Lockheed Martin has painted the first MC-130J Combat Shadow II aircraft on order for the US Air Force Special Operations Command.

The new-generation combat tanker was rolled out at Lockheed’s Marietta site in Georgia early this month before its visit to the paint shop.

“Following installation of additional special mission equipment, such as the chin-mounted sensor turret, the aircraft will begin flight test,” the company says.

 MC-130J - Lockheed Martin
© Lockheed Martin

Once operational, the new fleet of 15 MC-130Js will provide low-level tanker support for special operations helicopters, and support the infiltration, resupply and extraction of special operations forces.

Lockheed will produce more C-130Js in 2011 than at any point in the history of its “Super Hercules” programme. The manufacturer late last year boosted its production rate for the type from 32 to 36 aircraft per year.

Source: FlightGlobal.com