The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) accepted delivery of its 11th C-130J Super Hercules long range surveillance aircraft at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics’ Greenville, South Carolina, facility on Nov. 21.
The aircraft was delivered to the Coast Guard in its baseline configuration and will be inducted into the Minotaur mission system suite modification program at L3 Technologies’ Integrated Systems Platform Integration Division in Waco, Texas, later this month.
At Waco, the aircraft will receive Coast Guard-specific integrated radar, sensor and communications systems, after which the aircraft will be redesignated as an HC-130J. The Coast Guard’s fleet integration team in Waco oversees this process on the C-130Js. The L3 division will also paint the aircraft prior to its delivery as an HC-130J.
Of the other 10 aircraft delivered, seven HC-130Js are operating out of Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina: three with Minotaur and four with the legacy mission system. Three aircraft have entered the Minotaur mission system suite modification program in Waco, with the next missionized aircraft delivery scheduled for 2018.
C-130Js 12-14 are under contract, with delivery of two expected in 2019 and one in 2020.
USCG HC-130J Super Hercules
The U.S. Coast Guard is acquiring a fleet of 22 new, fully missionized HC-130J aircraft to replace its older HC-130Hs. It will provide heavy air transport and long-range maritime patrol capability to the USCG.
The HC-130J has a more advanced engine and propellers, which provide a 20 percent increase in speed and altitude, and a 40 percent increase in range over the HC-130H.
The new aircraft also features state-of-the-market avionics, including all-glass cockpit displays and improved navigation equipment. The HC-130J’s suite of command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) equipment – comparable to that of the HC-144 Ocean Sentry medium range surveillance aircraft – helps to extend the fleet’s mission capabilities.
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 and share that information with operational forces.
The Coast Guard is integrating the Navy’s Minotaur mission system architecture into its fixed-wing program. Missionization includes post-production modification of new C-130J aircraft to incorporate the specialized equipment necessary to carry out Coast Guard missions. This process includes installation of radar, sensors and other C4ISR equipment that enables the aircrew to collect and process surveillance information for transmission to shore and surface operators.
Seven aircraft from the existing fleet of HC-130Hs are being transferred to the U.S. Forest Service as directed by the Defense Authorization Act of 2014 as part of the acquisition of 14 C-27Js divested by the U.S. Air Force.
Deputy Commandant for Mission Support (DCMS) – USCG