OTTAWA — Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced on Thursday the long-awaited deployment of a promised Canadian Forces transport plane to Uganda for peacekeeping missions.
The CC-130 Hercules was one of three signature promises Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made to the United Nations when Canada hosted a major peacekeeping summit in November 2017, only one of which has been fulfilled.
The federal government of Canada last year deployed a unit of helicopters and several hundred military personnel to help with medical evacuations in Mali. That mission is to wrap up at the end of this month.
Trudeau also promised a 200-strong “quick reaction force” to the UN, but Canada has yet to register the force in a UN database of peacekeeping pledges, which means it has not been formally offered.
UN and Defence Department sources told The Canadian Press last month that an agreement was being finalized on deploying the transport plane to Uganda’s Airforce base in Entebbe to help ferry supplies and troops in Somalia, Chad and the Central African Republic.
About the Lockheed C-130 Hercules
The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is an American four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed (now Lockheed Martin).
Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medevac, and cargo transport aircraft.
The versatile airframe has found uses in a variety of other roles, including as a gunship (AC-130), for airborne assault, search and rescue, scientific research support, weather reconnaissance, aerial refuelling, maritime patrol, and aerial firefighting.
It is now the main tactical airlifter for many military forces worldwide. More than 40 variants of the Hercules, including civilian versions marketed as the Lockheed L-100, operate in more than 60 nations.
The C-130 Hercules is the longest continuously produced military aircraft at over 60 years, with the updated Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules currently being produced.