C-130H(NZ) Hercules

Five Lockheed C-130H Hercules aircraft are in service.  The aircraft have received a number of modifications and upgrades with the most recent being a Life Extension Programme (LEP) that started in 2005. This involved an extensive avionics upgrade of the flight deck and structural refurbishment. Upon completion of this programme the aircraft were re-designated the C-130H(NZ).

The C-130H(NZ) provides strategic airlift (inter-theatre) and tactical airlift (intra-theatre) as well as participating in international training exercises. Tasks are flown in support of combat, peace-keeping and humanitarian relief operations. The agility of the C-130H(NZ) means it can be seen operating in the cold of Antarctica one week and the heat of the tropics the next.

Operating Unit: No. 40 Squadron

Five aircraft + six member crew (pilot, co-pilot, air warfare officer, air engineer and two loadmasters).

Fleet History

The RNZAF currently operates five C-130(NZ) Hercules. It took delivery of the first three Hercules (NZ7001 – NZ7003) in 1965. These were the first C-130H production models off the Lockheed production line. A further two C-130H, (NZ7004 – NZ7005) were added in 1969.

Missions flown include:

  • Passenger and cargo movement (by airland or airdrop)
  • Combat employment and sustainment
  • Humanitarian aid and disaster relief
  • Aero-medical evacuation
  • Antarctica New Zealand support
  • Special operations


Aircraft C-130H(NZ) Hercules 
Manufacturer Lockheed (USA) 
Power plant 4 x Allison T56-A-15 engines (4,910 shaft horsepower) 
Length 29.8m (98ft) 
Wingspan 40.5m (133ft) 
Height 11.7m (38ft) 
Basic weight 34,927kg (77,000lb) 
Gross weight 70,307kg (155,000lb) 
Max payload 17,250kg (38,000lb) 
Max fuel 27,808kg (61,308lb) 
Ferry Range Approx 7,400km (4,000nm) 
Typical Range Range of approx 4,100km (2,200nm) with payload of 12,700kg (28,000Ib) Note: All performance figures for still air, ISA conditions with standard fuel reserves. 
Cruising speed 555km/h (300kts) 
Operational altitude Sea level – 12,802m (42,000ft) 
Crew Two pilots, one air warfare officer, one flight engineer and two loadmasters 
Passenger Configuration 92 troops or 64 paratroops 
Medivac Configuration 70 stretchers