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MC-130J in production


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From Air Force News:

Air Force Special Operations Command officials welcomed the latest variant of the MC-130 at a rollout ceremony held at Lockheed Martin's Marietta, Ga., factory recently.

The rollout accelerates AFSOC commander Lt. Gen. Donald C. Wurster's priority to recapitalize the fleet by acquiring MC-130J Combat Shadow IIs to replace aircraft that have been flying combat missions for up to 45 years.

Lockheed Martin officials exhibited the MC-130J for members of AFSOC, U.S. Special Operations Command, the Air Force, Congress and the community.

The streamlined turboprop tanker is designed to fly low-level, clandestine aerial refueling missions as well as infiltration, exfiltration and resupply missions.

The Combat Shadow II has the capability to complete these missions faster and more efficiently than its MC-130 Combat Talon and MC-130P Combat Shadow counterparts, said Wurster, who was the keynote speaker at the event.

"The MC-130J is better in all respects," he said. "It's faster, it's more powerful, it's more efficient, it flies higher and farther, and it is easier to maintain."

Capt. Joey Sullivan, a member of the initial MC-130J training cadre and an MC-130P pilot, touched on the enhanced capabilities of the aircraft for the crowd by comparing the MC-130P and the MC-130J in a fictional mission scenario.

In the same resupply scenario, the Combat Shadow II completes its mission on less fuel since the rate of consumption on a J-model is 18 percent less than that of an MC-130P.

Takeoff and cruise power exceed that of the MC-130P by 25 and 20 percent, respectively.

Range is also increased by 40 percent, he said.

Enhanced efficiency is not limited to fuel consumption, carrying capacity and avionics, Sullivan said. The MC-130J is minimally manned by a five-member crew as opposed to the standard eight-member MC-130P crew, requiring increased coordination among members.

"The MC-130J is powerful and capable," he said. "While it requires fewer crewmembers, it demands more from each (crewmember) to utilize all the capabilities and situational awareness that this aircraft provides."

Traditionally modified from baseline C-130 Hercules E and H models, the MC-130J represents the first C-130 specifically built for special operations, making it lighter and more efficient, Wurster said. It was not modified after the fact to accommodate special operations missions.

"From this frame, we will build all the new variants of Hercules in the future AFSOC fleet," Wurster said. "We will leverage 50 years of design and operational lessons to field the special operations airlift, refueling, penetration and strike force of the future."

In addition to the MC-130J tanker, AFSOC officials will be acquiring AC-130Js as the streamlined version of the gunship.

"If we use our heads, that airplane will be remarkably similar to this machine with the addition of a proven weapons package," Wurster said.

The first of the MC-130Js are slated to be delivered to their home bases during fall of this year.

Wurster credited Air Force and SOCOM staffs, government partners and industry teammates for years of hard work dedicated to making the acquisition possible.

"All of you have had a hand in bringing this program to the finish line and should be proud of the service you are providing to our great nation," he said. "Our current (crewmembers), as well as the next generation, will benefit from the intellectual, technical and financial investment we have made in this new fleet."

Though Sullivan lauded the modern avionics and capabilities of the Combat Shadow II, he said crewmembers will be the ones who will make it great.

"The MC-130J can carry the Shadow's legacy and it can do it with fewer crewmembers, but it is going to take true (special operations forces) spirit and tenacity to carry this aircraft to its true potential."

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The MC-130J, Air Force Special Operations Command's newest aircraft, sits on the tarmac after its unveiling at Lockheed Martin in Marietta, Ga., March 29, 2011. The MC-130J is the newest aircraft in AFSOC's inventory. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Scott MacKay/RELEASED)


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"Lockheed Martin is contracted to build 15 MC 130Js to begin replacing the current aging fleet. The U.S. Air Force is authorized to acquire up to 20 MC-130Js against an approved requirement for 37."

USAF currently has 27 MC-130P's including the 4 ANG at Moffett that are really used as HC's.

Why a requirement for 37?

Are they planning on replacing 10 AFRC MC-130E's wit the J's?


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Why a requirement for 37? Are they planning on replacing 10 AFRC MC-130E's wit the J's?

That's it exactly, Bob. The Combat Talon Is are far too old, and the mission availability rates are plummeting. That is why AFSOC wants the MC-130J out ASAP.

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I believe it is a new capability. 27 SOW already has Dragon Spears there, so I think it is more logistics than anything else.

It's taking over for the MC-130W in its old mission(i.e. har/tar, infil/exfil, airdrop, low level, etc...) plus it's supposed to take over for previously stated aircraft.

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Lockheed Martin is being awarded a $21,400,000 contract modification for MC-130J increment three. The overall scope of this effort is to add the C-130J Block 7.0 upgrades and a special mission processor capability that include both developmental and integration of known/low risk improvements. The MC-130J unique increment three effort includes non-recurring engineering to develop one trial kit installation and developmental test of the increment three capability on one MC-130J increment two aircraft. The ASC/WLNNC, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8625-11-C-6597 PO0002).

Block 7.0 primarily addresses mandated Communication, Navigation, and Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) requirements. Block 7.0 is an international collaboration as the common core development costs are being shared by each participating nation (United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, Canada, Denmark, Norway, and the United States). Block 7.0 requirements include:

a) Communication, Navigation & Identification (CNI) upgrades

B) Dual Multi-Mode Receivers (MMR)

c) CNI special processor upgrade

d) Tactical datalink

e) Mission computer upgrades

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  • 2 weeks later...

The first Combat Shadow II for the United States Air Force Special Operations Command has completed its first flight at the Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta. Less than one month after a rollout ceremony for the aircraft’s AFSOC customer the MC-130J has begun a series of flight tests prior to delivery to Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., in September. The new aircraft is based on a KC-130J tanker baseline and will have the Enhanced Service Life Wing, Enhanced Cargo Handling System, a Universal Aerial Refueling Receptacle Slipway Installation (boom refueling receptacle), more powerful electrical generators, an electro-optical/infrared sensor and a combat systems operator station on the flight deck. In-line production of this configuration reduced cost and risk, and fully supports the required 2012 Initial Operational Capability date. Lockheed Martin is contracted to build 15 MC 130Js to begin replacing the current aging fleet. The U.S. Air Force is authorized to acquire up to 20 MC-130Js against an approved requirement for 37.


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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Hi all

Article here says five MC130J have been delivered to USAF for testing:


I assume that's 09-6207/8/9/10...and which other ?

Anyone got the delivery dates please to the USAF ?

Also can anyone fill in the serial blanks here, and if I've got any types wrong:

5670 09- C-130J-30

5670 09- C-130J-30

5671 08- C-130J-30

5671 09- C-130J-30

5672 08- C-130J-30

5672 09- C-130J-30

5673 08- C-130J-30

5673 09- C-130J-30

5674 08- C-130J-30

5674 09- C-130J-30

5675 08- C-130J-30

5675 09- C-130J-30

5676 168071 KC-130J

5676 168071 KC-130J

5677 168072 KC-130J

5677 168072 KC-130J

5678 08- C-130J-30

5679 08- C-130J-30

5680 08-6201 MC-130J

5681 08-6202 MC-130J

5682 08-6203 MC-130J

5683 09- C-130J-30

5684 09- C-130J-30

5685 09- C-130J-30

5686 09- C-130J-30

5687 130614 C-130J-30

5688 130615 C-130J-30

5689 130616 C-130J-30

5690 130617 C-130J-30

5691 09- C-130J-30

5692 09- C-130J-30

5693 09- C-130J-30

5694 08-6204 MC-130J

5695 08-6205 MC-130J

5696 08-6206 MC-130J

Many thanks fellas - you're all far more knowledgeable than me !


Nige Howarth

Assistant Editor (for Mil Transports), Aviation Letter

[email protected]


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  • 1 year later...

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