RNLAF Buys ex-USN C-130s
25 Nov 2005
On Tuesday 22 November 2005, the contract was signed for the acquisition of two C-130 Hercules aircraft. The Royal Netherlands Air Force will expand its Hercules fleet with two additional medium-heavy tactical transport aircraft.
Acquired through Derco Aerospace the aircraft included in the deal are former TACAMO EC-130Qs N14781 (c/n 4781, ex USN/160608) and N9239G (c/n 4988, ex USN/162313). A third EC-130Q (N54595, c/n 4595, ex USN/159469) will serve as a source for spare parts. All three were retired to the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, in 1991, and were sold off in 1997 which moved them into the Dross Metals Inc/ARM yard in Tucson, Arizona, adjacent to AMARC.
Previous plans to acquire only a third Hercules from the UK MOD (planned to be followed by a fourth example several years after) were cancelled because of delays. In mid-2005 the Dutch Ministry of Defence decided to purchase two C-130s now to enter service in 2007. The two C-130s will replace the four Fokker 60 medium-light transport aircraft. The C-130 is more capable and better equipped for the tactical transport role (rear cargo ramp), and also offers better range and capacity.
After transport, the two aircraft will get a complete overhaul, and receive fully refurbished engines and propellors. They will also be fitted with modern avionics and "glass" cockpit. The two reworked C-130H (short) Hercules aircraft are expected to enter service in 2007 with Eindhoven-based 334 Squadron, joining the two existing C-130H-30 (stretched) aircraft already in service, which will in future also be fitted with updated cockpits similarly to the two new C-130H.