Thirty-four years of operational service have come to end for the C-130H, with the retirement of the aircraft from active service at a formal ceremony at RAAF Base Richmond on November 30.
The aircraft have played an invaluable role since 1978 supporting defence personal on operation, humanitarian airlifts and missions as varied as airdropping hay to stranded cattle, airlift support to the Australian Antarctic mission and, of course, flying passengers stranded during the pilots’ strike of 1989.
Minister for defence Stephen Smith said the newer generation C-130Js will carry on the legacy of Air Force variants of the Hercules transport.
Four of the retired C-130Hs will be transferred to the Indonesian Air Force, two will be retained by the RAAF for training purposes at RAAF Richmond and the Air Force Museum at Point Cook, while options are being considered for the disposal of the remaining six aircraft.
The RAAF’s airlift capability will be maintained by 12 C-130Js, six C-17s and 10 C-27J Spartans.