Lockheed Martin has performed the first flight with a new version of its C-130J tactical transport in development for the US Air Force.

Flown from the company’s Marietta site in Georgia on 29 July, the HC-130J is configured as a combat tanker for use in support of personnel recovery missions.

The first example is on track to be delivered to the USAF’s Air Combat Command organisation next month, says Lockheed.

 HC-130J flies - Lockheed Martin

HC-130J bank - Lockheed Martin

Both images © Lockheed Martin

The new J-model variant should achieve initial operational capability during 2012. It will replace some of the air force’s legacy HC-130s, 34 of which are now flown in the N and P production standards, as listed in Flightglobal’s MiliCAS database.

Two HC-130Js are currently on order from a stated requirement for 18 aircraft.

Source: FlightGlobal.com