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Farnborough '08: Lockheed Unveils New C-130J Configurations, Features

Super Herc's Now Available In Special Ops, Air Combat Command Models

Lockheed Martin briefed reporters at the Farnborough International Airshow this week about new configurations and new technologies for the C-130J Super Hercules. Company officials provided details of the new HC-130J and MC-130J configurations, recently selected by the US Air Force to replace the aging fleets of both Air Combat Command and Special Operations Command aircraft. Additionally, three new technologies related to mission planning, mapping and GPS systems were also unveiled.

"Tactical air mobility requirements are both constant and changing," said Ross Reynolds, vice president of C-130 Programs for Lockheed Martin. "For years, the C-130 has been the mainstay for tactical air mobility and now the Super Hercules is evolving to meet new requirements associated with twenty-first century operational environments. Presenting new customers, new roles, new missions and new technologies gives us tremendous pride in this amazing aircraft."

The new HC and MC configurations are based on the KC-130J operated by the United States Marine Corps. Lockheed says that plane's already impressive capabilities very closely match the requirements for HC/MC-130 missions and will require very little modification. The KC-130J is performing at or above expectations in operational service in Southwest Asia as the tactical tanker for Marine Corps fighters and helicopters. The air-to-air refueling mission of the KC-130J is very similar to the requirements set out by the Air Force for the HC/MC-130 program.

Three new technologies were also unveiled that will be included in the baseline configuration of all new C-130Js. They include a Global Digital Map Unit built by Israel's Elbit Systems, that Lockheed says will enhance tactical operations and provide far more data to the crew.

Also slated for new C-130Js is the TacView Portable Mission Display built by Canada's CMC, which places mission functionality at the flight crew's fingertips and vastly improves mission and in-flight re-planning. Lastly, CMC's InegriFlight commercial GPS Landing System Sensor Unit fulfills the C-130J program's requirement for an Instrument Flight Rules, civil-certified Global Navigational Satellite System.

In the United States, Air Mobility Command, Air Education and Training Command, Air Force Reserve Command and Air National Guard units fly C-130Js. The Marine Corps operates KC-130J tankers and the Coast Guard flies the HC-130J. Air Combat Command and Special Operations Command have ordered new fleets. Around the world C-130J operators include the Royal Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Italian Air Force and Royal Danish Air Force. Norway, Canada and India have ordered new C-130J fleets.

FMI: www.lockheedmartin.com/

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