The CC-130 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:
tactical airlift (both palletized and vehicular cargo)
search and rescue (SAR)
air-to-air refuelling (AAR)
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 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.