Lockheed Martin marked a treble milestone in its C-130 Hercules programme during a 23 September delivery ceremony conducted at its Marietta, Georgia production site.
In handing over its first of a planned 18 new HC-130J combat tankers to the US Air Force’s Air Combat Command (ACC) organisation, the company also celebrated the delivery of its 200th new-generation “Super Hercules”.
© Lockheed Martin
First flown in late July, the HC-130J also became the 1,500th Hercules to have been handed over to a US government customer during the type’s more than 50-year production history, Lockheed says.
The new model will begin replacing the ACC’s legacy fleet of more than 30 HC-130N/Ps, with initial operational capability expected during 2012. The type will be used to support combat search and rescue (CSAR) and personnel recovery operations, for example by delivering inflight refuelling support for Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk CSAR helicopters.
© Air Combat Command
Lockheed is also currently preparing to deliver its first C-130J-30 to the Indian air force, with the service’s first example having recently undergone its first engine runs.