New airplanes for the Minnesota Air National Guard

The Minnesota Air National Guard is getting new airplanes to add to the fleet, after a multi-year effort by lawmakers to maintain and upgrade the state’s current aircraft. On Thursday, Gov. Tim Walz announced that Minnesota’s 133rd Airlift Wing was selected to receive eight new C-130J Super Hercules aircraft to replace their aging C-130Hs.

The new C-130J Super Hercules are headed to four locations across the country.

After an environmental assessment is done, the Twin Cities 133rd Airlift wing will be getting the aircraft at a price tag of about $112 million per plane.

“As Governor, I’ve always fought to ensure the Minnesota National Guard has the resources they need to protect our homeland and support missions abroad and at home,” Governor Walz said in a press release. “C-130 aircraft are critical assets that our Minnesota Air National Guard use to transport cargo and passengers, whether it is in support of missions abroad or offering support here at home during times of floods, hurricanes, and other emergencies. These upgrades will help ensure our Minnesota Air National Guard is equipped to answer the call to serve our state and country.”

Currently, the local National Guard has 8 old C-130s, which are used to support missions abroad, or support at home during natural disasters.

The National Guard says the new planes will be a game changer – they can go farther, travel faster and hold more cargo.

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) spoke Friday morning at a news conference about the new aircraft, saying they’ve been working to make this happen for years.

“It was a Super Hercules effort to get this done,” said Klobuchar.

A final decision is expected in the fiscal year of 2025.