Attrition: Replacing Lost SOCOM Aircraft


July 4, 2006: In the last five years, the U.S. SOCOM (Special Operations Command) has lost five if its 41 MC-130 aircraft (four MC-130H, and one MC-130P) in action. The MC-130 aircraft are basically C-130 transports with added equipment that enables them to do aerial refueling, and fly at night or in any kind of weather. The MC-130P mainly does aerial refueling, but can drop cargo via parachute. This is what the MC-130H spends most of its time doing. When SOCOM operators need re-supply anywhere in the world, it's the 72 ton MC-130 that will usually deliver it, either by parachute or landing on rough airfields.SOCOM has just received the first of a dozen MC-130Ws, to replace the lost MC-130s. The W model provides the additional capability of refueling helicopters in the air. The MC-130W is basically a recently built C-130 that is refurbished and reequipped to the MC-130W standard.


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