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Everything posted by Metalbasher

  1. The 353rd SOG bids farewell to the Combat Talon II By 1st Lieutenant Renee Douglas, 353rd Special Operations Group / Published December 20, 2019 Kadena Japan -- After 24 years of service in the Pacific region the last of the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) MC-130H Combat Talon II aircraft returned to Hurlburt Field, Fla. Dec. 4, 2019. The earliest variant of the MC-130, the MC-130E Combat Talon, first flew in 1966 and saw extensive service in Southeast Asia, including the attempted rescue of Americans held at the Son Tay prisoner-of-war camp in 1970. In 1966, the 1st Special Operations Squadron (SOS) began flying the MC-130E Combat Talon under a project known as STRAY GOOSE, which would later become the call sign for its original six crews. The Talon era continued for 29 years and 99 subsequent crews, flying proudly under the STRAY call sign before transitioning to the Talon II in 1995. Over the next 24 years, the 1st SOS would create 92 crews flying under the GOOSE call sign. The 1st SOS will continue the STRAY legacy as the unit transitions to the MC-130J Air Commando II this spring. The 353rd Special Operations Group (SOG) will reorganize its two MC-130 squadrons transitioning the aircraft and personnel from the 17th SOS to the 1st SOS and standing down the 17th SOS. The Airmen who fly and maintain the Talon II are proud to be part of this specialized mission. “As one of the last Air Force squadrons with legacy C-130’s, we were part of a very unique mission in the (U.S. Indo-Pacific) Command area of responsibility due to the aircraft’s specialized capabilities,” said Tech. Sgt. Peter O'Donoghue, MC-130H Dedicated Crew Chief (DCC). “Maintaining these aircraft provided us with immense job satisfaction and made the Talon II maintainers a special breed. We poured our blood, sweat, and tears into the aircraft daily and worked countless hours but we loved every minute of it crewing this amazing aircraft! As a MC-130H DCC, having the privilege of working with such a dedicated group of maintainers made my years on the Talon II some of the most memorable in my career.” O’Donoghue has served two tours with the 353rd Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and has worked with three variants of AFSOC C-130 aircraft, the MC-130P Combat Shadow, MC-130H Combat Talon II, and now the MC-130J Air Commando II. “The Talon II aircraft have been absolute workhorses during their lifetimes, although they have left (the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command), their presence continues to be seen and their mission continues to be fulfilled,” said O’Donoghue. “It’s been bittersweet watching the Talon II’s leave this area of responsibility, but they will forever live in the hearts of the crew that flew them and the maintainers that kept them airborne.” The Talon II carries so much equipment the design of the aircraft is a little different from most variations of the C-130. The nose of the aircraft juts out sharply compared to other AFSOC C-130s, almost like the bill of their namesake Stray Goose. “The Talon II is not a glamorous aircraft, some may even say they are ugly,” said O’Donoghue. “I grew to love these dirty, worn, and ugly aircraft like only a mother could or more accurately, like only a dedicated crew chief could!” Lieutenant Col. Joshua Petry, Commander of the 1st SOS, gave a nod to this particular attribute in his remarks at a ceremony before the final Talon II departure from Kadena Air Base. “Admittedly, the Talon II brings with it a unique and unmistakable look, but over the years, its presence has established a level of respect that sends a clear signal to our adversaries,” said Petry. The Talon II is distinctive in appearance but the character of this aircraft has much more to do with the partnerships the 1st SOS has created in the Pacific region and the mission it has carried out. “After decades in the Indo-Pacific, the Talon II has enabled the United States to create strong bonds with many critical, regional partners through flight and maintenance training with their H-model C-130 counterparts, including: Royal New Zealand Air Force’s 40th Squadron, Republic of Korea Air Force’s 255 SOS, Royal Thai Air Force’s 601st Squadron, Philippine Air Force’s 220th Squadron and Royal Malaysian Air Force’s No 20 Squadron.” The Talon Mission: Secret and Dangerous The Talon IIs first arrived at Hurlburt Field, Fla., June 29, 1992, and after acceptance testing, began official flying operations Oct. 17, 1992. Since then, the Talon II has played a vital role in AFSOC operations by providing infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces and equipment in hostile or denied territory and accomplishing secondary missions including psychological operations and air-to-air refueling. The Talon II carries terrain-following and terrain-avoidance radars capable of operations as low as 250 feet in adverse weather conditions. Structural changes to a basic C-130 include the addition of an in-flight refueling receptacle, and strengthening of the tail to allow high-speed and low-signature airdrop. Their navigation suites include dual ring-laser gyros, mission computers and integrated global positioning system. They can locate, and either land or airdrop on small, unmarked zones with precise accuracy day or night. An extensive electronic warfare suite enables the aircrew to detect and avoid potential threats. If engaged, the system will protect the aircraft from both radar and infrared-guided threats. The Talon II is also equipped with aerial refueling pods to provide in-flight refueling of special operations forces and combat search and rescue helicopters and tilt-rotor aircraft. The 1st SOS, and the 353rd Special Operations Wing, were moved to Kadena Air Base, Japan from Clark Air Base, Republic of the Philippines Feb. 5, 1992. The 1st SOS flew a mixed fleet of Combat Talon I and II aircraft at Kadena until the last MC-130E Combat Talon I assigned departed Oct. 2, 1995. Nearly two weeks after the last E model left, the 1st SOS received their final Combat Talon II for operational use. Some of the Talon II’s most notable operations include the evacuations of non-combatant Americans and other civilians from conflicts in Liberia in 1996. In 1998, a Talon II aircrew was awarded the Mackay Trophy for their involvement in the evacuation of civilians from the Republic of the Congo; and they participated in combat operations in the Balkans during Operation Allied Force. In 2001, Talon II’s were employed to seize an airfield in southern Afghanistan delivering U.S. Army Rangers to begin ground operations in Operation Enduring Freedom and later in 2003, a Talon II was the first US aircraft to land at Baghdad International airport to initiate missions supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Since Oct. 2001, this aircraft has been used extensively in combat and humanitarian operations worldwide – operations Enduring Freedom and Inherent Resolve, Resolute Support, Tomodachi in Japan, Unified Response in Haiti, and Sahayogi Haat in Nepal. The day after Christmas in 2004, an earthquake measuring 9.1 on the Richter scale occurred in the Indian Ocean generating a tsunami that killed over 275,000 people throughout the region. The 1st SOS and 17th SOS flew nearly 1 million pounds of relief supplies and cargo to support recovery and aid efforts. The flying squadron's ability to land on short unprepared strips helped distribute over 600 aid workers into some of the hardest to reach areas. On Sept. 26, 2008, members from the 1st SOS, 320th Special Tactics Squadron (STS), and the 18th Wing's 31st Rescue Squadron conducted a complex rescue operation at night to save two mariners who were injured in a crane accident aboard a cargo vessel, the Occam's Razor. A joint team of Pararescuemen and Combat Controllers were flown to the vessel situated 750 nautical miles from Guam onboard a Talon II from the 1st SOS. Both men were treated on board the vessel until they reaching a hospital on Guam. Operation Damayan followed the landfall of Super Typhoon Haiyan on Nov. 8, 2013 near Leyte and Samar Islands in the Republic of the Philippines. The 1st SOS were among the first to respond to the humanitarian relief efforts. Members of the 353rd SOG arrived with four MC-130s and three Special Tactics Assault Zone Reconnaissance teams. They established operating locations at Clark, Mactan, Tacloban, Ormoc, Guiuan, and Borongan Airfields and conducted 188 sorties to deliver 721,300 pounds of aid and evacuated 3,278 residents to safety. “So, I’ll conclude by saying thank you,” said Petry. “Thank you to all of the men and women who’ve been a part of the Indo-Pacific Talon legacy. I also tip my hat and say thank you to all of the Talon aircraft that have rotated through this theater, served us well, and brought us and our supported forces to their objectives and back home safely, via landing zone or drop zone, day or night...you’ve always done it with precision and style.”
  2. You might pull the small ramp floor panel that gives you access to the lock actuator. In many cases the structure that secures the actuator ends up being cracked and when actuated just turns in place vs. actuating the locks.
  3. Super Herculean Accomplishment: Global C-130J Fleet Surpasses 2 Million Flight Hours ATLANTA, Oct. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) announced today the global community of C-130J Super Hercules operators recently surpassed 2 million flight hours. These hours were logged beginning with the C-130J's first flight on April 5, 1996, through the end of July 2019. Twenty-two operators from 18 nations contributed to this achievement, adding hours through multiple missions including combat, transport, aerial refueling, special operations, medevac, humanitarian relief, search and rescue, weather reconnaissance, firefighting and commercial freight delivery. A C-130J Super Hercules demonstrates its capability to land in remote, austere conditions. The mission-proven Hercules recently surpassed 2 million flight hours. (Lockheed Martin photo) Rod McLean, vice president and general manager of the Air Mobility & Maritime Missions line of business at Lockheed Martin, announced the milestone at the Hercules Operators Conference, the annual C-130 operator-industry event held in Atlanta. "The C-130J has earned a reputation as the world's workhorse and this most recent achievement is a powerful reminder of the Super Hercules' unmatched global reach," McLean said. "Crews continue to exemplify the C-130J's proven capability and versatility with every mission they fly. The Lockheed Martin team is proud of the work of the Super Herc crews who rely on the C-130J to support vital missions, both home and abroad." Countries with military variant C-130Js contributing to these flight hours include (in order of delivery) the United Kingdom, United States (the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard), Australia, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Canada, India, Qatar, Iraq, Oman, Tunisia, Israel, Kuwait, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, France, and Bahrain. Also contributing is Lockheed Martin Flight Operations, whose crews are the first to fly every C-130J produced. The U.S. Air Force maintains the largest C-130J fleet, with Super Hercs flown by Air Mobility Command, Air Combat Command, Air Education and Training Command, Special Operations Command, and Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units. In addition, Defence Contract Management Agency crews support C-130J test flights at Lockheed Martin's Aeronautics site in Marietta, Georgia, home of C-130 production. The C-130J Super Hercules is the current production model of the legendary C-130 Hercules aircraft. For more information on the C-130J Super Hercules, visit www.lockheedmartin.com/c130.
  4. L3Harris Selects Collins Aerospace for C-130H Avionics Systems Installation Posted By: Matthew Nelsonon: August 29, 2019In: Contract Awards, News L3Harris Technologies has tapped Collins Aerospace to install an integrated avionics platform onto the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard’s C-130H Hercules aircraft fleet. Collins Aerospace said Wednesday that it will use the Flight2 avionics system to replace more than 100 analog instruments within the C-130H cockpits with three control display units, seven multi-functional panels and a digital autopilot tool. “These aircraft are important to national security, and by working with L3Harris, our integrated avionics system will support the extension of the life of the planes for another 20 years,” said Dave Schreck, vice president and general manager for military avionics and helicopters at Collins Aerospace. In addition, the company noted that the displays will help pilots overlay flight plans, view radar data and augment situational awareness capacities. L3Harris also secured a separate $499.6M contract from the Air Force to provide training, production and logistics support efforts for the C-130H aircraft.
  5. https://www.noozhawk.com/article/aircraft_reportedly_crashed_caught_on_fire_at_santa_barbara_airport
  6. Laurent I'm somewhat clueless, way before my time but what you are suggesting would make sense. Stripes could have been applied for a period of time in similar fashion to C-130s, F-15s etc that were painted with the 75th Anniversary Invasion Stripes commemorating D-Day Invasion.
  7. What specifically? It looks like orange on the tail...maybe arctic markings? Same with rudder. Just a thought...
  8. New USAF Base in Niger Begins Limited Operations 8/15/2019 —Brian Everstine USAF airmen assigned to the 409th Air Expeditionary Group watch as a C-130J Super Hercules taxis in at Nigerien Air Base 201, Agadez, Niger, on Aug. 3, 2019. The C-130 landing marked the next step in airfield evaluations by starting Visual Flight Rules operations at the base. Air Force photo by SSgt. Devin Boyer. The Air Force’s new operating base in central Niger began its first regular operations this month, with C-130s flying limited missions into the facility, the service announced Aug. 15. The US military was waiting on Nigerien approval to start operations at the base, US Africa Command and US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa officials told Air Force Magazine. USAFE-AFAFRICA said the Nigerien Civil Aviation Authority, Nigerien air force, and USAF reached an agreement to start limited “visual flight rules” operations Aug. 1. A C-130J from the 409th Air Expeditionary Group landed at the base two days later. VFR flights are part of the airfield assessments and procedure development that must take place before an installation begins full operations, the Air Force said. Unmanned MQ-9s are slated to start flying missions at Air Base 201, near the village of Agadez, by the end of the year as well. The Air Force launched its largest-ever construction project in 2016. “Air Base 201 gives Niger and the US incredible capability in a challenging region of the world,” USAFE Commander Gen. Jeff Harrigian said in the Aug. 15 release. “This joint-use runway allows for a better response to regional security requirements and provides strategic access and flexibility.” A US Africa Command official, during an interview with Air Force Magazine at the command’s headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, said the base will serve as a hub for operations in the region. The 323rd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron will fly Reapers out of the installation. The MQ-9’s ability to loiter for hours “gives us a lot of good options” in the region, a second AFRICOM official told Air Force Magazine. Constructing the base was a long-term, logistically complex process because of its location and the lack of infrastructure surrounding it, the first official said. C-130s flew in basic supplies for personnel about once a week, including food supplies, spare parts, and workers. Large materials and equipment used to build the base were delivered by ship to a port on the western coast of Africa, then took a three-week journey from the port to the construction site by truck. The Air Force also has an existing presence at Nigerien Air Base 101, near the capital city of Niamey. Together, the bases will give the Air Force a large, persistent intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance presence in a country that has been a hotbed for extremist activity. For example, the 2017 ambush of Green Berets in the village of Tongo Tongo took place in the same region of Niger. The US has a 10-year lease agreement at the base, according to AFRICOM.
  9. Posted On Wednesday, 07 August 2019 09:41 Lockheed Martin Corp., Marietta, Georgia, is awarded $16,465,887 for modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract . This modification increases the ceiling of the contract to procure consumable parts and material, technical publications and engineering services in support of the C/KC-130J aircraft. The Lockheed Martin KC-130 is the basic designation for a family of the extended-range tanker version of the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft modified for aerial refueling. The KC-130J is the latest variant operated by the United States Marine Corps, Work will be performed in Marietta, Georgia (84.5%); Miramar, California (2.5%); Cherry Point, North Carolina (2.5%); Elizabeth City, North Carolina (2.5%); Fort Worth, Texas (2.5%); Abdullah Al-Mubarak Air Base, Kuwait (2.5%); Iwakuni, Japan (2.5%); and Greenville, South Carolina (0.5%), and is expected to be completed in December 2019.
  10. Yes, Robins discovered a rainbow with an 18" crack on the CWB side (OEM installed rainbow in 1992 model) and another crack on a node, hence the concern.
  11. http://www.c-130.net/aircraft-database/C-130/airframe-profile/8978
  12. The AC-130J's arrival in Afghanistan marks a historic changing of the guard as older AC-130Us have now finished their last scheduled deployment. By Joseph TrevithickJuly 10, 2019 The U.S. Air Force's new AC-130J Ghostriders have been flying combat missions in Afghanistan since June 2019. The gunships took over from AC-130U Spooky IIs that had been supporting U.S. and coalition special operations forces and their Afghan partners in that country. Those Spooky IIs have now returned to the United States, marking the last scheduled combat deployment ever for that version of the AC-130. Northwest Florida Daily News had been the first to report on June 28, 2019, that the AC-130J had flown its first-ever combat mission in Afghanistan. This detail had emerged during a change of command ceremony at Hurlburt Field in Florida, during which U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General James Slife took charge of Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) from Lieutenant General Brad Webb. The Ghostrider's first combat sortie had taken place "just days before," according to the story. "We are pleased to announce the AC-130J has deployed in support of combat operations overseas," U.S. Air Force Captain Keavy Rake, an AFSOC spokesperson, confirmed to The War Zone in an Email on July 10, 2019. "The first AC-130Js deployed in late June 2019 to relieve the AC-130Us, who arrived home to Hurlburt Field on 8 July 2019." The Air Force declared that the AC-130J had reached initial operational capability in late 2017, with the 73rd Special Operation Squadron at Hurlburt Field becoming the first operational unit to fly the aircraft in 2018. The 73rd is the squadron presently flying the Ghostriders over Afghanistan. AC-130Js had previously taken part in a number of exercises in the United States and abroad. We don't know much about the 73rd's initial deployment with the Ghostrider yet, but AFSOC's AC-130s most often fly at night, supporting special operations forces on the ground, either providing direct close air support or armed overwatch during their operations. U.S. special operators remain heavily engaged in Afghanistan, against the Taliban and a variety of other terrorist and militant groups, including an ISIS-linked faction that first emerged in 2015. In the past, AC-130s have also conducted targeted strikes against specific individuals in support of the secretive Joint Special Operations Command's task forces in the country. An AC-130U from the 4th Special Operations Squadron was also notably involved in the infamous mistaken strike against a Doctors Without Borders hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz in 2015. A subsequent investigation revealed a number of equipment failures and human errors that led to the tragedy. The 4th SOS is the last squadron to fly the U-model, including the ones that just returned home this week. It will continue to keep some of those aircraft available for unscheduled contingency deployments until its full complement of AC-130Js has arrived, according to Military.com. The squadron received its first Ghostrider in March 2019. The last Ghostrider deliveries are scheduled to occur in 2021 and the Air Force plans to eventually have a fleet of 37 of the aircraft in total, which will replace all of the remaining AC-130Us and AC-130W Stinger II gunships. As of March 2019, AFSOC had already retired seven of the 10 remaining U models and three of the 12 W variants, according to Pentagon budget documents. The service already retired the last of the AC-130H Spectre gunships in 2016. The deployment of the AC-130Js and the end of scheduled combat operations for the AC-130Us very much marks a shift in AFSOC's gunship operations, as well. The Spooky IIs, which entered service in 1995, are the last of the Air Force's old school AC-130 gunships with a five-barrel 25mm GAU-12/U Gatling cannon, a single-barrel 40mm Bofors cannon, and a 105mm howitzer as their only armament. These aircraft were a direct evolution of the original Vietnam War-era AC-130s. By all indications, the AC-130Us are also the last platform of any kind in the U.S. military to use the 40mm Bofors gun, a World War II-era weapon, which proved to be a deadly aerial weapon, but also increasingly hard to operate and maintain. The Air Force had found itself scouring the world for spare parts in the early 2000s and rebuilding 40mm ammunition from the 1940s in recent years to keep the guns operational. Clemens Vasters via Wikimedia A close up of the 40mm Bofors cannon, at left, and its 105mm howitzer, at right on an AC-130H Spectre gunship. The AC-130U has a similar configuration. The AC-130J is a very different beast, though it does have the same 105mm howitzer as the AC-130U, as well as a smaller 30mm GAU-23/A Bushmaster cannon. But the Ghostrider, from the very beginning, was designed to also employ precision-guided munitions, including the AGM-114 Hellfire missile, the GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bomb (SDB), the GBU-44/B Viper Strike glide bomb, and the AGM-176 Griffin, which can function as a powered missile or as an unpowered glide bomb. The AC-130Ws, which are conversions of older C-130H cargo aircraft, have a virtually identical armament package. The Air Force had not even originally planned to install the 105mm howitzer on the AC-130J, or the AC-130W, but eventually changed course. AFSOC took delivery of the first Block 20 AC-130J with the howitzer in 2016. There had also been concerns about the functionality of the Ghostrider's 30mm GAU-23/A, but these issues have all since been resolved, according to the Pentagon's Office of the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation. The precision-guided munitions capability has really added a new dimension to the gunship's capabilities, giving it more stand-off reach and the ability to engage targets in multiple distinct areas simultaneously, something you can read about in more detail here. The addition of new weapons in the future, including the GBU-53/B Stormbreaker, previously known as the Small Diameter Bomb II, and the GBU-69/B Small Glide Munition, both of which have multi-mode guidance systems, will only increase the AC-130J's flexibility. With its 30mm and 105mm weapons, the Ghostriders can also still provide the same kind of extremely precise direct fire support as their predecessors. The AC-130Js are also packed with a variety of updated sensors, data links, communications systems, and more, and the Air Force is already in the process of further updating those systems. The latest Block 30 Ghostriders, which the 4th Special Operations Squadron began receiving in March, feature a number of improvements over the Block 20 aircraft that the 73rd Special Operations Squadron is flying in Afghanistan now. This includes upgraded sensor turrets with higher fidelity electro-optical and infrared full-motion video cameras and a new, large broadband satellite communications "hump" on top of the forward fuselage. The Air Force is looking to improve the survivability of all of its remaining gunships against newly emerging threats, such as GPS jamming, too. In 2018, U.S. Army General Raymond Thomas, then head of U.S. Special Operations Command, said that unspecified opponents – most likely Russian or Russian-backed forces – were using electronic warfare attacks against gunships operating over Syria. Entirely new capabilities might find their way onto the Ghostriders as time goes on, too. AFSOC is planning to demonstrate a high-energy laser weapon on one of its AC-130Js in 2022. But with no more AC-130U deployments on the schedule and AC-130Js now flying combat missions, the Air Force has already entered a new era of gunship operations.
  13. Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group today announced it has been awarded the contract to support the entry into service of the new replacement for the Blue Angels’ iconic Fat Albert, the C-130 support aircraft to the US Navy’s air display team. Marshall will carry out the maintenance, paint and minor modifications to the US Navy’s replacement ‘Fat Albert’. The aircraft is a C-130J that the US Navy recently purchased from the UK Ministry of Defence to replace the C-130T that the squadron used for 17 years until May this year. The new Fat Albert is a C-130J Super Hercules, four-engine, six-blade turboprop, which will serve as the US Navy’s Blue Angels’ Flight Demonstration Squadron (NFDS) logistical support aircraft. Marshall is the global leading C-130 support company outside of the USA and was chosen for its proven expertise with C-130 modification, repair and overhaul (MRO) work and the speed with which the company can make the aircraft operational. Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group CEO, Alistair McPhee said: “We are delighted that the US Navy has chosen us to work on the new replacement Fat Albert,” “We have worked on Royal Air Force C-130s for 50 years and we support a number of international Air Force customers who have purchased surplus C-130s from the UK MOD. It feels like a natural progression for us, but very exciting nevertheless. Fat Albert is a head-turner and plays a major part in supporting the Blue Angels’ display team.” Lt. Col. Robert Hurst, PMA-207 C/KC-130 Deputy Program Manager, said: “Our partners at the UK MOD and Marshall have been instrumental in executing this extremely challenging acquisition. We have always had a great partnership with the UK and this only adds to the list of ways we accomplish great things together.” Fat Albert takes part in the display team’s flying performances, as well as being a crucial support aircraft, carrying the Blue Angels’ tools, spare parts and engineers. Marshall will perform depth maintenance on the aircraft, which will include an upgrade to some of its systems to align them to the retired Fat Albert. It will then be repainted in the Blue Angels’ iconic blue, yellow and white colours. Fat Albert is expected to be operational in the first part of next year.
  14. Same blades, hence when Robins shut down the propeller line after the KC-130T accident it effected the USN too. Slightly different processes during processing and rounded tips vs. squared off tips but virtually the same identical prop. As for the NP2000. Big USAF bought off on upgrading the MASS, MAFFS and LC-130s with NP2000 props. That was all to be done...ANG and AFRC were not really happy being stuck with all the remaining Legacy acft (AMC owns only Js) so ANG and AFRC basically said if you are giving us all the left overs, we're going to put NP2000s on them for reliability etc. Funding is huge but worth it...timing is the long pole in the tent, how lone to upgrade all the Legacy with 3.5 and the new props. https://www.ngaus.org/about-ngaus/newsroom/new-urgency
  15. Check out this link. https://news.usni.org/2018/12/06/marine-corps-corroded-propeller-blade-that-broke-loose-caused-2017-kc-130t-crash Can also look at the USN redacted report that was posted on line. Yanky-72 (KC-130T) Acft Mishap Report (redacted).pdf
  16. 24 June 2019 Patuxent River, Md. - - The Navy has announced the award of the Naval Flight Demonstration Squadron’s new “Fat Albert,” the Blue Angels’ logistics cargo plane. Scheduled for delivery in spring 2020, the $29.7 million contract was awarded to the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence (UK MOD) for a divested C-130J Super Hercules. Cost savings associated with acquisition of the used aircraft and other airworthiness requirements is approximately $50 million less than the cost of a new aircraft. “This is a win-win for the U.S. Navy and the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence,” said Capt. Steven Nassau, PMA-207 program manager. “Just as the Navy recognized the imminent need to replace the Fat Albert aircraft, the UK MOD was divesting of an American made, C-130J; aircraft allowing us to acquire a suitable replacement aircraft at a major cost savings.” In March 2018, PMA-207 received congressional approval to proceed with acquisition of the UK MOD C-130J with funding from Foreign Military Sales proceeds. The last dedicated Fat Albert, a C-130T Hercules, retired May 2019 and now serves as a ground-based training platform in Fort Worth, Texas. Naval Flight Demonstration Squadron will continue flying Navy or Marine Corps C-130 Hercules assets until the replacement aircraft is complete.
  17. L3 Technologies has been awarded a $500 million contract for a major avionics upgrade of 176 Lockheed Martin C-130H tactical transports flown by the US Air National Guard and US Air Force (USAF) Reserve Command. The fixed-price-incentive-firm contract is for engineering and manufacturing development through production, as well as training and logistics. The upgrade work is planned to be performed predominantly in Waco, Texas, and is expected to be complete by the end of September 2029. L3 did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The USAF has initially obligated $37 million for research, development, testing and evaluation of the avionics upgrade package. The avionics upgrade is part of a larger C-130 modernisation programme. National Guard and USAF Reserve C-130Hs will also have Collins Aerospace NP2000 propeller systems added and receive a “Series 3.5 upgrade” to their Rolls-Royce (R-R) T56 engines. Incorporating the NP2000 propeller will help the C-130H’s operational performance, while also reducing maintenance time and cost. R-R says the T56 upgrade should allow the type's engines to operate at lower and higher temperatures, while extending the lifespan of parts and improving reliability by 22%. 05 June, 2019 SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com BY: Garrett Reim
  18. Torin Halsey, Times Record News Published 4:18 p.m. CT March 22, 2018 (Photo: Torin Halsey/Times Record News) A massive Lockheed MC-130P cargo plane landed at Sheppard Air Force Base Wednesday afternoon, touching down with only three of its four powerful turbo prop engines running. One had been turned off during the last leg of the journey from California to Texas due to low oil pressure. The plane is being retired from its mission with the 129th Rescue Wing of the Air National Guard based at Moffett Federal Airfield. It made its final flight to become a training tool for aircraft maintainers and mechanics in the 982nd Maintenance Training Squadron at SAFB. "The C-130, in general, is kind of like a utility truck for the Air Force," said Col. Fred Foote, a member of the flight crew. "It can get into extremely small dirt strips, take off and land in areas where no other airplane can." Buy Photo A crowd gathers around the newest addition to aircraft maintenance training at Sheppard Air Force Base, an MC-130P from the Air National Guard's 129th Rescue Wing. The trip here from Moffett Federal Airfield in California was its final flight. (Photo: Torin Halsey/Times Record News) The workhorse military transports were developed in the mid 1950s and have been adapted to more than 40 variations, including cargo, troop transport, gunships, refueling, aerial firefighting, and search and rescue. The versatile C-130 Hercules is known for its reliability and is the longest continually-produced military aircraft. The updated Lockheed-Martin C-130J Super Hercules is currently being produced. "Just the reliability in general, it's my favorite airplane the military has ever developed and I'm excited that a new generation, the J-model, of the same exact airplane, can continue on as long as I'm alive," Foote said. Tail # 66-0223
  19. I'd like a copy if there is one still available. Can contact me at spward@cox.net
  20. PENSACOLA , Fla. (WEAR-TV) — The U.S. Navy Blue Angels are bidding farewell to their C-130T aircraft. The Blue Angels announced on Wednesday the aircraft known as Fat Albert is officially retiring. The Navy says Fat Albert has served the Blue Angels for 17-years and flown more than 30,000 hours in support of their missions. According to the U.S. Navy the current airframe, BUNO 164763, has been with the team since 2002 and was the last C-130 to conduct a jet-assisted take-off (JATO). The Navy says their team will be transported via Fleet-provided logistics until a permanent replacement aircraft is identified. Officials told Channel 3 News Fat Albert "will enjoy her retirement as a ground-based training aid in Fort Worth, Texas." ** to be a ground trainer no less, not in a museum or static**
  21. Didn't waste no time trucking it up or getting to work on reinstalling components.
  22. Tail # is 63-7872, was used as the test bed for the MC-130W program.
  23. Behold The MC-130J Spec Ops Transport With Its Badly Needed Terrain Following Radar Installed Nearly all of the Air Force's MC-130Js do not have an adequate terrain-following/terrain avoidance capability to perform their low-level missions. By Joseph TrevithickMay 15, 2019 Lockheed Martin Screen Capture Lockheed Martin has released a video showing one of the first MC-130J Commando II special operations transports equipped with the Raytheon AN/APQ-187 Silent Knight terrain-following/terrain avoidance radar. The U.S. Air Force plans to upgrade the entire Commando II fleet to this new configuration in the coming years, giving the planes a nap-of-the-earth flight capability that is essential for performing their special operations missions, but which they have lacked since their introduction nearly a decade ago. By the end of 2018, the Air Force had at least two MC-130Js equipped with the Silent Knight Radar, or SKR, according to Pentagon budget documents. In its most recent budget request for the 2020 Fiscal Year, U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), which is in charge of procuring SKRs for Air Force Special Operations Command, asked for almost $9 million for the purchase of two radars, associated equipment, and support services. AFSOC expects to eventually receive more than 70 Commando IIs, all of which are set to receive the new radar. “The program will not just integrate that new radar, but will also evolve the [MC-130J’s] digital cockpit to automate essential functions,” Paul Keith, Lockheed Martin’s Program Manager for the MC-130J Common Terrain Following/Terrain Avoidance Radar (MCTF) program, said in the new video. “This will allow a smaller AFSOC crew to do as much or even more than current crews can do.” SKR is an impressive multi-function radar in its own right, with terrain-following/terrain avoidance, weather, and ground mapping modes. It works over any terrain, including sand, ice, and snow, as well as in maritime environments. SOCOM’s requirements called for it to work at altitudes from 100 to 1,000 feet in level or turning flight and at speeds from 5 to 300 knots, or between 6 and 345 miles per hour. Lockheed Martin capture A screengrab from the video showing one of the MC-130Js now equipped with the SKR. The radar operates on K-band and has low probability of intercept (LPI) and low probability of detection (LPD) features. This is an important consideration for special operations missions that often involve penetrating into denied areas. If the enemy detected the radar passively in or near their airspace it could give away the MC-130J's presence and compromise its mission and its survivability. The terrain-follow and terrain avoidance capability in of itself helps enable extremely low nap-of-the-earth flight profiles, including in poor weather and at night, to help evade and avoid hostile air defenses. SOCOM initially began the SKR program in the late 2000s primarily to develop a new terrain-following/terrain avoidance radar for the special operations MH-47 Chinooks and MH-60 Black Hawks assigned to the Army’s elite 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. Since then, however, the effort has evolved, with plans now for the radar to become a common system for those helicopters, as well as the Air Force’s special operations CV-22B Osprey tilt-rotors and the MC-130J. An overview of the SKR's features. Silent Knight offers significant benefits for each one of these platforms, but is a particularly essential development for the Commando II. AFSOC’s MC-130 fleets as a whole, which also includes the MC-130H Combat Talon II, are facing increasing challenges as ever-improving threat air defense capabilities continue to emerge and proliferate around the world. For decades now, AFSOC and other components of the Air Force have been investigating a wide array of potentially more survivable replacement options, including stealth transport aircraft, as well as myriad upgrades to ensure the MC-130 platform remains relevant in the coming years. The War Zone recently completed a large two-part feature on these developments, which you can find here and here. In the meantime, terrain-following and terrain avoidance capabilities and nap-of-the-earth flight profiles remain critical to the ability of MC-130s to complete their missions. So, shockingly, the Air Force took delivery of the first MC-130Js in 2011, and put the first examples into operational service the next year, without any such capability. After nearly a decade, with the exception of the examples now carrying the SKR, the Commando II fleet still lacks the kind of functionality found on the older MC-130H. Carlos Menendez San Juan via Wikimedia An MC-130H Combat Talon II. That large nose radome contains, among other things, the aircraft's AN/APQ-170 terrain-following/terrain avoidance radar. “Concerning the MC-130H Combat Talon II, these would remain in service longer, the first retirements not planned until FY15 (two), with another three in FY19,” according to an official AFSOC history for the 2013 calendar year, which the author previously obtained via the Freedom of Information Act. “The main reason for retaining the H models longer centered on their capabilities, specifically terrain following radar and self-protection features.” It's worth noting that the MC-130J has already replaced the MC-130P Combat Shadow, which served primarily as a special operations tanker for helicopters such as the 160th's MH-47s and MH-60s, rather than as a platform to deeply penetrate into denied areas to insert, extract, or resupply special operations forces. This helps explain why the Air Force had originally named the J model as the Combat Shadow II, before renaming it the Commando II. You can find the full story behind the MC-130J's name here. In Lockheed Martin's new video, they refer to the SKR-equipped aircraft as Combat Talon IIIs, a moniker the Air Force officially rejected, but which may become an informal name for the aircraft, something that often happens with U.S. military aircraft. Whatever the case, AFSOC only formalized requirements to add a terrain-following/terrain avoidance radar to the MC-130J in 2012 and installed a prototype system on one aircraft, serial number 09-5713, the following year. This was an update to Northrop Grumman’s AN/APN-241 multi-function radar, a design first introduced in the 1990s that is found on standard C-130J Hercules airlifters. Northrop Grumman A look at some of the different modes and functionality that the AN/APN-241 offers. Northrop Grumman and Israel’s Elbit systems developed the update, which is now part of the standard AN/APN-241 package and offers a certain level of terrain-following/terrain avoidance capability. However, the modified radar turned out to be unsuitable for highly demanding low-level special operations missions. “The committee understands that during contractor flight tests of the APN-241 modified for terrain following, operators and testers deemed the APN-241 unsafe and ineffective for Terrain Following/Terrain Avoidance (TF/TA) flight, and that any modification to the current APN-241 would require extensive redesign and result in a new radar system,” a report from the House Armed Services Committee in 2015 explained. “As such, the committee supports the USSOCOM Commander's decision to accelerate transition to the AN/APQ-187 Silent Knight Radar program.” It is important to note that the AN/APQ-187 won’t replace the AN/APN-241 on the Commando II. “Unknowns consisted or potential radar signal interference, system integration, and mounting/weight unknowns,” AFSOC had already warned with regards to this dual radar configuration in 2013. We don’t know what measures Lockheed Martin or Raytheon may have taken to mitigate these concerns or what limitations this might impose on the SKR’s functionality. Lockheed Martin capture A look at an MC-130J equipped with the SKR with its main nose radome removed. The AN/APN-241 is visible directly below the SKR. Regardless, it's clear that the SKR is far better suited to the MC-130J's special operations mission than the existing AN/APN-241. Hopefully, with SOCOM having now transitioned from development to actually procuring conversion kits, it will not be long before the entire existing Commando II fleet receives their new distinctive noses. Until they get this desperately needed terrain-following/terrain avoidance capability, the MC-130Js will remain limited in the kinds of missions they can perform and where and when they can perform them. Video link: https://youtu.be/NNFz-nIvMcM
  24. Updated 21 hours ago By Thomas Gnau, Staff Writer The University of Dayton’s newest lab will be unique. The UD Research Institute will start to receive a decommissioned Air Force C-130 cargo plane Wednesday morning, expected to arrive in several sections on flatbed trucks. The plane will be used for research work and education, the Air Force and a spokeswoman for the university said Wednesday. Once reassembled, researchers from UDRI will perform research with the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Product Support Engineering Division and the center’s C-130 Program Office, Wright-Patterson said in a statement. “The Air Force spends a lot of money on aircraft sustainment,” said Debbie Naguy, AFLCMC Product Support Engineering Division chief. “The C-130 that is being delivered here today will help us demonstrate and qualify new innovative technologies to lower sustainment costs and improve readiness.” Air Force and university researchers will together use the plane to test and demonstrate new technologies, with an eye on how to lower costs in sustaining older C-130s. Keeping older planes flying, and doing that in a cost-effective way, is one of the Air Force’s bigger challenges. In particular, new technologies such as 3-D printing offer the Air Force a relatively low cost way to replicate older plane components. UD poured a 2,500-square-foot concrete pad to bear the plane, which weighs 40 tons empty. The plane has a wing span of more than 130 feet. A university spokeswoman said it may take about a week to fully assemble. The plane is being delivered from Eglin Air Force Base, near Pensacola, Fla. The research work is expected to last between 18 and 24 months and will involve students from UD, The Ohio State University, and Wright State University working alongside Air Force and UDRI engineers and researchers, Wright Patterson said in an announcement. Video located at: https://www.daytondailynews.com/business/update-giant-130-cargo-plane-delivered-today/HP5m3li2COLsVkS0BPTDwK/
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