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Aero India 2023

USAF’s HC-130J aircraft completes developmental testing

A Lockheed photo

MARIETTA (BNS): The US Air Force’s first HC-130J Combat King II personnel recovery aircraft has completed developmental testing during which it has conducted air-to-air refueling exercise for the first time.

Lockheed Martin-designed HC-130J – an upgraded variant of the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft incorporating modifications for in-flight refueling of helicopters and tilt-rotor aircraft – completed its developmental testing last week.

The final test point was air-to-air refueling and was achieved on March 14, Lockheed said.

“This was the first refueling of an HC-130J, and the first ever boom refueling of a C-130 where the aircraft’s refueling receiver was installed during aircraft production,” the company said.

This test point also applies to the MC-130J Combat Shadow II aircraft in production for Air Force Special Operations Command, it said.

Lockheed has been contracted to build 21 HC- and MC-130J aircraft which will replace the USAF’s aging fleets of the fixed-wing combat search and rescue aircraft HC-130s and the special operations MC 130s.

The HC-130J has been developed for the USAF’s Air Combat Command unit and the MC-130J for the Special Operations Command.

The US Air Force plans to acquire up to 78 HC-130Js and 37 MC-130Js.

While the first HC-130J Combat King II has been flight tested by Lockheed in July last year, the first MC-130J Combat Shadow II is set to roll out from the company's Martin facility in Marietta on March 29.

Lockheed will start delivering the first HC-130Js and MC-130Js in August with Initial Operational Capability for both scheduled for 2012.


USAF  HC-130J   

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