Lockheed Martin today delivered the first MC-130J Combat Shadow II to the United States Air Force’s Special Operations Command (AFSOC). The aircraft was flown from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics’ facility to Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., by Lt. Gen. Eric E. Fiel, commander AFSOC. This aircraft is the first of 20 currently on order.
“Today marks yet another milestone in improving the combat capabilities of Air Force Special Operations Command,” said Gen. Fiel. “The MC-130J represents our efforts throughout the SOF community to recapitalize our assets and improve our ageing fleet in order to meet national requirements.”
“The threats to freedom are ever evolving and as such so must the technology to combat them,” said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin vice president for C-130 programs. “Again – as it has done so often throughout history – the C-130 Hercules has evolved to be the tip of a new spear. The MC-130J Combat Shadow II is unmatched in capability and will give our Special Operations forces the upper hand as they execute critical missions around the world.”
The new aircraft, which is based on a KC-130J tanker baseline, has the Enhanced Service Life Wing, Enhanced Cargo Handling System, a Universal Aerial Refueling Receptacle Slipway Installation (boom refueling receptacle), an electro-optical/infrared sensor, a combat systems operator station on the flight deck, and dual Satcom. In-line production of this configuration reduces cost and risk, and meets the required 2012 initial operational capability.