Wed, Oct 07, 2009
200th Aircraft Will Be Equipped To Support Special
Lockheed Martin began final assembly of the first HC/MC-130J
Monday, which will also be the 200th C-130J to be produced. U.S.
Air Force and company officials commemorated the milestones during
a short ceremony on the production line by signing the keel of the
historic C-130J that will be delivered in 2010.
"Again we see the C-130 setting new standards for mission
flexibility," said Ross Reynolds, vice president of Lockheed Martin
C-130 programs. "This new Special Mission configuration of the
proven C-130J will give the U.S. Air Force unparalleled capability
for Combat Search and Rescue, Personnel Recovery and Special
Operations Missions. As demand for the C-130J continues to grow
around the world, we will see more and more the way this aircraft
can meet the demands of any operator and mission."
Lockheed Martin is under contract to the U.S. Air Force to build
the HC/MC-130J Special Mission Hercules to replace aging fleets of
Combat Search and Rescue HC-130s and Air Force Special Operations
MC-130s. In April 2008, a Department of Defense Acquisition
Decision Memorandum (ADM) was signed to start the HC/MC-130J
program with a six-aircraft buy. Since that time, six more aircraft
have been placed on contract and the latest ADM, signed on Aug. 26,
2009, authorized up to 22 HC/MC130J aircraft.
The new aircraft, based on a KC-130J tanker baseline, will have
a host of factory installed provisions to support special mission
operations. These include the Enhanced Service Life Wing, the
Enhanced Cargo Handling System, a Universal Aerial Refueling
Receptacle Slipway Installation (boom refueling receptacle), an
Electro-Optic/Infrared Sensor, a Combat Systems Operator Station on
the flight deck, dual military SATCOMs, Enhanced Vision System
provisions, and higher capacity 60/90 kilovolt amp (KVA)
generators. In-line production of this configuration reduces cost
and schedule, allowing the aircraft to meet the required 2012
Initial Operational Capability.
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