CC-130H Hercules


CC-130H Hercules



The CC-130H Hercules is a four-engine fixed-wing turboprop aircraft that can carry up to 78 combat troops. It is used for a wide range of missions, including:

  • troop transport
  • tactical airlift (both palletized and vehicular cargo)
  • search and rescue (SAR)
  • air-to-air refuelling (AAR)
  • aircrew training.

It can carry more than 17,000 kilograms of fuel for tactical AAR. In the tactical AAR role, the Hercules can transfer 450 to 900 kilograms of fuel per minute. It refuels the CF-18 Hornet fighter aircraft in less than five minutes.

The CC-130H Hercules has a maximum range of 7,222 kilometres and a cruising speed of 556 kilometres per hour. Capable of short takeoffs and landings (STOL) on unprepared runways, it can respond to SAR emergencies on almost any terrain and under the most challenging weather conditions. It can also transport troops and equipment in support of humanitarian aid operations conducted by the Canadian Forces Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART).

The first CC-130H/E Hercules entered service in Canada in 1960. The current CC-130H Hercules was purchased in 1996. The first of 17 new J-model CC-130s arrived in 2010 replacing the oldest aircraft in the Hercules fleet.


Named OperationsYearLocationHow the aircraft was employed
BOXTOP Annually Canada Delivers fuel and supplies to the remote Canadian Forces Station Alert, Nunavut.
IMPACT 2014-Ongoing Iraq, Syria Transports supplies and equipment, in support of the Global Coalition against Daesh in Iraq and Syria.


Technical Specifications

Technical Specifications

Aircraft Description A four-engine turboprop tactical transport aircraft with a rear cargo ramp, rugged landing gear, good short-field performance and high ground clearance for engines and propellers, used for troop transport, tactical airlift (both palletized and vehicular cargo), search and rescue, air-to-air refueling, and aircrew training and qualification. Designed to operate from unimproved airstrips in an active theatre of operations.
Length 29.79 m (97.7 ft)
Wingspan 40.41 m (132.6 ft)
Height 11.73 m (38.5 ft)
Empty Weight 37,272 kg (82,000 lbs)
Maximum Gross Weight 87,320 kg (175,000 lbs)
Power 4 Allison T-56-A-15 engines
Speed 556 km/h (345 mph)
Service Ceiling 10,770 m (35,335 ft)
Maximum Range 7,222 km (4,488 statute miles)
Crew 2 pilots, 1 air combat systems officer, 1 flight engineer and 1 loadmaster, plus 2 search and rescue technicians on SAR operations
Passengers 92
Troops 90
Paratroopers 64
Litters 74 plus 2 attendants
Year(s) procured 1960 to 1997
Quantity in CF 12
Location(s) 8 Wing Trenton, ON
14 Wing Greenwood, NS
17 Wing Winnipeg, MB




A helicopter painted in yellow and red search and rescue colours rests on the tarmac with people wearing military uniforms working on or near it.

Chinthex 2019 – SAR operations exercise

Chinthex 2019 honed 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron members’ search and rescue skills, and those of a diverse group of units and partners.
May 28, 2019

A member of the RCMP and Santa Claus shake hands in front of a large military cargo aircraft. The RCMP member gives a thumbs up signal.

8 Wing and 5 Wing help RCMP spread holiday cheer to the north

On December 10, 2018, the RCAF again assisted the RCMP in their “Toys for the North” campaign to deliver toys to children in some of Canada’s most remote, northerly locations.
December 17, 2018

Three people wearing flight suits sit at the end of an open ramp on board an aircraft during a flight, with another aircraft in the background.

RCAF concludes participation in CRUZEX 2018

RCAF members participate in CRUZEX 2018 in Brazil, strengthening a nine-year bilateral relationship.
December 11, 2018

A large olive-green tent sits on the grass alongside a building.

‘Anchor station’ provides all ops support from, basically, a tent

14 Wing Greenwood’s deployable mission support centre provides a high-tech office and communications hub in a tent for Canadian Armed Forces members on deployed operations.
November 21, 2018

Two large propeller-driven aircraft rest on a runway.

RCAF personnel arrive in Brazil for start of multinational exercise

Members of the RCAF and two CC-130J Hercules aircraft are in Brazil to participate in a South American, multi-national exercise.
November 19, 2018

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