First MC-130J Sees The Light of Day

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Someoneforyou, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. Someoneforyou

    Someoneforyou Regular Member

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    UNITED STATES - 7 FEBRUARY 2011

    MARIETTA, Ga., February 7th, 2011 -- The first of 15 MC-130Js currently on order for U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command has completed final assembly at the Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta. Following painting and production flight test the aircraft will be delivered this summer.

    Increased Capability for Special Operations:
    The MC-130J – a versatile multimission tactical airlifter – delivers increased combat performance to the warfighter with its more powerful engines and MC-130J-unique features. It is a modern aircraft capable of worldwide employment for missions requiring clandestine single or multiship low-level aerial refueling of Special Operation Force vertical and tilt-rotor aircraft and/or infiltration, resupply and exfiltration by airdrop or landing on remote airfields.


    MC-130J Features:

    * Advanced multispectral sensors and 60/90 kVA generators

    * Expanded avionics – including enhanced displays and dual military SATCOMs

    * Modernized refueling system – low- and high-speed aerial refueling and rapid ground refueling

    * Fully functional combat system operator crew station

    * Universal aerial refueling receptacle slipway installation – virtually unlimited range, endurance

    * Enhanced cargo handling system – greatly reduced reconfiguration times, excellent airdrop accuracy

    * Enhanced service life center wing

    * Well-defined growth path to even greater combat capability

    Right Aircraft . . . Ready Now

    Quantum Performance Leap. Forty percent more tanker/mobility performance in high altitudes/hot environments.

    Low Risk. Based on fully tested, combat-proven KC-130J with production-installed MC-130J-unique features.

    High Reliability/Ease of Maintenance. Modern, reliable systems with innovative maintenance/support/training solutions drive outstanding mission capable rates.

    Proven Team. Successfully developed and delivered 11 C-130J variants with excellent cost/schedule performance.

    Low-Cost Solution. Greatly reduced C-130J operating/total ownership costs.


    [​IMG]


    Source: Lockheed Martin
     
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  3. Someoneforyou

    Someoneforyou Regular Member

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    A New Shadow is Cast
    UNITED STATES - 14 FEBRUARY 2011

    MARIETTA, Ga., February 14th, 2011 -- The first Combat Shadow II for the United States Air Force Special Operations Command has completed manufacture at the Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta. Following installation of additional special mission equipment, such as the chin-mounted sensor turret, the aircraft will begin flight test. The MC-130J Combat Shadow II will fly clandestine, or low visibility, single or multi-ship low-level air refueling missions for special operations helicopters, and infiltration, exfiltration, and resupply of special operations forces by airdrop or airland. The MC-130J will primarily fly missions at night to reduce probability of visual acquisition and intercept by airborne threats.


    [​IMG]


    Source: Lockheed Martin
     
  4. Someoneforyou

    Someoneforyou Regular Member

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    First MC-130J training program takes flight
    UNITED STATES - 2 MARCH 2011

    HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- As the first MC-130J Combat Shadow II rolled off the Lockheed Martin factory line, a training flight class recently conducted sorties in preparation for transition to the new airframe.

    The Air Force Special Operations Training Center's first MC-130J training program flight class practiced air drops, aerial refueling and formation on an EC-130J Commando Solo at Harrisburg International Airport, PA recently.

    AFSOTC officials worked in conjunction with members from the 193rd Special Operations Wing, Marines and National Guard Bureau officials to kick-start a training program two years in the making.

    "This first class is a small group try-out designed to validate our syllabus of instruction for the remaining classes," said Maj. Robert Deka, the AFSOTC MC-130J training program manager.

    In a phase AFSOTC commander Col. Mark Alsid referred to as "train the trainer," the program has pooled the best instructors to provide academic instruction to air commandos who will take that knowledge and bring it back to their home bases.

    "AFSOTC is setting the stage for the future of this platform, and the MC-130J is a huge addition to the AFSOC fleet, so we have to get it right," Colonel Alsid said.

    The program features pilot, combat systems officer and loadmaster training with different facets held in California, New Mexico, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Florida.

    After completing training in their respective areas, the flight class members met in Harrisburg for the first time to practice piloting the J-model with a reduced number of crew, which required enhanced coordination among members.

    The MC-130J is manned by a five-member crew. This is a reduction in size from the standard eight-member MC-130P Combat Shadow crew, Major Deka said.

    With no flight engineer or radio systems operator, the loadmaster will assume many of the duties previously designated to those positions, including the complete preflight and loading of cryptic codes, said Master Sgt. Scott Reed, the AFSOTC lead J-model loadmaster.
    The loadmaster will also be a systems expert.

    The combat systems operator will also engage in less traditional navigation duties as he handles in-flight helicopter refueling procedures normally conducted by the flight engineer, he said.

    No glitches occurred while coordinating these functions, Sergeant Reed said. Though this was the first class training flight on the Commando Solo, program instructors have been using MC-130J procedures for a few years.

    Sergeant Reed has been involved with the training program since its inception two years ago. He said he was honored to jump in headfirst and apply his knowledge of the MC-130P Combat Shadow to developing a training plan for the J-model alongside a select group of talented aviators, which includes some from the Combat Talon community.

    "It's rewarding," he said. "We literally started with nothing."

    Lt. Col. Tobin Wong, a AFSOTC evaluator pilot and MC-130J subject-matter expert, echoed the sentiments of Sergeant Reed.

    "It's exciting. A lot of hard work has gone into the training," Colonel Wong said. "But we could not have gotten to this point without the support of the 193rd SOW."

    In addition to qualifying crew members in MC-130J procedures, the program is designed to keep those qualified current until the Combat Shadow II is delivered later this year, Major Deka said.

    The goal is to have at least five crews, or 25 members, trained by September, he said.

    The EC-130J sorties will continue to take place in Harrisburg through the spring, Major Deka said. The program instructors, many of whom are among the few MC-130J subject-matter experts in the Air Force, will continue to develop the training in anticipation of the arrival of the streamlined airframe.

    "The ability to get things right and set standards now is great," Sergeant Reed said. "It's certainly an outstanding time to be an aviator at AFSOC."

    These sorties approach the culmination of AFSOC commander Lt. Gen. Donald Wurster's priority to recapitalize the fleet by acquiring up to 37 MC-130Js to replace aircraft that have been flying combat missions for up to 40 years.

    The MC-130J will replace aging MC-130E Combat Talon I and MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft.

    The Combat Shadow II will fly clandestine, low-level aerial refueling missions as well as infiltration, exfiltration and resupply missions.


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