Tomorrow Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] will deliver two C-130J Super Hercules airlifters, bringing the total 2005 deliveries to 15 aircraft. All but one of the 15 aircraft delivered are part of the multiyear procurement (MYP) contract signed in March 2003. The contract calls for Lockheed Martin to deliver a total of 60 C130Js; 40 for the Air Force and 20 KC-130J tankers for the U.S. Marine Corps.
The aircraft will be flown to Little Rock AFB, Ark., where they will be assigned to the 314th Airlift Wing’s 48th Airlift Squadron, the U.S. Air Force’s C-130J training unit. The aircraft will be flown by Gen. William R. Looney III, commander of Air Education and Training Command, and Brig. Gen. Kip Self, commander of the 314th Airlift Wing. This makes a total of six C-130Js that have been delivered to the 48th Airlift Squadron this year.
“The C-130J program had an outstanding year in 2005,” said David Haines, Lockheed Martin C130J program vice president. “We had yet another great year of completing all deliveries on schedule. The aircraft we deliver leave Marietta and go into service in support of combat operations, coalition support, homeland security and humanitarian relief around the world. The operators who fly the C-130J also had an exceptional year, showing the amazing capability of the aircraft in everything from high hot conditions to disaster relief.”
The new Little Rock aircraft are the longer fuselage C-130Js, which feature a strengthened cargo ramp and improved airdrop system allowing crews to make airdrops at 250 knots, helping them avoid antiaircraft fire in hostile areas. The aircraft are 112 feet long, 15 feet longer than the standard-length C-130J aircraft, which translates to 30 percent more usable volume for increased seating, litters, pallets, or airdrop platforms. In service, two C-130Js can do the work of three older C-130E or H-model aircraft.
Aircraft delivered this year include seven KC-130Js delivered to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352 (VMGR-352) at MCAS Miramar, Calif.; the six Little Rock aircraft; and two C-130Js for the 815th Airlift Wing, an Air Force Reserve Command unit at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss.
C-130J operators from around the world are now operating at a high tempo in both combat and relief support operations. The United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Australia and Denmark are all experiencing first hand the high reliability, range, speed and increased payload capabilities of the C-130J. The performance of the C-130J makes it a vital, affordable transport asset that is being sought by many other countries.
This past year also marked the combat debut for the U.S. C-130J fleet, as both the Air National Guard and Marine Corps operated their aircraft in Iraq and Afghanistan. The WC-130J weather reconnaissance aircraft and EC-130J psychological warfare aircraft were also flown on operational missions.
A total of 180 C-130Js are on order, with 135 delivered to date. In the United States, Air Force Reserve Command and Air National Guard units fly C-130Js. The Marine Corps operates KC-130J tankers and the Coast Guard flies the HC-130J, which saw extensive service during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita relief efforts. International C-130J operators include the Royal Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Italian Air Force, and the Royal Danish Air Force.
The Marine aircraft, often referred to by crews as Battle Herks, are the standard fuselage version of the Super Hercules. Using only wing and external tanks, the KC-130J has a 57,500 pound (8,455 U.S. gallon) fuel offload capability while being flown on a 500 nm radius mission, compared with 38,000 pounds (5,588 U.S. gallons) for the current fleet of KC-130Fs. The KC-130J is also configured to accept a fuselage tank if desired, adding another 24,392 pounds (3,600 U.S. gallons) of available offload to a mission.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 135,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2004 sales of $35.5 billion.
Thornley Fallis Communications
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Lockheed Martin Aeronautics