New HC-130J aircraft for US Coast Guard
Lockheed Martin has announced that it has received a contract worth $218 million for three additional HC-130Js for the US Coast Guard. This order will increase the U.S. Coast Guard fleet of HC-130Js from six to nine, and also includes funding for two mission suites, which are critical in supporting US Coast Guard search and rescue operations.
The service’s current fleet, based at Air Station Elizabeth City, NC, are used to carry out long-range maritime patrol missions in areas that cannot be patrolled efficiently by medium range surveillance aircraft or cutters. The Long Range Surveillance (LRS) aircraft also provide heavy air transport for maritime safety and security teams, port security units, and National Strike Force personnel and equipment.
The HC-130J's special mission suite is comprised of a two mission system operator station located behind the pilot and co-pilot, a belly-mounted 360-degree long range search radar, nose-mounted forward looking infrared radar and an advanced mission communications suite. According to the company, the missionised HC-130J is designed to deliver enhanced search, detection and tracking capabilities.
Jack Crisler, Lockheed Martin vice president for Air Mobility, said: ‘The Coast Guard, like many services in the Hercules family, continues to recapitalise with the C-130J. 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.’
The new aircraft are scheduled to be delivered in early 2015.
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