The C-130 is an old reliable. It's been hauling soldiers, dropping supplies and refuelling planes for 60 years. And with the arrival of the new MC-130J Combat Shadow II, this model will be around for another 30.
The Combat Shadow II is lighter and more powerful than earlier C-130s. It has five turboprops and, at 41,276kg, is the lightest MC-130 ever produced. As a result, the plane has 25 per cent more takeoff power and 20 per cent more cruise power than previous models. It's a monster plane, but it'll run lean and mean.
The first MC-130J Combat Shadow II rolled off the Lockheed Martin production line and landed at Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico, US this week. It's the first of 20 planes on order for the US Air Force Special Ops and the first of 10 expected to arrive at Cannon Air Force Base this year.