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U.S. Coast Guard Accepts 12th Missionized HC-130J Super Hercules Aircraft

The U.S. Coast Guard accepted its 12th missionized HC-130J Super Hercules long-range surveillance aircraft from L3 Technologies Inc. Integrated Systems Platform Integration Division, on Feb. 27.

U.S. Coast Guard Accepts 12th Missionized HC 130J Super Hercules Aircraft 925 001 USCG C-130H and HC-130J inflight (Picture source: US Coast Guard)

The Coast Guard currently has 17 HC-130J aircraft in either operational use or active production. In addition to continued Minotaur missionization efforts on new aircraft, the service is implementing a Block 8.1 upgrade. The C-130J airframe manufacturer, Lockheed Martin is currently contracted to deliver a minimum of six Block 8.1 upgrade kits to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The first HC-130J aircraft outfitted with the Block 8.1 upgrade was delivered to the Coast Guard by Lockheed Martin last month. Three additional C-130Js are under construction, with delivery in 2020 and 2023. Upon delivery to the Coast Guard, the missionization of these aircraft will take an additional year.

The Coast Guard’s HC-130J Super Hercules long-range surveillance aircraft provide heavy air transport and long-range maritime patrol capability. Each aircraft is capable of serving as an on-scene command and control platform or as a surveillance platform with the means to detect, classify and identify objects and share that information with operational forces.

The aircraft's mission system includes automatic identification and direction-finding capabilities; long-range, multi-mode radar; electro-optical and infrared, or EO/IR, sensor turret that provides both imagery and target data; advanced open architecture mission system processor; and an extensive communications suite. The HC-130J features a 20 percent increase in speed and altitude and a 40 percent increase in range compared to the HC-130H model.

The Coast Guard is acquiring a fleet of 22 new, fully missionized HC-130J aircraft to replace its older HC-130Hs.