C-130J Super Hercules
The C-130J is the newest tactical inter-theater transport
aircraft fielded with the US Air Force and several international
air forces. capable of flying higher, farther and faster than previous
C-130 models while carrying more cargo.
C-130Js are currently deployed in two combat theaters
and are operating at a very high tempo efficiently and reliably.
C-130Js are being used daily for troop and equipment resupply via
ground delivery and airdrop, for air-to-air refueling, ground refueling
and humanitarian relief. The worldwide fleet of C-130Js has now
exceeded 350,000 flight hours. In the United States, Air Mobility
Command, Air Education and Training Command, Air Force Reserve Command
and Air National Guard units fly C-130Js, WC-130Js and EC-130Js.
The Marine Corps operates KC 130J tankers and the Coast Guard flies
the HC-130J. International C-130J operators include the Royal Air
Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Italian Air Force and the Royal
Danish Air Force.
In October 2006 AMC declared Initial Operational Capability for
the C-130J. This approval followed successful demonstration of specific
requirements for the C-130J, including completion of Qualification
Operational Test and Evaluation (QOT&E), equipping the first
combat delivery squadron to its full Primary Aircraft Authorized
(PAA) limit with the ability to perform operational air-land missions,
and manning one squadron of trained aircrews and maintenance members
to support the mission. The Maryland Air National Guard's 135th
Airlift Group was the first combat delivery squadron to reach full
PAA and also fulfilled the IOC manning requirement. Along with other
C-130J units, the 135th AG has deployed to U.S. Central Command's
area of responsibility, performing airland and airdrop missions.
Lockheed Martin will upgrade the avionics and
capabilities of C-130J Super Hercules transports flown by United
Kingdom, Australia, Italy and Denmark. Focusing on avionics hardware
upgrades, the package will include integration of communications,
navigation, surveillance and air traffic management and identification (IFF)
systems, terrain awareness warning system, providing both visual and
audible cues, integration of a common flight management system, with
improved data monitoring during takeoff and landing and installation of
a robust, PC-based Data Transfer and Diagnostic System (DTADS) to
enhance the aircraft diagnostics and health management. The aircraft
will also receive an improved loading ramp and enhanced door hydraulics
to support high altitude airdrops.
Known as Block 6.1 upgrade, the US$ 110 million program will enable
these air-forces to collaboratively acquire enhanced capabilities for
their aircraft while sharing the cost of development, design, test and
Ministry of Defense selected the C-130J as the future transport
aircraft of the Canadian Air Force. Contract negotiations began
last year after the selection was announced in November 2006. Canadian
Defense Minister Peter MacKay announced the US$1.4 billion (C$1.428
billion) contract award on January
16, 2008, for the supply of of 17 tactical transport planes
by Lockheed Martin. Earlier reports mentioned much higher
costs for the program, assuming C$3.2 billion to be spent on
procurement and additional C$1.7 billion for life cycle support.
The C-130J will replace C-130 Hercules aircraft currently in service.
Initial deliveries are expected within 24 months, by 2010.
has requested to buy four C-130J aircraft, for a US$520 million.
These aircraft will be equipped with teh standard fit of AAR-47
missile warning systems, ALR-56M advanced radar warning system,
and ALE-47 CMDS. Communications systems will comprise ARC-210 and
AAR-222 encrypted SINCGARS sets.
The Hercules will soon be augmented by the C-27J Spartan Light Transport
Aircraft recently selected by the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force
for the Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA) program. The aircraft was designed
by the Italian company Alenia Aeronautica (from the Finmeccanica
group). The aircraft will be built and supported in the US by a
team led by the L-3 Communications group, with team members Boeing
Integrated Defense Systems (IDS), and Global Military Aircraft Systems
(GMAS). The aircraft is a medium range, multifunctional transport
aircraft, designed for logistical resupply missions, medical evacuation,
troops transport and airdrop operations. The aircraft will support
U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force operations, including force projection,
humanitarian assistance and homeland security. The Spartan will
replace the Shorts C-23 Sherpas, C-12 and C-26 aircraft.