The U.S. Coast Guard’s Long Range Surveillance (LRS) Aircraft Program reached a significant milestone March 18, when the final HC-130J Super Hercules aircraft (CGNR-2001) was inducted into the Minotaur Mission System Suite modification program at L3 Technologies Inc. Integrated Aerospace Systems in Waco, Texas.
With this induction, the Coast Guard removed the final HC-130J aircraft configured with the legacy mission system from the Service’s operational fleet.
Mission system architecture incorporates sensors; radar; and command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment and enables aircrews to gather and process surveillance information. Minotaur is a Navy-owned system and is being incorporated across the Coast Guard fixed wing fleet.
The Coast Guard currently has 15 HC-130J aircraft in operational use or in active production. In addition to continuing Minotaur missionization efforts on new aircraft, the Service plans to complete a future block upgrade for all its HC-130J aircraft.
Coast Guard HC-130Js are the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) largest airlift asset, providing critical support to DHS partners in addition to carrying out many Coast Guard missions, including search and rescue, drug and migrant interdiction, cargo and personnel transport, and maritime stewardship. The 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 then share that information with operational forces.