Lockheed Martin has delivered the first of up to six HC-130Js back to the US Coast Guard after installation of a mission system including search radar and electro-optical sensor.
The US manufacturer is working under a $122 million contract to missionise three USCG HC-130Js, and expects a contract modification shortly to begin work on a fourth aircraft. Options cover the remaining two.
The upgrade installs an EDO-supplied Elta EL/M-2022A(V)3 360º-scan martime surface-search radar under the belly, FLIR Systems Star Safire II electro-optical/infrared sensor on the nose and a mission operator station on the flightdeck.
© US Coast Guard
Other equipment added includes a Rockwell Collins DF-430 direction finder system and Saab TransponderTech airborne automatic identification system for tracking ships equipped with AIS transponders.
The HC-130J mission system is derived from the mission pallet developed for the Coast Guard's new HC-144A Ocean Sentry (EADS Casa CN-235) medium-range surveillance aircraft.
The six missionised HC-130Js, plus 16 HC-130Hs being upgraded with Selex 7500 Sea Spray multi-mode radars, will fulfill the US Coast Guard's long-range surveillance mission.