Lockheed Martin has achieved a new delivery milestone by supplying the 500th C-130J Super Hercules airlifter.

The company delivered a C-130J-30 aircraft to the 130th Airlift Wing at the McLaughlin Air National Guard Base in Charleston, West Virginia, US, to mark the milestone.

Lockheed Martin Air Mobility & Maritime Missions (AMMM) line of business vice-president and general manager Rod McLean said: “This delivery represents the thousands of people — past and present — that design, build, fly, maintain and support C-130Js around the world.

“Like its namesake, the C-130J is a legend defined by its strength and power. Yet, it is the people who are part of the C-130J operator, production, supplier and industry partner communities who truly define the Super Hercules and helped the C-130J Program reach this monumental achievement.”

The US is one of the largest operators of the C-130J Super Hercules fleet. The aircraft is the current production model of the C-130 Hercules aircraft.

The US Air Force (USAF), the US Marine Corps and the US Coast Guard are gradually transitioning to the new model.

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The 130th Airlift Wing, a C-130 operator, is also modernising its Hercules fleet with C-130Js.

C-130J is available in 17 different mission configurations including transport (military and commercial), humanitarian aid delivery, aerial firefighting, search and rescue, natural disaster relief operations and aerial refuelling among others.

Compared to the legacy models, the aircraft can accommodate 30% more passengers and cargo and 44% more paratroopers.

Earlier this year, Lockheed Martin announced that it will manufacture LMXT strategic tanker aircraft at locations in the US states of Alabama and Georgia.