Lockheed RC-130 Hercules

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RC-130 Hercules
Role Military reconnaissance aircraft
National origin United States
Manufacturer Lockheed
First flight 1958
Primary user United States Air Force
Produced 15
Developed from Lockheed C-130 Hercules

The Lockheed RC-130 Hercules were variants of the C-130 Hercules, designed for photographic or electronic reconnaissance missions.[1]

Operational history[edit]

A replica of 56-0528, a C-130A-II "Sun Valley" reconnaissance aircraft shot down over Armenia, Soviet Union, in 1958, on display at the National Cryptologic Museum, Fort Meade, Maryland

On 2 September 1958, C-130A-II 56-0528 was shotdown after it intruded into Soviet airspace during a reconnaissance mission along the Turkish-Armenian border.[2]


Electronics reconnaissance variant for use by 7407th Combat Support Wing, ten conversions from C-130A.[1]
Photo reconnaissance variant, one converted from a TC-130A and 15 built new.[1]
Electronic reconnaissance variant, 15 converted from C-130B later designated RC-130B.[1]
Re-designated from C-130B-II, all later converted back to C-130Bs.[1]
Two JC-130A aircraft were modified with the Battlefield Illumination Airborne System (BIAS) for night search-and rescue missions with the 446th Tactical Airlift Wing.[1][3]


 United States

See also[edit]

Related development

Related lists


  1. ^ a b c d e f Francillon 1982, p. 347-373
  2. ^ "NSA PDF file" (PDF). 
  3. ^ Pike, John. "Battlefield Illumination Airborne System (BIAS)". www.globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 14 September 2018. 


  • Francillon, René. Lockheed Aircraft since 1913. London: Putnam, 1982. ISBN 0-370-30329-6.