Similar to the E model, the C-130H has updated T56-A-T5 turboprops, a redesigned outer wing, updated avionics, and other minor improvements. The C-130E/H carries 6,700 gallons of fuel in six integral wing tanks. Under each wing of the C-130E/H is an external pylon fuel tank with a capacity of 1,300 gallons. A pressure refueling point is in the aft side wheel well fairing for ground refueling. As a response to the role played by the tactical airlift fleet in Operation Just Cause and in the Persian Gulf War, Congress approved the procurement of more C-130H's to replace the aging E models. Delivery began in July 1974 [other sources state April 1975]. More than 350 C-130Hs and derivatives were ordered for active and reserve units of the US services, including eight funded in FY 1996. Production of the H has now ended. Units in Military Airlift Command, the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve are equipped with this model. The Night Vision Instrumentation System was introduced from 1993; TCAS II in new aircraft from 1994. ANG and AFRC C-130Hs are used in fire-fighting missions. Specifically modified aircraft are used by the 757th AS, AFRC, based at Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport ARS, Ohio, for aerial spraying, typically to suppress mosquito-spread epidemics. Seven LC-130Hs, modified with wheel-ski gear, are operated by ANG's 109th AW in support of Arctic and Antarctic operations.
C-130H-model enhancements include features to improve maintainability, reliability, protection and performance. The Lockheed aircraft boasts state-of-the-art avionics and more powerful engines, which increase its allowable cargo load, range and altitude capability. It was designed to better protect its aircrews by using sensor equipment that warns of oncoming aircraft or incoming missiles. It is also equipped with dispensers that release chaff and flares that decoy enemy missiles away from the aircraft. Other enhancements include Global Positioning System, Low Power Color Radar and night-vision interior lighting that allows aircrews to use night-vision goggles for operations in very low light conditions.
The Center Wing Replacement program replaces aging center wing structure on C-130H model aircraft whose service life expires in 2005-2010. Aircraft will be retained in inventory until 2030. Center Wing kits will be purchased and then installed at the depot over a period of FY05-12. This program is funded. Build to print type effort. Quantities: 55 Cargo C-130H models.
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