Plane Spotting the Lockheed C130 Hercules Aircraft in Singapore

  • 10 Feb 2024
  • Text by Jarell Lim, SUTD Aviation Interest Group

Plane spotting the RSAF C130-Hercules in SG

The wide body and 4 turboprop engines of the Republic Singapore Air Force’s (RSAF) C130-Hercules makes it easy for plane spotters to spot in Singapore. It also spots its signature jungle camouflage livery compared to its stock grey colour in other countries, making it a unique military plane to spot.

RSAF C130-H with camouflage colours (RSAF, 2018)
USAF C130-H Gray Colours (Blair, 2014)

The Lockheed C130-H Hercules, originally designed as a military transport aircraft, was created by Lockheed (now Lockheed Martin) back in 1956. Noteworthy for its ability to operate from unprepared runways, the C130-H serves various roles, including troop transport, medevac, cargo transport, gunship (AC130-H), airborne assault, search and rescue, scientific research support, weather reconnaissance, aerial refuelling, maritime patrol, and aerial firefighting. In response to a request from the Indonesian Government, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) deployed an RSAF C130-H transport aircraft to assist the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) in their humanitarian endeavours for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Sulawesi, Indonesia, following the earthquake and tsunami on 28 September 2018. The RSAF C130-H also provided airlift support for a week, facilitating the transportation of essential humanitarian supplies to the affected regions (RSAF, 2018).

C130-H Belly View from UBI
C130-H Front View from UBI
C130-H Turning for Finals from UBI
C130-H Dropping off Red Lions NDP 2023

Usually, you would be able to spot the C130-H in Punggol and Sengkang areas carrying out its practice drills. However, if you venture around the Ubi and Macpherson areas, you would be able to get a much closer shot of the plane as it flies it on Finals for landing at the Paya Lebar Air Base. 

If you’d like to see a little more action, you can look forward to the National Day Parade where the C130-H will be dropping off the Red Lion performers. However, the C130-H will be flying at an extremely high altitude. The picture I took for NDP 2023 was at the maximum telephoto zoom length of 300mm. So, if you’d like to get some amazing pictures of the Red Lions jumping out of the C130-H, you’d need a much bigger lens.


Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF). (2018, November). The Singapore Armed Forces Deploys Airlift Assistance to Indonesia. Ministry of Defence (MINDEF).

Blair, H. (2014, March 13). Air Force Photos. United States Air Force (USAF).

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