The Lockheed Martin (LMT) HC-130J Combat King II and the MC-130J Commando II aircraft have been certified as “Effective, Suitable and Mission Capable” by the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center. The U.S. Air Force is currently recapitalizing the HC, MC and AC-130 gunship fleets with new C‑130J variants.
The HC-130J is the personnel recovery/combat search and rescue aircraft for Air Combat Command, and the MC-130J is the Special Operations tanker aircraft for Air Force Special Operations Command. Currently Lockheed Martin is on contract for 27 MC‑130Js and 15 HC-130Js. The certification was received in October.
“This further demonstrates the amazing flexibility of the C-130J. We took a KC-130J tanker and, through in-line production design changes and significant capability enhancements, produced the current HC and MC aircraft,” said George Shultz, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager for C-130 Programs. “The C‑130J is without equal in terms of its multi-role, multi-mission flexibility and availability. No aircraft in production — or in development — can match the capabilities of the Super Hercules.”
From initial contract award in mid-2008 to the first ahead-of-schedule flight on July 29, 2010, the HC/MC program demonstrates the proven design, reliability and technology of the C-130J. The new AC-130Js will be converted to MC-130Js with the addition of a precision strike package.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 120,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation’s net sales for 2011 were $46.5 billion.