A C-130 Hercules aircraft, H variant, that was transferred free of charge from the excess of the Unites States of America’s Government to the Romanian Air Force, landed on “Aurel Vlaicu” International Airport Bucharest Băneasa, on Tuesday, 14th December.
The transport aircraft will enter the property of the 90th Airlift Base, 901st Strategic Airlift Squadron. Thus, the sixth C-130 Hercules aircraft of the Romanian Air Force will increase the projection capacity of the Romanian Armed Forces by conducting airlift missions in support of own or NATO partners countries.
After having landed, the aircraft was taken over by the ROMAERO S.A. specialists in order to align it to the maintenance standards of the Romanian Air Force.
The aircraft transfer, ratified by means of a Letter of Offer and Acceptance – type agreement is the result of a complex process run during the last years within the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Program through the United States Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC) from Bucharest. For an efficient transfer of this aircraft, the ODC was in tight relation with the Romanian Air Force as well as with the United States’ C-130 Program Coordination Office.
The airlifter was brought to Romania by 120th Airlift Wing crew of Air National Guard Montana, who has operated the aircraft up to present.
Thus, our country is among the first partner states which has been directly transferred a US operational aircraft within the C-130 Ramp to Ramp (R2R) new Program.
The Romanian Air Force operates five more C-130 Hercules airlifters, four of them being „B” variant and one in „H” variant.
The first Hercules C-130 „B” aircraft landed in Romania on 25th October 1996, followed by other three such airlifters. The first flight executed by a C-130 aircraft operated by an entire Romanian crew took place on 18th March 1997, while the first mission outside the Romanian borders was executed in the summer of the same year. The first Hercules of the Romanian Air Force landed in Afghanistan on 28th January 2002.
The fifth C-130 Hercules, variant H, entered the service of the Romanian Air Force on 14th February 2007.
Being an airlifter on medium and long distances, C-130 Hercules, together with C27J Spartan airlifters were the main means for supporting own troops deployed in the theaters of operations, intervening and offering aid in natural disaster situations, both at national and international levels.
Over the years, this type of Romanian aircraft participated in various exercises conducted in Europe (Bulgaria, The Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Great Britain, Norway, Portugal and Poland) as well as in domestic and international humanitarian missions (China, Indonesia, Libya, Montenegro, and Turkey).
This type of aircraft – the most used military airlifter worldwide – is used by more than 50 countries.