#1297 C-130H Hercules (Tp84)
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Squadron Prints Lithograph No. 1297 - C-130H Hercules Tp84, 84004, 71 Airlift Squadron, F7 Skaraborg Wing, Satenas, Swedish Air Force. In 1948, a component of F7’s 73rd Fighter Squadron was assigned to perform air transport missions with their converted B3s (Junkers 86) and later also the Douglas DC-3. As a result of its conversion to the C-130, the 73rd Squadron became the first European Hercules operator when it received its aircraft in 1965. A second aircraft arrived in 1969 and a third delivered in 1975. The 73rd Fighter Squadron was disbanded in 1977, however their transport duties remained and consequently the 71st Airlift Squadron was formed in its place. The squadron received a further five C-130 aircraft in 1981. The C-130 was designated “Tp84” in Swedish Air Force service, where Tp, meaning Transport, is the Swedish equivalent to the designation “C” and 84 is the numerical description based upon the order the model was introduced. The aircraft were given tail numbers 841 to 848 in the order in which they were delivered. The first two aircraft to be delivered, 841 and 842, are C-130E1 and C-130E2 models respectively, whereas 843 was delivered as a C-130H1 and 844 to 848 are C-130H2 models. Since then, all eight aircraft have been upgraded with Allison T56-A-15 engines and APUs. The 71st Squadron and its “off-field capabilities” were soon in demand and 841 was sent to support the Red Cross during the 1968 Biafra famine. Since then, the Squadron has continued to provide disaster relief throughout the world when called upon. The most recent example was assisting the international aid effort in the wake of Hurricane Hayan in the Philippines in 2013. As an airlifter, the C-130 provides military air logistics on a daily basis, but it was not until the Balkan conflict that the Swedish C-130 became combat proven whilst participating in the air bridge to Sarajevo. Since then, the 71st Squadron has taken part in military operations under both EUFOR in Africa and ISAF in Afghanistan, as well as performing non-military extraction operations. The squadron is also often tasked with the transportation of civilian outsized cargo including the support of scientific expeditions in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Aircraft 842 was converted to a tanker and became operational in time for Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR in Libya 2011, where it provided air to air refuelling support for Swedish fighter aircraft. Today, the 71st Airlift Squadron continues to provide the Swedish Armed Forces with its Airlift, Airdrop and AAR capabilities wherever and whenever they are needed.