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Metalbasher

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  1. By Rachel S. Cohen Oct 11, 06:51 PM Members of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing take part in the inactivation ceremony of the 41st Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, Sept. 28. The 41st EECS operated the EC-130H Compass Call aircraft, conducting electronic warfare for just under 20 years in U.S. Central Command before being officially inactivated. (Master Sgt. Wolfram Stumpf/Air Force) After almost 20 years as a shadowy player in the War on Terror, the Air Force’s squadron of EC-130H electronic warfare planes is leaving its longtime home at Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates. The 41st Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron formally shut down Sept. 28, marking another milestone in the U.S. military’s withdrawal from war against the Taliban and other insurgent forces in Afghanistan. The unit reverts back to the 41st Electronic Combat Squadron when not deployed. The squadron and its specialized “Compass Call” planes headed to U.S. Central Command from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks. Since then, those EC-130H crews have flown about 14,750 sorties — more than 90,000 hours in the air. RELATED By Stephen Losey Compass Call’s unique mission has made it one of the most in-demand airframes in CENTCOM over the past 20 years. It carries a slew of hardware and software that allow airmen to eavesdrop on nearby combatants, interfere with enemy transmissions across radios and combat vehicles alike, jam radars and, in recent years, send computer code to wireless devices — regardless of whether they are connected to the internet. Those capabilities have come in handy from the start but continue to evolve as the globe grows increasingly dependent on assured connectivity and trustworthy information from those networks. “At the onset of Operation Iraqi Freedom, dozens of Iraqi soldiers waited patiently near the al Faw Peninsula for instructions being transmitted from higher headquarters to blow up key oil fields there. The message never came. In its place … was static,” the Air Force said of EC-130H operations in 2004, about two years into Compass Call’s time there. EC-130H crews include about a dozen airmen onboard: two pilots, a navigator, a flight engineer, a mission crew commander and supervisor, a maintenance technician, a signals analyst and multiple cryptologic language analysts. Their tactics have changed alongside frequent upgrades from the secretive “Big Safari” program office. Compass Call has pivoted to jam the signals of booby-trapped enemy quadcopters that are used for surveillance and bombings, and cut off contact between members of groups like the Islamic State. An EC-130H Compass Call takes off from an airfield at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia Jan. 18, 2017. The Compass Call was engaged in operations jamming Da’esh communications in order to confuse and disorient enemy fighters. (Capt. Casey Osborne/Air Force) As the military scrambled to evacuate Afghan and American citizens, and to pull out its own troops from Afghanistan in August, EC-130Hs flew overhead to ensure U.S. troops had the open lines of communication they needed. While the 41st EECS will no longer maintain a permanent presence in the UAE, Compass Call can still deploy on hacking and jamming missions in CENTCOM as needed. The Air Force is also bringing the 41st EECS home in the process of replacing the Compass Call fleet, which outfitted existing C-130 planes with electronic warfare equipment four decades ago. Five of 14 EC-130Hs have retired so far, and only half the fleet will remain as of next fall. They’re making way for the EC-37B, a smaller, modern jet intended to be more cost-efficient, reliable and faster than the current platform. L3Harris, in charge of integrating the new suite of EW systems onto the jet, and Gulfstream, whose G550 airframe will serve as the new Compass Call itself, plan to deliver the first planes to the Air Force in 2023. Looking ahead, squadron members are practicing for conflicts that will keep them on their toes. Instead of relying on the same brick-and-mortar installation as its home base overseas, as it has for decades, the 41st EECS recently tried its hand at a rapid evacuation and relocation drill for the first time. It’s part of the Air Force’s push to make units more flexible in case their installation is targeted, or to quickly leapfrog through a region during back-to-back sorties. Handling missions across multiple geographic regions requires a particularly close relationship between aircrews and maintainers on the ground to keep the aging planes aloft, the Air Force said. “We tried to make it as realistic as possible while ensuring both the flight crews and maintenance crew members were briefed and ready,” C-130H pilot Capt. Brittany Monio said in a December 2020 release. “Planning flights in such a quick manner is a large deviation from normal, but our crews executed very safely and effectively.”
  2. Harvest HAWK + reaches full operational capability Published: Sep 20, 2021 The Tactical Airlift Program Office (PMA-207) KC-130J integrated product team successfully completed full operational capability. The 10th and final aircraft modified to the Harvest Hercules Airborne Weapons Kit (HAWK) Plus (HH+) configuration was delivered to the Fleet Marine Forces, Aug. 26. The aircraft modifications were part of the Marine Corps KC-130J Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) / Weapons Mission Kit program that began in 2015. The program improved the existing Marine Corp KC-130J Harvest HAWK system by integrating the MX-20 electro-optical/infra-red multi-sensor imaging system and adding door mounted missile employment capability. Harvest HAWK+ aircraft modifications began in 2015 with the first aircraft delivering in October 2015. NAVAIR’s aircraft prototype systems division at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. modified the first six aircraft while Sierra Nevada Corporation in Colorado Springs, Co. modified the last four aircraft. Five HH+ aircraft were delivered to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport (VMGR) 352 in Miramar, California and four aircraft to VMGR-252 in Cherry Point, North Carolina. One HH+ aircraft will remain at VX-20 in Patuxent River for Block 8.1 and future HH+ testing. “We are proud to provide the Marine Air-Ground Task Force with an updated intra-theater Close Air Support and Multi-Sensor Imagery Reconnaissance capability,” said Capt. Steve Nassau, PMA-207 program manager. “I couldn’t be prouder of my government and contractor team for delivering this critical weapon system to our warfighters.”
  3. The Spirit of Long Island (#0222, aka Triple Deuce) served in the New York Air National Guard from 1966 until 2019. On 18AUG2021, after several days of moving and assembly, Triple Deuce began a new job as gate guardian for F.S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base.
  4. Last C-130H rolls down the stretch at Kentucky Air Guard Photo By Staff Sgt. Joshua Horton LOUISVILLE, KY, UNITED STATES 09.24.2021 Story by Lt. Col. Allison Stephens The last C-130H aircraft assigned to the 123rd Airlift Wing departed the Kentucky Air National Guard Base here today for its new home at the Delaware Air Guard. On site to see it off were dozens of maintainers, aircrew and a former crew chief for the aircraft, which is named after Kentucky Derby winner Exterminator. Chief Master Sgt. Patrick Crosier was the plane’s dedicated crew chief for seven years, starting in 2001. He said its departure is bittersweet. “I’m glad it’s going to continue flying at another unit,” he said. “It’s a fine and beautiful aircraft.” Exterminator and seven of its stablemates are being replaced here with eight of the most modern C-130 variants, the J-model Super Hercules. The wing is expected to receive its first J-model in November. Crosier fondly recalls training many maintenance troops on Exterminator — known informally as tail number 1233 — and eventually promoting Master Sgt. Chris Knight to be its next dedicated crew chief. For more than 13 years, Knight worked every maintenance issue associated with the plane. “It’s a dream to get your own aircraft,” Knight said, “and this particular aircraft makes you earn it. You have to put the work in, but when it flies, it flies well.” Throughout 29 years of service with the Kentucky Air Guard, tail number 1233 logged 9,967 hours of flight time all over the world, supporting every kind of mission from humanitarian airlift to combat resupply operations. The plane’s current crew chief, Tech. Sgt. Ben Zeilman, has enjoyed his time working on the H-model, but he’s also looking forward to the future. “It’s exciting to welcome a new airframe and learn how to maintain the J-model,” he said. The Kentucky Air Guard began flying H-model aircraft in 1992. All eight of them are being transferred to the 166th Airlift Wing in New Castle, Delaware.
  5. Teaching the Commando new tricks By Staff Sgt. Brandon Esau, AFSOC Public Affairs / Published September 14, 2021 HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- The C-130J is an incredibly versatile aircraft, and since it’s creation, it’s landed on rough fields, in arctic locations and even an aircraft carrier Yet, it cannot land on water, which covers about 71% of the planet. As national strategic objectives shift focus to littoral regions, Air Force Special Operations Command is advancing new approaches to expand the multi-mission platform's runway independence and expeditionary capacity. In partnership with the Air Force Research Lab's Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation (AFRL-SDPE) directorate, AFSOC is developing an MC-130J Commando II Amphibious Capability (MAC) to improve the platform's support of seaborne special operations. "The development of the MAC capability is the culmination of multiple lines of effort," said Lt Col Josh Trantham, AFSOC Science, Systems, Technology, & Innovation (SST&I) Deputy Division Chief. "This capability allows the Air Force to increase placement and access for infiltration, exfiltration, and personnel recovery, as well as providing enhanced logistical capabilities for future competition and conflict." The development of a removable amphibious float modification for an MC-130J would enable "runway independent" operations, which, according to Trantham, would extend the global reach and survivability of the aircraft and Air Commandos. "Seaborne operations offer nearly unlimited water landing zones providing significant flexibility for the Joint Force," Trantham said. Utilizing the MAC capability may provide unlimited operational access to waterways to distribute forces if land assets are compromised. "MAC is vital to future success because it will allow for the dispersal of assets within a Joint Operations Area," said Maj Kristen Cepak, AFSOC Technology Transition Branch Chief. "This diaspora complicates targeting of the aircraft by our adversaries and limits aircraft vulnerability at fixed locations." A task force of industry partners are closely collaborating with AFSOC and AFRL-SDPE to bring the vision to life. A five-phase rapid prototyping schedule will lead to an operational capability demonstration in only 17 months while de-risking the concept for a future potential MAC program of record that could field MAC for MC-130Js but also potentially field a similar amphibious capability for other C-130 variants with only minor variations. AFSOC and private sector counterparts are currently testing MAC prototypes through digital design, virtual reality modeling (VR), and computer-aided designs (CAD) in a virtual setting known as the Digital Proving Ground (DPG), paving the way for digital simulation, testing, and the use of advanced manufacturing for rapid prototyping and physical prototype testing. According to Trantham and Cepak, the DPG can deliver mission review, aircraft system analysis, design ideation, engineering risk-reduction, virtual reality, concept imagery, feasibility studies, and other deliverables. "Being able to experiment with existing technology to evaluate design tradeoffs and test a new system before ever bending metal is a game-changer," Cepak said. "AFSOC is evolving and experimenting in a smart way to reduce technical risk and deliver capability to the field more rapidly and efficiently than before." According to Trantham, while the MAC project demonstrates rapid capability development for AFSOC, the Air Force and the Total Force will also benefit. "We believe MAC will be able to be used by our sister services, allies, and partners on various C-130 platforms," he said. "Further, expanding the operational use of an amphibious aircraft alongside other innovative tools will provide even more complex dilemmas in future battlespaces for our strategic competitors." View Original Article: Teaching the Commando new tricks > Air Force Special Operations Command > Article Display (af.mil)
  6. Teaching the Commando new tricks By Staff Sgt. Brandon Esau, AFSOC Public Affairs / Published September 14, 2021 HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- The C-130J is an incredibly versatile aircraft, and since it’s creation, it’s landed on rough fields, in arctic locations and even an aircraft carrier Yet, it cannot land on water, which covers about 71% of the planet. As national strategic objectives shift focus to littoral regions, Air Force Special Operations Command is advancing new approaches to expand the multi-mission platform's runway independence and expeditionary capacity. In partnership with the Air Force Research Lab's Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation (AFRL-SDPE) directorate, AFSOC is developing an MC-130J Commando II Amphibious Capability (MAC) to improve the platform's support of seaborne special operations. "The development of the MAC capability is the culmination of multiple lines of effort," said Lt Col Josh Trantham, AFSOC Science, Systems, Technology, & Innovation (SST&I) Deputy Division Chief. "This capability allows the Air Force to increase placement and access for infiltration, exfiltration, and personnel recovery, as well as providing enhanced logistical capabilities for future competition and conflict." The development of a removable amphibious float modification for an MC-130J would enable "runway independent" operations, which, according to Trantham, would extend the global reach and survivability of the aircraft and Air Commandos. "Seaborne operations offer nearly unlimited water landing zones providing significant flexibility for the Joint Force," Trantham said. Utilizing the MAC capability may provide unlimited operational access to waterways to distribute forces if land assets are compromised. "MAC is vital to future success because it will allow for the dispersal of assets within a Joint Operations Area," said Maj Kristen Cepak, AFSOC Technology Transition Branch Chief. "This diaspora complicates targeting of the aircraft by our adversaries and limits aircraft vulnerability at fixed locations." A task force of industry partners are closely collaborating with AFSOC and AFRL-SDPE to bring the vision to life. A five-phase rapid prototyping schedule will lead to an operational capability demonstration in only 17 months while de-risking the concept for a future potential MAC program of record that could field MAC for MC-130Js but also potentially field a similar amphibious capability for other C-130 variants with only minor variations. AFSOC and private sector counterparts are currently testing MAC prototypes through digital design, virtual reality modeling (VR), and computer-aided designs (CAD) in a virtual setting known as the Digital Proving Ground (DPG), paving the way for digital simulation, testing, and the use of advanced manufacturing for rapid prototyping and physical prototype testing. According to Trantham and Cepak, the DPG can deliver mission review, aircraft system analysis, design ideation, engineering risk-reduction, virtual reality, concept imagery, feasibility studies, and other deliverables. "Being able to experiment with existing technology to evaluate design tradeoffs and test a new system before ever bending metal is a game-changer," Cepak said. "AFSOC is evolving and experimenting in a smart way to reduce technical risk and deliver capability to the field more rapidly and efficiently than before." According to Trantham, while the MAC project demonstrates rapid capability development for AFSOC, the Air Force and the Total Force will also benefit. "We believe MAC will be able to be used by our sister services, allies, and partners on various C-130 platforms," he said. "Further, expanding the operational use of an amphibious aircraft alongside other innovative tools will provide even more complex dilemmas in future battlespaces for our strategic competitors." View Original Article: Teaching the Commando new tricks > Air Force Special Operations Command > Article Display (af.mil) View full article
  7. Teaching the Commando new tricks By Staff Sgt. Brandon Esau, AFSOC Public Affairs / Published September 14, 2021 HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- The C-130J is an incredibly versatile aircraft, and since it’s creation, it’s landed on rough fields, in arctic locations and even an aircraft carrier Yet, it cannot land on water, which covers about 71% of the planet. As national strategic objectives shift focus to littoral regions, Air Force Special Operations Command is advancing new approaches to expand the multi-mission platform's runway independence and expeditionary capacity. In partnership with the Air Force Research Lab's Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation (AFRL-SDPE) directorate, AFSOC is developing an MC-130J Commando II Amphibious Capability (MAC) to improve the platform's support of seaborne special operations. "The development of the MAC capability is the culmination of multiple lines of effort," said Lt Col Josh Trantham, AFSOC Science, Systems, Technology, & Innovation (SST&I) Deputy Division Chief. "This capability allows the Air Force to increase placement and access for infiltration, exfiltration, and personnel recovery, as well as providing enhanced logistical capabilities for future competition and conflict." The development of a removable amphibious float modification for an MC-130J would enable "runway independent" operations, which, according to Trantham, would extend the global reach and survivability of the aircraft and Air Commandos. "Seaborne operations offer nearly unlimited water landing zones providing significant flexibility for the Joint Force," Trantham said. Utilizing the MAC capability may provide unlimited operational access to waterways to distribute forces if land assets are compromised. "MAC is vital to future success because it will allow for the dispersal of assets within a Joint Operations Area," said Maj Kristen Cepak, AFSOC Technology Transition Branch Chief. "This diaspora complicates targeting of the aircraft by our adversaries and limits aircraft vulnerability at fixed locations." A task force of industry partners are closely collaborating with AFSOC and AFRL-SDPE to bring the vision to life. A five-phase rapid prototyping schedule will lead to an operational capability demonstration in only 17 months while de-risking the concept for a future potential MAC program of record that could field MAC for MC-130Js but also potentially field a similar amphibious capability for other C-130 variants with only minor variations. AFSOC and private sector counterparts are currently testing MAC prototypes through digital design, virtual reality modeling (VR), and computer-aided designs (CAD) in a virtual setting known as the Digital Proving Ground (DPG), paving the way for digital simulation, testing, and the use of advanced manufacturing for rapid prototyping and physical prototype testing. According to Trantham and Cepak, the DPG can deliver mission review, aircraft system analysis, design ideation, engineering risk-reduction, virtual reality, concept imagery, feasibility studies, and other deliverables. "Being able to experiment with existing technology to evaluate design tradeoffs and test a new system before ever bending metal is a game-changer," Cepak said. "AFSOC is evolving and experimenting in a smart way to reduce technical risk and deliver capability to the field more rapidly and efficiently than before." According to Trantham, while the MAC project demonstrates rapid capability development for AFSOC, the Air Force and the Total Force will also benefit. "We believe MAC will be able to be used by our sister services, allies, and partners on various C-130 platforms," he said. "Further, expanding the operational use of an amphibious aircraft alongside other innovative tools will provide even more complex dilemmas in future battlespaces for our strategic competitors." View Original Article: Teaching the Commando new tricks > Air Force Special Operations Command > Article Display (af.mil)
  8. After Afghanistan evacuation mission, UK air force still not reexamining plans to retire C-130 By Valerie Insinna Aug 30, 05:02 PM A British Royal Air Force Airbus A400M aircraft takes takes part in a flying display at the Farnborough Airshow, south west of London, on July 18, 2018. (Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images) (AFP/Getty Images) WASHINGTON — The arduous airlift demands of the Afghanistan evacuation mission haven’t changed the U.K. Royal Air Force’s plans to retire its C-130s by 2030, its top officer said Aug. 27. “This is the first large-scale operation that we’ve done with our A400s, and it’s demonstrated that this is an aircraft with real potential and enormous capacity,” said RAF Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston in an interview with Defense News. “It flies much higher and much faster and carries a greater payload than the C-130. So as every month goes by, my confidence in that decision increases.” The RAF ultimately transported more than 15,000 people out of Kabul from Aug. 14 to Aug. 28, according to the U.K. ministry of defence. Wigston — who visited the United States last week to attend the Space Symposium — spoke to Defense News on Friday evening, during the last hours of the United Kingdom’s presence in Afghanistan. At that point, the Royal Air Force had evacuated about 8,500 Afghans, an estimated 4,500 U.K. passport or visa holders, and 1,500 people from other nations, Wigston said. About 500 to 1,000 others awaited the last RAF flights out of Kabul. “We have stopped taking in new people for processing,” he said. “Over the next few hours, those 500 to 1,000 [people] remaining will be taken out. At that stage, our evacuation operation will have come to an end, and we will just focus on getting our people out safely.” The RAF used about 15 aircraft during the evacuation mission, with half staged forward — transporting passengers from Kabul to other cities in the Middle East — and the other planes conducting flights from those cities to the United Kingdom, Wigston said. Over the two-week period, aircraft spotters frequently documented British C-17s, A400s and C-130s moving in and out of the airspace at Hamid Karzai International Airport. In March, the defence ministry announced as part of a command review it would retire the RAF’s remaining 14 C-130Js by 2023. “Twenty-two A400Ms, alongside the C17s, will provide a more capable and flexible transport fleet,” U.K. defence secretary Ben Wallace said then. Despite the C-130s offering additional airlift capacity, Wigston said there’s no need for the RAF to revisit its current retirement plans. “It will be with a heavy heart that we retire the C-130 in two years’ time because it’s been an absolute workhorse, but I have absolute confidence in the A400 and what that aircraft is able to do going forward,” he said. So far, Airbus has delivered 20 A400M Atlas aircraft to the RAF.
  9. Might be able to get some from RAF since they are divesting from C-130 and transitioning to A400M.
  10. The Ohio Air National Guard’s 179th Airlift Wing will be transitioning from its primary mission of flying C-130 transport planes to hosting the Air Force’s new Cyber Warfare Wing to combat cyber attacks. Dave Polcyn/News Journal WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Mansfield Lahm Air National Guard Base has been selected as the location for the Air Force’s new Cyber Warfare Mission, according to announcements by Gov. Mike DeWine and Sen. Sherrod Brown. "The Cyber Warfare Wing (CWW) will put Mansfield in the middle of the military’s cutting edge cyber capability and the fight against emerging cyber threats. The mission will also bring approximately 180 new jobs to the base," Brown, D-Ohio, said in a news release issued Wednesday. DeWine said he received "this outstanding news" on Wednesday directly from the Secretary of the Air Force. "Ohio is gaining a leading-edge mission that will strengthen the fabric of the military community and further solidify Ohio as a national leader in cybersecurity excellence," DeWine said.
  11. Posted By: Larry Felton Johnson August 24, 2021 Lockheed Martin was awarded a $328 million five-year contract with the Indian Air Force to support the IAF’s fleet of 12 C-130J-30 Super Hercules Aircraft. The C-130 series is built at Lockheed Martin’s Marietta facility in Cobb County. “As the C-130 OEM, Lockheed Martin brings forth an outstanding team of experts who offer deep knowledge and unmatched insights of the C-130 to our operators,” said Rod McLean, vice president and general manager, Air Mobility & Maritime Missions, Lockheed Martin. “It is an honor to continue to partner with the Indian Air Force to support one of the most active C-130J fleets in the world. Through an integrated team and dedicated support, Lockheed Martin ensures the IAF’s C-130 fleet is available and ready for every mission.” NEW DELHI, Aug. 24, 2021 — Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has been awarded a $328.8 million, five-year contract from the Indian Air Force (IAF), to provide dedicated and comprehensive support for the IAF’s fleet of 12 C-130J-30 Super Hercules Aircraft. Lockheed Martin is the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of the C-130Js, which is the tactical airlifter of choice for 26 operators in 22 nations. Through this Follow On Support II (FOS) contract, Lockheed Martin teams manage the program, logistics and engineering support elements necessary to sustain the IAF’s C-130J fleet. The contract spans a five-year-period, is a Direct Commercial Sale, and is a continuation of a prior five-year FOS I contract where Lockheed Martin provided similar support for the IAF’s C-130J fleet. “As the C-130 OEM, Lockheed Martin brings forth an outstanding team of experts who offer deep knowledge and unmatched insights of the C-130 to our operators,” said Rod McLean, vice president and general manager, Air Mobility & Maritime Missions, Lockheed Martin. “It is an honor to continue to partner with the Indian Air Force to support one of the most active C-130J fleets in the world. Through an integrated team and dedicated support, Lockheed Martin ensures the IAF’s C-130J fleet is available and ready for every mission.” The FOS II contract includes Lockheed Martin’s sustainment efforts for the IAF’s entire Super Hercules fleet, as well as extended options including Lockheed Martin support for the C-130J airframe, Contractor Furnished Equipment (CFE), peculiar and common spareable items, engines, propellers, software, publication services, ground handling equipment (GHE), ground support equipment (GSE) and test equipment. A total of eight employees representing Lockheed Martin, GE (propeller manufacturer) and Rolls-Royce (engine manufacturer) serve as on-site technical support for the duration of the contract. Additionally through the FOS II contract, five C-130J Hercules aircraft will undergo 12-year servicing (depot maintenance) at a Lockheed Martin-approved Heavy Maintenance Center (HMC) beginning in 2022. The Government of India announced its purchase of six C-130J Super Hercules airlifters via a Foreign Military Sale with the U.S. Air Force in 2008. All aircraft were delivered on or ahead of schedule between 2010 and 2011. India received additional C-130Js in 2017 and in 2019. The IAF’s C-130J Super Hercules have a highly integrated and sophisticated configuration primarily designed to support India’s special operations requirement. The aircraft also are equipped with air-to-air receiver refueling capability for extended range operations. India’s C-130Js are also used to support a variety of critical missions, including humanitarian aid, airlift, natural disaster support, and search and rescue operations. Recently, the IAF has been extensively using its fleet of 12 Super Hercules for humanitarian efforts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as for transportation of relief materials, equipment and personnel in the areas affected by cyclones Yaas and Tauktae. India’s connection to the C-130J goes beyond its fleet of Super Hercules with the Tata Lockheed Martin Aerostructures Limited (TLMAL) joint venture that is the single, global source of C-130J empennage assemblies included on all new Super Hercules aircraft. Located in Hyderabad, TLMAL exemplifies the Government of India’s “Make in India” objectives and has delivered more than 120 empennages over its first 10 years of operations.
  12. CHARLESTON, W.Va. — All eyes were on the skies Sunday at the 130th Airlift Wing, McLaughlin Air National Guard Base in Charleston. Wing Commander Col. Bryan Preece flew in one of the first two C-130J-30 aircraft arriving on base as a few hundred spectators including West Virginia National Guard (WVNG) leadership, current members of the 130th Airlift Wing, military families, and retirees looked on. The 130th Airlift Wing was selected by the Air Force to convert to the C-130J30 Super Hercules in May. “This is an incredible team. They have incredible leaders, incredible NCOs and incredible airmen. That alone is what has allowed us to get the C-130 J,” Brig. Gen. Bill Crane, Adjutant General for West Virginia National Guard told MetroNews on Sunday. The 130th Airlift Wing previously operated eight C-130H3 Hercules model aircraft, which are more than 25 years old. The wing has had a C-130 mission since 1975 and has converted to numerous variations of the C-130 over the years, a release said. Preece said the move brings stability to the wing. According to him, the Air Force has 290 aircraft, C-130s in inventory, and was looking to cut it to 255 and do it with H models. “We were in great peril of losing aircraft,” he said. Preece said the C-130J-30 has notable differences from past aircraft used including better on fuel and quieter. A news release stated the C-130J-30 first entered the inventory in February 1999 and boasts a noticeable difference of a six-bladed composite propeller coupled to a Rolls-Royce AE2100D3 turboprop engine. The C-130J-30, a stretch version with a 15-foot fuselage extension, increases capabilities to include speed, numbers of pallets and personnel that can be airlifted, and maximum payload capacity, the WVNG said. “So on the outside, they look familiar, both C-130 aircraft that do airlift. On the inside, a lot different. It’s a lot more modern, a lot more digital. They are 15 feet longer which allows them to carry more cargo and more passengers,” Preece said. The 130th Airlift Wing will use these aircraft all over the world. Crane said the WVNG is used for both federal and state missions meaning these aircraft type can be used from COVID-19 response to sending guardsmen to the U.S. Capitol during the January 6 insurrection, to sending people overseas. “These same aircraft will go overseas. They are helping get stuff out of Afghanistan and Iraq as we leave that theater of war,” Crane said. The two C-130J-30 aircraft that landed at the base near Yeager Airport came straight from Rhode Island on Sunday. Crane said the wing will continue to get more and some may come from manufacturing line. Cockpit of the C-130J-30 aircraft. (Jake Flatley) Two C-130J-30 aircraft flew onto the 130th Airlift Wing, McLaughlin Air National Guard Base in Charleston on Sunday. (Jake Flatley)
  13. Lockheed Martin rolls out first C-130J slated for German Air Force Pentagon’s No.1 weapons supplier Lockheed Martin Corp rolled out the first C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft of the Luftwaffe (German Air Force). The new C-130J with other five transport planes, which Luftwaffe curently buying, will become part of a joint Franco-German squadron at Evreux airbase, France. According to the formal notification on May 4 by the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the sale to Germany will be worth $1.4 billion. It comprises three long-fuselage C-130J-30s and three KC-130J refuelers. Currently, the German pilots are being trained on the C-130J at Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas ( South Central region of the United States) and at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. The C-130J Super Hercules provides significant performance improvements and added operational capabilities that translate directly into increased ground and air combat effectiveness. https://defence-blog.com/lockheed-martin-rolls-out-first-c-130j-slated-for-german-air-force/
  14. Built on the Backs of Giants: Cannon's First AC-130J Ghostrider By Senior Airman Marcel Williams, 27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs / Published July 20, 2021 Airmen with Hurlburt Field, Florida and Cannon Air Force Base delivered a new AC-130J Ghostrider gunship to the 27th Special Operations Wing’s specialized fleet July 19, 2021. The arrival of Cannon’s first AC-130J Ghostrider represents a significant expansion of force generation capacity as the Air Force Special Operations Command structures for the reemergence of great power competition, tightening fiscal constraints, and the accelerating rate of technological change, demanding significant transformation to ensure Air Commandos are ready to successfully operate in this new environment. “The transformation into the AFSOC we need, certainly nests well within the accelerate, change or lose direction from the Chief of Staff of the Air Force. This is one of the most recent, and probably one of the most tangible examples of how we’re actually getting after accelerate, change or lose.” said Col. Terence Taylor, 27 SOW commander. The AC-130J is a heavily modified C-130J aircraft that provides many capabilities to carry out close air support, air interdiction and armed reconnaissance. “The engines are more powerful, the engines are more efficient, and it has a more accurate weapons system and precision guided munitions. The lethality has increased exponentially.” said Maj, Ryan Whitehead, 27th Special Operations Group AC-130J Ghostrider aircraft commander. The AC-130J is the fifth generation gunship replacing the fleet of AC-130U Spooky and AC-130W Stinger II gunships. AC-130 gunships have an extensive combat history dating back to Vietnam where gunships destroyed more than 10,000 trucks and were credited with many life-saving, close air support missions. “The AC-130J has been built on the backs of giants, evolving from four variants of the AC-130 to the AC-119 and AC-47. The Air Commands who fly, maintain, and support the AC-130J are committed to continuing that proud heritage by developing into a force that presents challenges to our nation's adversaries in new ways and places” said Lt Col Saylor, 27 SOG Detachment 2 commander . This aircraft will increase capacity requirements while bringing diverse technology ensuring the platform's relevance for decades to come.
  15. USAF Defends C-130 Cuts as Service Looks to Future of Tactical Airlift July 14, 2021 | By Brian W. Everstine The Air Force faces an uphill fight with its plans to cut five units worth of C-130s, largely from the Guard and Reserve. The service, however, says the tactical airlift fleet can afford to absorb some risk and that there could be future lift possibilities outside of the venerable Hercules. USAF wants to cut 55 C-130 tails, down to a fleet size of 255. Lt. Gen. David S. Nahom, the deputy chief of staff for plans and programs, said that number “covers what we need for our tactical airlift fleet and includes support to the homeland.” Nahom, speaking during a July 14 AFA Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies event, said the Air Force is “taking into account all the missions that our C-130 crews do every day.” But both Congress and the National Guard have questioned recently whether that is true. National Guard Bureau chief Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson told the House Appropriations defense subcommittee in May that he needs the Guard to “retain every single one of those flying squadrons because of what they bring for our nation.” Plans, such as the Mobility Capabilities Requirements Study, do not take into account what C-130s do at home, he said. Lawmakers have largely agreed. The same House panel on July 13 passed its version of the fiscal 2022 Defense funding bill, which includes four more C-130s than what was requested in the Pentagon’s proposal. Nahom said the Air Force is working closely with the Guard and Reserve to find ”mutually agreeable replacement missions, and we’ve been successful in some places.” For example, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., has been selected to host the Air Force’s MH-139 Grey Wolf formal training unit. This mission would replace the Reserve’s 908th Airlift Wing and its aging C-130Hs. “There’s ways we can do this, and in a very positive way with the Guard and Reserve, and we’re certainly going down that road,” Nahom said. Additionally, airlift capacity and capability is in a relatively safe position, compared to other missions, such as combat aircraft. This means the Air Force can more safely remove some capacity and resources from tactical airlift and shift it to areas that need more funding and personnel. Going forward, the Air Force is also looking at new ways to meet tactical airlift needs. “When you say tactical lift, everyone goes straight to the C-130,” he said. “I’m looking at some future tactical lift. There’s some technologies out there right now that I think we need to stick our nose in and keep an eye on. Because when you look at logistics under attack and how we’re going to move things in a modern battlefield, it may not be in a Herk.” This could include AFWERX’s “Agility Prime” effort to create a “flying car” for both commercial industry and the military. The Air Force is watching the Army’s Future Vertical Lift program, which is developing a next-generation helicopter for that service. And, the Air Force is talking with industry about some other capabilities that could provide lift in areas with smaller runways, or no runway at all, he said.
  16. I've been out and about to various locations around the USAF C-130 fleet. In many cases, the forward station cans have been removed for daily ops and/or safety wired closed. That doesn't mean they are not used, there are tons of lazy crew members with leatherman's that will not hesitate to cut the safety wire instead of making the long walk to the back. SMH...
  17. Connecticut Guard upgrades C-130H fleet June 24, 2021 (by MSgt. Tamara Dabney) - The Connecticut Air National Guard, home of the 103rd Airlift Wing ‘Flying Yankees’, is upgrading its fleet of C-130H Hercules aircraft. The first of seven H3 model C-130s arrived at Bradley Air National Guard Base in June 2021. The H3s will replace the Connecticut Guard’s current fleet of aircraft, which consists of H1 models. http://s9.addthis.com/button0-rss.gif http://s9.addthis.com/button1-addthis.gif The avionics packages of the C-130H1 and C-130H3 aircraft are displayed, side-by-side, June 2, 2021, at Bradley ANGB. The Connecticut Air National Guard received H3 model C-130s as part of a plan to upgrade the unit's fleet of aircraft. [USAF photo by MSgt. Tamara R. Dabney] In November 2020, the United States Air Force selected Guard units to receive C-130J Super Hercules aircraft as part of a plan to upgrade C-130 fleets across the force. J models, introduced in 1999, are the newest model C-130s available. Units, such as the 103rd, that currently have H1s and have not been selected to receive Js, are upgrading to H3s. “For the last seven years, we've been flying the oldest H models in the fleet, the 1974 model H1s,” said Col. Stephen R. Gwinn, 103rd Airlift Wing Commander. “As a product of the acquisition of more J models into the Air National Guard, we've had the opportunity to retire H1s, and take some of the other unit’s H3s.” In 2013, the Connecticut Guard underwent a mission conversion to become a tactical airlift wing. As part of the conversion, the Connecticut Guard replaced its C-21 A Learjet fleet with H1s. The H3s that the Connecticut Guard will be receiving for this year’s upgrade was produced between 1992 and 1996, which is 18 to 20 years newer than the H1s. Because the H3s are newer, replacement parts are more readily available. The upgrade will enable the 103rd to continue its current mission with greater efficiency, using more advanced technology. “From a maintenance perspective, I would equate this to working on a 1974 car and trying to find the pieces and parts, versus working on a car from the early to mid-90s,” said Col. Thomas Olander, 103rd Maintenance Group Commander. “Obviously, the technology that we currently have in our H1 variants is the 1970s, analog technology. What you're seeing in these 1990s variants is more digital technology.” Like mileage on a car, the number of hours that an aircraft has flown is tracked. Fewer flight hours on an aircraft signify less wear and tear. The 103rd’s new fleet of H3s will have thousands of fewer flight hours than the H1s in its older fleet. “The H3s we’re receiving average about 10,000 total flight hours versus our current fleet, in which each airplane averages almost 30,000 flight hours,” said Olander. “We're gaining about 20 years of life and about 20,000 flight hours on each airplane. So, this is a significant upgrade from our current fleet. We're hoping that, between failures of parts, less wear and tear on the engines will ultimately result in less unscheduled maintenance on these aircraft, which makes them more available to the Operations Group to fly them.” The C-130, often referred to as the workhorse of air mobility, was first introduced in 1957. The four-engine turboprop aircraft operates globally, during peace and wartime, and performs a wide range of operational missions, including combat air support, natural disaster relief, aeromedical evacuation, weather reconnaissance, and Antarctic ice resupply. Though the C-130H has undergone multiple upgrades, the H3 and H1 appear to be identical when viewing the outside of the aircraft. Among other similarities, both the H1 and H3 models can carry up to 92 troops or 42,000 pounds of cargo, depending on how the aircraft is configured. Notable differences between the two models can be found in the avionics packages. Avionics package improvements in the H3 include ring laser gyroscopes for the inertial navigation system, GPS receivers, night vision device compatible instrument lighting, and an integrated radar and missile warning system. “The majority of the airplane [H3] is absolutely identical [to other C-130H models],” said Gwinn. “The biggest difference in this airplane is the cockpit. It's a big deal when you're in the airplane and flying because it's a much better system with a lot less room for error. It's a lot more accurate, so it actually is going to keep us safer when doing things like flying in the weather or flying in formation.” The 103rd’s mission is to provide tactical airpower and mission support, domestically and worldwide. The H3 upgrade will contribute to the 103rd’s mission capabilities by reducing manpower requirements, lowering operating costs, and providing life-cycle cost savings over the H1s. “You'll get more production out of the airplanes, which will make us able to respond better to the domestic operations,” said Gwinn. “You'll get more productivity out of the airplanes because they'll require a lot fewer man-hours to fix and get over to operations, which means that our execution rate in the operations group will be that much better. The capabilities that we gain bring the risk down, and it's all about risk management.” Gwinn piloted the 103rd’s first H3 flight from West Virginia to Connecticut. According to Gwinn, the H3 is not only more technologically advanced, but also more comfortable to operate. “First and foremost, the one I flew was definitely quieter,” said Gwinn. “We're flying an airplane that was designed and built in the 1990s, so it actually has modern avionics and systems and more creature comforts. It has more radios that worked well, and systems in the airplane that were more fluid and smoother than the H1. Then, last but not least, there's actually a toilet in this airplane, which is a big deal for our female crewmembers and all of our crew members for our long flights across the ocean and traveling around the world.” Gwinn feels the H3s will help maintain the relevance of the 103rd’s mission. “We feel that being given this H3s is setting us up for long-term success and relevancy in the Air National Guard,” said Gwinn. We're going to work hard to make them even better and modernize them.” The 103rd C-130H upgrade is expected to be complete by September 2021.
  18. From 165th AW PA Today one of our very own C-130H3s returned after receiving the C-130H3.5 conversion package, this included the NP2000 eight bladed propellers and an upgraded engine compression section. These upgrades increase efficiency, aircraft performance, makes it safer, and reduces maintenance man-hours. The rest of our C-130 fleet will continue to transition to the new propellers over the next year.
  19. 189th AW selected as ANG C-130J training hub May 27, 2021 (by MSgt. Jessica Roles) - Recently, the 189th Airlift Wing’s 154th Training Squadron was selected by Air National Guard leaders, to be the official home of the Guard’s C-130J training program. http://s9.addthis.com/button0-rss.gif http://s9.addthis.com/button1-addthis.gif Aircraft line the rows of the flightline in preparation for flight Oct. 8, 2020, at Little Rock AFB. The 189th AW is home to the C-130H training mission, conducting training for Guardsmen, active duty, international and inter-service students. [ANG photo by MSgt. Jessica Roles] This preliminary decision is a milestone in solidifying the future for the 189 AW. While nothing changes for the foreseeable future for the unit’s C-130H training, the 154 TRS will stay in the business of what they do best… training TAC airlifters! The C-130 has supported the Air National Guard mission for more than 50 years, transporting troops, cargo, vehicles, and much more. While the 189th’s formal training mission of training crews in the C-130H aircraft will continue for the lifecycle of the aircraft, the mission does not stop as the newer J models will slowly be integrated into the 189th fleet. The incorporation of the new aircraft also means the strengthening of our continued relationship with the 314th Airlift Wing, also located at Little Rock Air Force Base. “The 189 AW looks forward to a continued strong partnership with the 314th as we provide premier C-130 training to the Total Force and our allied partners,” said Col. Dean Martin, 189 AW commander. “Our aircrew and maintainers are top-of-the-line and we are ready to take the next step in support to our nation and state.” Although the most current information shows the wing receiving the first two J-model aircraft in the summer of 2023, the wing will continue its deliberate planning and coordination to be prepared to receive additional aircraft. “This is not the first time the Air Force has recapitalized its fleet and will likely not be the last time,” said Col. Jay Geaney, 189th Operations Group commander. “The wing itself has hosted many different types of aircraft since its inception and has taught us to be versatile and adaptable to change. The wing will operate in a split-fleet configuration for many years to come, which will require all our aircrew and maintenance expertise to train Airmen and support our mission.” The transition will ensure the wing is able to continue its legacy of training top C-130 aircrew. The combined efforts of the 314th and 189th Airlift Wings show great promise in the continued training of combat airlift support around the globe.
  20. Still sitting there rotting away...worthless condition now, acft and all the spares inside. Word is that after Kadafi was killed, Libya inquired about these and what it would take to restore them...they were laughed at.
  21. Amphibious MC-130J Transport Is On Special Operations Command's Wishlist There have been proposals for a waterborne C-130 Hercules in the past, but the U.S. special operations community might just make it a reality. By Thomas Newdick and Joseph Trevithick May 19, 2021 SOCOM The U.S. military is once again looking at the potential of an amphibious C-130 Hercules variant to operate from littoral areas in support of special operations forces. The project, which in its early stages, has yielded an artist’s concept of an MC-130J Commando II multi-mission combat transport fitted with large underslung floats mounted on the fuselage. The MC-130J is the latest Air Force special operations version of the Hercules, intended to penetrate into denied areas to insert, extract, or resupply special operations forces, as well as refuel helicopters and tilt-rotor aircraft. The new effort, known as the MC-130J Amphibious Capability, or MAC, came to light today in a briefing given by U.S. Air Force Colonel Ken Kuebler, U.S. Special Operations Command’s (SOCOM) Program Executive Officer for Fixed Wing (PEO-FW), at the annual Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC). At a media roundtable later in the day, Kuebler added that feasibility and operational studies regarding the project are going on now and that the command is working with unspecified “innovative partners” to hopefully prove out a lot of the concept using digital design tools. This, in turn, could help speed up the research and development and help keep costs low. SOCOM A slide from Colonel Kuebler's briefing that mentions the MAC concept as one of a number of "focus areas" for SOCOM PEO-FW. It's important to note that, while the concept art in Kuebler's briefing, seen at the top of this article, shows huge floats added to an MC-130J, he stressed that the MAC concept is looking for an amphibian aircraft able to operate from the land, as well as bodies of water. A basic floatplane would not be able to operate from land, but adding wheels to the floats could give it this capability. There are other possibilities, as well, for how the aircraft could be made truly amphibious. The basic idea of a waterborne C-130 has been around for decades and it is a concept that certain parts of the Pentagon have mulled in the past. In fact, the aircraft's original manufacturer, Lockheed, pitched a fully amphibious Hercules with a boat-like hull back in the 1960s, without success, though the U.S. Navy did at least undertake studies using a radio-controlled scale-model version. Lockheed has since evolved in Lockheed Martin, which is the current manufacturer of the C-130J family, including the MC-130J. Lockheed A model of a C-130 with a boat hull as well as wheeled landing gear. Lockheed An artist’s conception of a boat-hulled Hercules. The possibility of fitting a C-130J variant with pontoon-like floats attached to the fuselage, as seen in the PEO-FW concert art, is not new, either. Lockheed Martin proposed just a version of the aircraft in the late 1990s, reportedly after receiving interest from the U.S. Navy as a way to insert and extract SEAL teams, and their specialized watercraft, in littoral areas. Lockheed Martin Older Lockheed Martin artwork depicting a C-130J floatplane. Of course, strapping big floats to a Hercules would impose severe drag and weight penalties, reducing range and load-carrying capabilities, although it is not unheard of for seriously large aircraft to operate on floats. However, with the amphibious requirement in mind, it may be the case that the concept art is a simple reuse of older floatplane artwork, and not necessarily exactly what SOCOM now has in mind for its seagoing Hercules. While a boat-like hull would not have such an adverse effect on performance, it would require more significant redesign and it’s not something that Lockheed Martin has been known to be working on of late. Lockheed Martin Another artist's conception of a Hercules floatplane. Regardless of the exact configuration, an amphibious MC-130J could offer new and novel capabilities for the U.S. special operations community, particularly as part of future expeditionary and distributed operations. The U.S. military, as a whole, has been exploring concepts of operations in recent years that focus heavily on being able to operate from austere and remote areas with very limited infrastructure in the event that large, established bases are destroyed or are otherwise unavailable. Air Force MC-130J crews already train to operate in exactly these kinds of environments and there have been many efforts in the past to expand the ability of the Commando II, as well as the older MC-130H Combat Talon II, to operate from very confined areas with little or no infrastructure. You can read more about these initiatives in this past War Zone feature. At the same time, the U.S special operations community at large is currently in a process of examining how it could contribute to higher-end conflicts, including against near-peer adversaries, such as China or Russia, and especially in the broad expanses of the Asia-Pacific region. This includes operating from small islands in the Asia-Pacific region, where there might not even be sufficient space on certain tiny islands to establish a proper airstrip quickly. An amphibious aircraft could be the perfect solution, especially in times of conflict, when existing airfield infrastructure might be placed under considerable threat, if not destroyed in a first wave of attacks. During the media roundtable, Colonel Kuebler said that potential conflicts with “peer and near-peer” opponents and other “emerging threats” were some of the drivers that had prompted the MAC project. He also acknowledged that the aircraft could be particularly valuable in the Pacific, but also pointed out that it would be able to operate from anywhere there is water. An amphibious C-130 could potentially perform a wider array of missions beyond those of the standard MC-130J, as well, and Kuebler said he "would not make that assumption" when asked if the MAC aircraft would have the exact same mission set as the Commando II. If a waterborne Hercules finally comes to fruition, various elements of the U.S. military, beyond just the special operations community, could very well be interested in acquiring them. A 2016 U.S. Marine Corps ‘toolkit’ of existing and notional capabilities for use in developing tabletop wargames includes a section on seaplanes, with a clear emphasis on operations in the Pacific. A slide from that document, seen below, provides data on a float-equipped Cessna 208 Caravan, the Bombardier (now Viking Air) CL-415MP amphibian, and the Japanese US-2 amphibian, as well as their respective ranges operating from Manila in the Philippines. U.S. Marine Corps “Seaplanes are a proven, cost-effective operational capability that can provide lines of communication to remotely dispersed EAB sites that lack port or airfield infrastructure,” the document read. EAB refers to Expeditionary Advance Base Operations, a broad concept for executing expeditionary and distributed operations the Marine Corps has been developing, which you can read more about here. The inclusion of the US-2, presently only in service with the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, and primarily used for search and rescue, underscores both the relevance of such aircraft in the Pacific and other missions they can perform, including in non-combat disaster relief and humanitarian assistance roles. China is also busily working on a much larger amphibian of its own, the AG600, which is widely expected to have a significant military, or at least paramilitary, role, especially in support of man-made islands and other infrastructure in the hotly contested South China Sea. With all this in mind, beyond the Navy and Marine Corps, the U.S. Coast Guard could be another service that might be interested in an amphibious Hercules. It is a C-130 operator and a waterborne version could operate as a long-range search and rescue aircraft, allowing survivors to be picked up directly from the sea, thousands of miles from the shore, providing the weather and sea conditions permitted it. It's also worth remembering that the Coast Guard operated HU-16 Albatross amphibian aircraft into the 1980s. A seaplane variant of the Hercules could also lend itself to the kinds of aerial firefighting missions that are now undertaken by Air National Guard C-130s with the Modular Airborne Firefighting System, or MAFFS. While it remains to be seen how the MAC effort will progress, and what specific kinds of roles a potential MC-130J amphibian might take on, Kuebler made clear that he felt there was "enough command interest" to be hopeful that this long-discussed concept will finally become a reality. https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/40694/amphibious-mc-130j-transport-is-on-special-operations-commands-wishlist?fbclid=IwAR3Il_3NK-3HY_u7CO_UMlES1Qp6tiX0vZ7JeJ4ZSU6T6D4zwD0BNMtKO1Y
  22. AC-130J #1 that went inverted while in OTE at Eglin (damaged beyond repair)…now ground trainer at Kirtland. Congrats to our teammates in the Simulators Division on the recent successful delivery of an Enhanced Fuselage Training Device to the 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base! Working in partnership with various stakeholders, to include Lockheed Martin and Air Force Special Operations Command, the division led an effort to convert an operational MC-130J aircraft – which had sustained damage – to a training device that will provide realistic simulation capabilities for approximately 200 MC-130J and HC-130J loadmasters and special mission aviators annually. The device frees up operational aircraft from being used for static ground training and overall provides a training capability that was not previously available. This is just another example of the Simulators Division providing our warfighters with the enhanced training tools they need to fight and win!
  23. Metalbasher

    Ouch!

    Hard landing caused $21 million in damage to Ramstein cargo plane, Air Force finds February 17, 2021 (by Jennifer H. Svan) - Pilot error caused $21 million in damage to an Air Force cargo plane that landed hard during a training flight at Ramstein Air Base in April, the service said following the release of an accident investigation board’s findings. http://s9.addthis.com/button0-rss.gif http://s9.addthis.com/button1-addthis.gif The C-130J Super Hercules pilot reduced power to the engines 70 feet above the ground and fully idled them at 45 feet, an Air Force statement said Tuesday. That caused the plane to drop down onto the runway too quickly, the statement said. The pilot, who was simulating a landing on a dirt airstrip, known as a maximum effort landing, should have started to pull the power at about 20 feet in order to land “in the center of the runway touchdown zone,” the report said. A reduction in thrust accelerates the “sink rate” of the C-130J and leaves the aircraft’s propellers unable to generate high-velocity airflow over the wings, the report said. The accident caused no significant injuries or damage to civilian property, the investigation report said. The aircraft was assigned to the 37th Airlift Squadron, based at Ramstein. The failure by both the pilot and the aircraft commander, who was also the instructor pilot, to identify and stop “the excessive sink rate … in a timely manner were substantially contributing factors” to the accident, the statement said. The landing caused significant damage to the center wing, both outer wings, the left and right main landing gear assemblies and engines, including the mounting structures, the report said. Visible damage to the plane included a buckled lower fuselage, pulled rivets and cracked sealant, images included in the report showed. Although the investigation board found no evidence that the operations tempo contributed to the accident, the pilot noted that one of two sorties he planned to prepare him for the April 23 evaluation flight was canceled due to coronavirus restrictions at the time. The report noted that the squadron’s high operations tempo, supporting both U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa missions, leaves less time for local training missions, which are particularly important for less experienced air crews. “The lack of local training sorties, combined with local area restrictions, make it difficult to practice critical combat airlift skills, to include maximum effort takeoffs, approaches, and landings,” the report said
  24. L-3 Waco awarded $667 million contract by: Roland Richter Posted: Dec 1, 2020 L-3 Communications Integrated Systems of Waco with facilities at the TSTC airport has been awarded an estimated $667,877,734 contract for maintenance of C-130 aircraft. The contract describes the work as including unscheduled depot-level maintenance for C-130 H aircraft and programmed maintenance for all C-130 types, including painting for the C-130J. Work will be performed at the facility in Waco. The C-130 is a four engine turbo prop aircraft with many versions in use, ranging from cargo carriers, troop carriers, and even gunships and can often operate from unimproved airstrips. The announcement was made by the Department of Defense.
  25. Air Force selects next C-130J locations Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs / Published November 25, 2020 WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The Air Force has selected Louisville Air National Guard Base, Kentucky; McLaughlin ANGB, West Virginia; Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, Texas; and Savannah ANGB, Georgia as the preferred locations to receive C-130J Super Hercules aircraft to replace their aging C-130Hs, pending the outcome of environmental assessments. The Air Force evaluated all C-130J candidate locations against objective criteria based on mission requirements. The preferred alternatives were the highest scoring locations based on that criteria. The C-130J reduces manpower requirements, lowers operating and support costs, and provides life-cycle cost savings over earlier C-130 models. Compared to older C-130s, the “J” model climbs faster and higher, flies farther at a higher cruise speed, and takes off and lands in a shorter distance. C-130J major system improvements include advanced two-pilot flight station with fully integrated digital avionics, color multifunctional liquid crystal and head-up displays, and state-of-the-art navigation that includes a dual inertial navigation system and GPS. The aircraft also features fully integrated defensive systems, low-power color radar, digital moving map display, new turboprop engines with six-bladed all-composite propellers and a digital autopilot. The C-130J also includes improved fuel, environmental and ice-protection and an enhanced cargo-handling system. Kentucky, West Virginia and Texas will begin receiving eight aircraft, each in 2021. Georgia will receive new aircraft if they become available in the future.
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