The Super Hercules also has improved propellers over the older models. The new propellers increase the plane's overall efficiency, while the aircraft's engines are 25 percent more powerful than the previous model.
C130's come with some serious fire power and each aircraft can be modified for specific missions. The C-130J Ghostrider carries small diameter bombs, wing-mounted Hellfire missiles, and a M102 Howitzer cannon.
The EC-130 variant is specifically designed for electronic warfare. It can jam enemy signals, transmit commands to other planes, and transmit radio broadcasts to civilians in disaster relief or psychological warfare.
(Photo via Tech. Sgt. James L. Harper/USAF)
There is also the WC-130 Hurricane Hunter. The WC-130 is used for weather reconnaissance missions and can increase the accuracy of the National Hurricane Center's forecasts by 30 percent.
(Photo via Tech. Sgt. James B. Pritchett/USAF)
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The endlessly flexible Lockheed C-130 Hercules is simply an astounding aircraft that can handle nearly any challenge thrown its way.
Designed against the backdrop of the Korean War, it has been over 60 years since the aircraft's first flight. Despite its age, the plane's airframe continues to be adapted and upgraded for novel uses across the full spectrum of the U.S. military.
From humanitarian rescue to paratrooper airdrops to gunship-type functions, the C-130 airframe is a marvel of ingenuity and versatility.