Navy, Marines Test Improvements to Hellfire Spitting KC-130J

910
A KC-130J configured with the Marine Corps Harvest HAWK Plus weapons system fires a Hellfire missile during a developmental and operational test at Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake CA, April 2018. Photo: US Navy/ NAVAIR

The U.S. Navy is testing an upgraded weapon kit for the KC-130J Harvest HAWK to provide close support for Marine and special operations forces. In a recent test event, the U.S. Navy Tactical Airlift Program Office (PMA-207) Integrated Warfighting Capability (IWC) weapons team tested a newly configured KC-130J with the Harvest Hercules Airborne Weapons Kit (HAWK) Plus (HH+) installed. According to the Navy announcement the aircraft flawlessly completed multiple sorties, demonstrating successful strikes on both fixed and moving targets. “The HH+ weapons kit will provide a significant combat multiplier to the Marine Air Ground Task Force,” said CAPT Steve Nassau, PMA-207 Program Manager.

The HH+ mission is to provide the U.S. Marine Corps with extended endurance multi-sensor imagery, reconnaissance, and on-call close air support capabilities. The HH+ is an upgrade to the original Harvest HAWK roll-on, roll-off precision strike package weapons system. The team also develops an engineering change proposal (ECP) to improve the Hellfire weapons capacity on the aircraft and ensure the KJ platform is sensor-shooter, electronic warfare and digitally interoperable capable.

A KC-130J configured with the Marine Corps Harvest HAWK Plus weapons system fires a Hellfire missile during a developmental and operational test at Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake CA, April 2018. Photo: US Navy/ NAVAIR