After 47 years of good and loyal service, the Ejército del Aire (the Spanish Air Force) bid farewell to its Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport aircraft with a series of training missions.
On December 21, 2020, an official farewell ceremony for the Hercules was held at the Zaragoza Air Base, northeastern Spain. On December 29, 2020, the Airborne Brigade “Almogávares” VI was supposed to carry out its last jump from the C-130H, but unfortunately, bad weather put an end to the celebration.
Throughout the years, the Spanish C-130H transporters have proved themselves during several disaster relief missions as well as military operations, mainly in Africa. Lately, they took care of evacuating the Spanish detachment of the Mamba mission in Gabon, in April 2020.
Two KC-130 refuelers were sold to the Peruvian Air Force, and two more to Uruguay. The latter could order another three aircraft, including a C-130H-30 with an extended fuselage. Thus, it appears that the career of the Spanish Hercules is far from over.
As for the Ejército del Aire, it will now be able to rely on the transport capabilities of the Airbus A400M Atlas and C295, both assembled in Seville, Spain. The first A400M was delivered to Spain in December 2016. Eventually, the Spanish Air Force should operate a fleet of 13 of these new-generation transporters.