlift 92 ground troops. It has a normal weight of 130,000 pounds for landing.
  1. The C-130J Hercules can carry missiles, fire tanks, tactical trucks use for loading and unloading equipment.
  2. The aircraft is capable of lifting troops, carrying fuel trucks and relief supplies essential for medical care.
  3. It can also carry or transport Humvees, which are jeeps having jet fuels, for fueling the wings and parts of the C-130J aircraft. 

There are plenty of more information regarding the features and characteristics of the C-130j Super Hercules military aircraft:

  • It might make you think that being a heavy military aircraft, can C-130 land on an Aircraft Carrier?
  • Well, certainly yes. The C-130 Hercules Aircraft is loaded with cargo, troops, and tanks. But, in 1963 the C-130 has landed on an aircraft carrier, USS Forrestal. The Navy of the United States planned to fly the Lockheed’s C-130 Hercules, which has made it the biggest aircraft that landed on an aircraft carrier, making it a successful mission.
  • The landing was certainly non-assisted, that is no assistance or gear was provided to the military aircraft. The aircraft or planes are made differently to withstand the air pressure and to land on a carrier.
  •  It was not less than a miracle because the flight deck of the USS Forrestal is shorter than Nimitz and Ford-Class carrier. The landing was beyond anybody’s expectation and imagination. 
  • This is the reason the author Joseph Earn Dabney wrote a book on the C-130 Hercules named Hero of the Skies”.

But, it is certainly a very risky procedure hence, it cannot be followed again as a routine.

C-130 Hercules was not meant to proceed for landings on an aircraft career. C-130 has landed at times on an aircraft career but the aircraft was not used again without getting it repaired. Because the landing was more similar to a crash landing, making the process risky. 

Below is the link you can visit to know more about the C-130 landing details performed in 1963:

So, we have discussed all about C-130 Hercules military aircraft, its features, characteristics, roles, and many more. The historic story of the landing of the biggest aircraft on an aircraft carrier has also been discussed above in the article. 

To learn more about the  variant of C-130 Hercules military aircraft please click on the link below:

**Thank you for your interest in the article**

Can a C-130 Carry a Tank?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top