RC-130 Hercules
A C-130 similar to this one, can be modified for reconnaissance
Role Military reconnaissance aircraft
National origin United States
Manufacturer Lockheed
First flight 1958
Status Retired
Primary user United States Air Force
Produced 15
Developed from Lockheed C-130 Hercules

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

Operational history

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 shot down 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

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.
  4. ^ "Why Iran's Air Force is Still Flying American Planes". 13 February 2017.