The global defence contractor’s latest delivery of the military transport aircraft has made history.
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Lockheed Martin has announced the delivery of its 500th C-130J Super Hercules airlifter, assigned to the 130th Airlift Wing of the West Virginia National Guard, located at McLaughlin Air National Guard Base in Charleston, West Virginia.
The unit is currently modernising its legacy Hercules fleet with C-130Js.
This latest delivery forms part of the US government's continued transition to the C-130J as the common platform of the Marine Corps and the Coast Guard.
"This delivery represents the thousands of people — past and present — that design, build, fly, maintain and support C-130Js around the world," Rod McLean, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin's Air Mobility & Maritime Missions (AMMM) line of business, said.
"Like its namesake, the C-130J is a legend defined by its strength and power. Yet, it is the people who are part of the C-130J operator, production, supplier and industry partner communities who truly define the Super Hercules and helped the C-130J Program reach this monumental achievement."
The C-130J Super Hercules is deployed by 26 operators in 22 nations, with the global C-130 fleet surpassing more than 2 million flight hours.
All up, Lockheed Martin develops 17 different mission configurations of the C-130J, which include transport (military and commercial), humanitarian aid delivery, aerial firefighting, natural disaster relief support, medevac, search and rescue, weather reconnaissance, and aerial refuelling.
The C-130J-30 Super Hercules — 4.6 m longer than legacy C-130 models — is designed to offer a number of enhancements from legacy models, including:
- 30 per cent more passengers and cargo;
- 50 per cent more CDS bundles;
- 44 per cent more paratroopers;
- 30 per cent crew reduction;
- 14 per cent more fuel efficient;
- 20 per cent improvement in payload/range capability;
- Integrated defensive suite and 250 knot ramp/door;
- Automated maintenance fault reporting; and
- Unmatched situational awareness with digital avionics and dual HUD.
Earlier this month, Italy’s Aeronautical Armaments and Airworthiness Directorate (DAAA) approved the award of a five-year C-130J Super Hercules contract to the Temporary Business Grouping (RTI) – a co-operative formed by Leonardo, Avio Aero and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.
As part of the contract, worth €380 million ($586 million), the firms have been tasked with providing technical and logistics support for the Italian Air Force’s fleet.
This is expected to involve the implementation of a technical-logistical model designed to provide integrated logistical support (ILS), in-house engineering support and on-site support through operational technical representatives at the 46th Air Brigade in Pisa.