Image Cache: Australia has 12 C-130J Hercules turboprop medium-duty tactical airlift aircraft in its fleet, operated out of RAAF Base Richmond. The C-130J can carry 20 tonnes of cargo or 120 passengers, but it can also move when it needs to -- as this video demonstrates.
Captured by Warrant Officer Mark McIntyre, these images and video are an awesome demonstration of the Hercules flying over Australia and showing off its defensive capabilities. Flares like these are usually dispensed as a countermeasure against incoming infrared guided missiles, and most RAAF aircraft -- apart from trainers and some transports -- have a similar system fitted.
Pilots and aircrew from the RAAF's 285 training squadron took part in the activity yesterday, which happened over the Richmond base at an altitude of around 1000 metres. [Defence Image Library]
From 8-17 June 2016, No. 285 Squadron conducted an Airborne Operations Training Course from RAAF Base Richmond with pilots and loadmasters for the C-130J Hercules transport aircraft. For these members, the course forms the culmination of six-months training to operate the Hercules, and tests their skills in operating the aircraft at low-level, formation flying, the use of night-vision equipment, and airdrop of cargo. Once these members graduate from this course, they will be posted to No. 37 Squadron and conduct operational tasks with the Hercules, which provides Defence with a medium airlift capability, being able to carry up to 20 tonnes of cargo or more than 120 passengers, and operate from austere runways with little or no infrastructure.