Lockheed Moves Ahead with C-130J Production, Deliveries

Lockheed Martin is set to deliver the first HC-130J to Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., later this week, kicking off Air Combat Command’s recapitalization of the combat search and rescue fleet. Next week, Cannon AFB, N.M., will receive its first MC-130J and another HC-130J will go to Kirtland AFB, N.M., said Jim Grant, vice president of air mobility and special operations programs for Lockheed Martin, at AFA’s Air & Space Conference Monday. “We are set to deliver 33 airplanes this year, and we expect to continue that production rate in the mid-30s over the next several years,” said Grant. The Air Force announced recently that it will add 48 MC-130J special operations aircraft to its HC/MC-130J recapitalization program of record, increasing the intended buy from 74 to 122 airframes. Thirty-two of the new aircraft will supplant Air Force Special Operation Command’s older MC-130s, while the remaining 16 will undergo post-production conversion to AC-130J gunships.