Win the adventure of a lifetime!

UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Military


HC-130J

The Coast Guard is introducing six "missionized" C-130Js into the fleet and modernizing sixteen C-130Hs to meet long range maritime patrol requirements in areas (such as the vast Pacific Ocean) that cannot be patrolled efficiently by medium range surveillance aircraft or cutters. The Long Range Surveillance (LRS) aircraft also provides heavy air transport for maritime safety and security teams, port security units and the National Strike Force personnel and equipment.

In an effort to address declining readiness and availability rates in the U.S. Coast Guard's aging HC-130 fleet, Congress provided funding in the FY'01 military construction appropriations bill to procure six HC-130J long range patrol aircraft. Although the basing location for the new aircraft has not yet been determined, it is likely that the HC-130J's will be located at the same air station for maintenance and training commonality.

The Firm Fixed Price contract, valued at $122 million, will result in the delivery of three fully missionized Coast Guard HC-130J LRS MPAs no later than April 2008, as well as all spare parts and kit materials for the three remaining unmodified aircraft, no later than June 2008. The Coast Guard awaits the results of an independent audit on costs and will then proceed with missionization of the final three aircraft.

The HC-130J will provide the Coast Guard with improved mission capability with 25% operating cost savings, 28% reduction in manpower requirements, 23% improved fuel efficiency, 30% improved availability, and 25% improvement in range and endurance. In addition, the new aircraft will provide improved sensor capability and growth, as well as enhanced safety with improved navigation and situational awareness.

Though it looks like a classic C-130, the "J" is a nearly new aircraft, representing a multi-billion dollar commercial development effort by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. A new propulsion system, featuring four powerful Allison AE2100D3 engines, generates 29% more thrust while increasing fuel efficiency by 15%. An all-composite six-blade Dowty Aerospace R391 propeller system is lighter in weight and has fewer moving parts than previous Hercules propellers.

Advanced avionics technology includes LCD instrument readouts for aircraft flight control, operating systems, and navigation. Besides its two holographic head-up displays, the "J" has four multi-functional head-down LCD displays. The displays are NVG compatible. Two mission computers and two backup bus interface units provide dual redundancy for the Hercules' systems. These computers also provide for an integrated diagnostics system to advise the crew of the status of the aircraft's various systems. In the baseline (airlifter) version of J, the avionics upgrades result in reduction of aircrew to 2 pilots and a loadmaster (that means no flight engineer, navigator, or radio operator in the cockpit).

Highlights of the extensive modifications include: a belly-mounted 360-degree surface search radar, Direction Finder system, nose-mounted electro-optical/infrared radar, an airborne Automatic Identification System and new communications systems. The new equipment is designed to deliver enhanced search, detection and tracking capabilities to perform maritime search and rescue, law enforcement and homeland security missions.

C-130J Conversion to HC-130J involves:

  • Integrate sensors (radar, FLIR, electro-optical) for same capability as CASPER-equipped HC-130H's
  • Add CG-unique communications equipment
  • Add external fuel tanks
  • Add flare/smoke float launch tubes
  • Add scanner windows
  • Convert the USAF-standard liquid oxygen system to gaseous O2

On 01 October 2007 the team at Lockheed Martin Global Sustainment Operations in Greenville, S.C., took the Coast Guard's first missionized C-130J off the jacks and rolled it out of hangar seven to begin ground and system integration testing. Lockheed Martin is modifying all six of the Coast Guard's C-130J aircraft with interoperable mission systems for long range surveillance.

Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) granted an Interim Flight Clearance for the Coast Guard's first missionized HC-130J Long Range Surveillance (LRS) Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA), and it flew its first test flight on 24 January 2008. This significant milestone achievement signals the beginning of Mission System flight test operations. Upon completion of these tests, the Coast Guard and Lockheed Martin team will oversee the HC-130J's Mission System requirements verification testing. The aircraft will then be flown to Naval Air Station Patuxent River to complete Electromagnetic Environmental Compatibility and TEMPEST testing.



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list



 
Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:32:53 ZULU