KC-130J Hercules Tanker

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Product Type:

Aerial Refueling Tanker

Using Service (US):

Marine Corps (USMC)

Program Status:

In Production

Prime Contractors:

Lockheed Martin Corp.

Specifications Armament DoD Spending FY2017/18 Budget

The KC-130J Hercules Tanker

About the KC-130J:





The Lockheed Martin KC-130J is a military transport/aerial refueling aircraft. It is used for aerial refueling, medical evacuation, search and rescue, and airborne assault. The aircraft will replace U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) KC-130F, KC-130R, and KC-130T tankers (mainly the KC-130F). To achieve the global reach and rapid deployability required by the U.S. military, the Marine Corps must be able to deliver troops, fuel and cargo wherever needed. Complementing its role as a tactical aerial refueling platform, the KC-130J can resupply austere battle zones, provide a Direct Air Support Center, insert ground troops and perform medevac operations.

The KC-130J is powered by four Rolls-Royce AE 2100D3 turboprop engines rated at 4,591 shp each. The improved power performance of the KC-130J provides 40% greater range, 25% higher cruise ceiling, 46% decrease in time-to-climb, 21% increase in maximum speed and 41% decrease in maximum effort take-off run over existing KC-130F/R/T models.

The KC-130J has the capability to refuel low-speed helicopters and high-speed jet aircraft. Able to carry more than 12,000 gallons (45,425 liters) of fuel and simultaneously refuel two aircraft at 300 gallons a minute from its Sargent Fletcher (Cobham) aerial refueling pods, the KC-130J has been called the workhorse of Marine Corps aviation. Also, the KC-130J is equipped with a removable 3,600 gallon (13,627 liter) fuel tank carried inside the cargo compartment to provide additional fuel when needed. Aerial refueling of helicopters is normally conducted at 6,000 feet or below, at an airspeed of 132 mph (213 km/h). Helicopter aerial refueling can be conducted at night with blacked out communication with up to two helicopters simultaneously. Additionally, forward area refueling point operations can be executed to support forces on the ground.

As a tactical transport, the KC-130J can carry up to 92 ground troops or 64 paratroopers + equipment. Also, the aircraft can be configured for medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) missions and is capable of carrying 74 litter patients plus medical staff. The KC-130J can land and takeoff on short runways and can be used on remote and primitive landing strips. The KC-130J is equipped with a fully-integrated dual inertial navigation and global positioning system (INS/GPS) and night vision goggle compatible interior and exterior lighting. The cockpit features state-of-the-art electronics with Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) instrumentation. Countermeasures include the BAE Systems AN/ALR-56M radar warning receiver (RWR), AN/AAR-47(V) missile warning system (MWS), and AN/ALE-47 countermeasures dispensing system.

The KC-130J is operated by a crew of five, including three officers (pilot, co-pilot and combat system officer) and two loadmasters. Harvest HAWK retrofitted KC-130Js also have a fire control operator. Learn more about the Harvest HAWK weapons kit below.

The KC-130J made its first flight on June 9, 2000 and the three test aircraft were deployed to the Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron VMGR-252 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in North Carolina. The KC-130J achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in September 2004. Today, KC-130J aircraft are stationed with the VMGR-152 squadron at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Japan; with the VMGR-252 squadron at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in North Carolina; and with the VMGR-352 squadron at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in California.

As of March 31, 2014, 47 aircraft have been delivered to the USMC and Navy Reserve. The KC-130J program currently calls for a total delivery of 104 aircraft by 2030 (79 for the USMC and 25 for the Navy Reserve).



Harvest HAWK:

Harvest HAWK (Hercules Airborne Weapons Kit) is a $22 million mission kit that can be installed on the KC-130J. With the addition of the kit, the KC-130J will be able to serve as an overwatch aircraft and can deliver ground support fire in the form of AGM-114P Hellfire II air-to-ground missiles, Raytheon AGM-175 Griffin short-range air-to-surface missiles, MBDA GBU-44/B Viper Strike gliding munitions, and a side-mounted Orbital ATK Mk 44 Bushmaster 30mm cannon.

The Harvest HAWK retrofitted KC-130J will use the AN/AAQ-30 Targeting Sight System (TSS) located under the left wing's external fuel tank. The AN/AAQ-30 is also used on the Marine Corps AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter. In place of the left-hand underwing aerial refueling pod, an AGM-114P Hellfire II weapons rack that can carry a maximum of four missiles is installed. The right wing can still carry fuel for aerial refueling, thus retaining the aircraft's versatility. A fire control operator will manage the TSS and weapons from a removable cargo platform mounted fire control station. The flexible design of the Harvest HAWK weapons kit allows Marines to remove it and mount it onto another modified KC-130J between flights. The Marine Corps plans to provide three Harvest HAWK retrofitted aircraft to each KC-130J squadron.



Armament/Weapons:

None. However, Harvest HAWK retrofitted aircraft are equipped with AGM-114P Hellfire II air-to-ground missiles, Raytheon AGM-175 Griffin short-range air-to-surface missile, and MBDA GBU-44/B Viper Strike gliding munitions.



Price/Unit Cost:

The unit cost of the KC-130J is $71.07 million (flyaway cost in FY 2014).



Total Cost - Life of Program (LoP):

This data is available in Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, which provides the total procurement cost of the KC-130J program as well as research and development (RDT&E) funds.



Mission/Role:

The KC-130J is a military transport/aerial refueling aircraft. Its missions are aerial refueling, medical evacuation, search and rescue, and airborne assault.



FY 2017 DoD KC-130J Program:

This data is available in Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, which provides historic KC-130J spending figures and quantities as well as a unique 10-Year Budget Forecast.



FY 2018 DoD F/A-18 Program:

This data is available in Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, which provides historic KC-130J spending figures and quantities as well as a unique 10-Year Budget Forecast.




Source: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Lockheed Martin Corp.,
Northrop Grumman, and Rolls-Royce plc

Last Update: November 4, 2014.

By Joakim Kasper Oestergaard Balle /// Contact Forecast International

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Defense Budget Data

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KC-130J DoD Spending, Procurement and RDT&E: Historical Data + 10-Year Forecast

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and planned quantities, long range forecasts, but most important – an expert's rationale for all programs and the overall market.

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Specifications

Aircraft Specifications: KC-130J Hercules Tanker

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Primary Function: Military transport aircraft with aerial refueling capability
Prime Contractor: Lockheed Martin Corp.
Power Plant: 4x Rolls-Royce AE-2100-D3 turboprop engines with 4,591 shp each
Wingspan: 132 ft 7 in (40.4 m)
Length: 97 ft 9 in (29.8 m)
Height: 38 ft 10 in (11.8 m)
Weight (Empty): 54,733 lbs (24,827 kg)
Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW): 164,000 lbs (74,390 kg)
Fuel Capacity: 61,364 lbs (18,704 kg) with external fuel tanks
Fuel Offload: Max. 21,000 lbs (9,525 kg) at 1,000 nm radius
Payload: 47,903 lbs (21,729 kg)
Capacity: 92 passengers or 64 airborne troops or 6x 463-L standard pallets of cargo or 74 litter patients; or
up to 3x HMMWV Humvees.
Speed: Cruise: 362 kts/417 mph (671 km/h) at 22,000 ft
Service Ceiling: 29,800 ft (9,083 m)
Range: 3,548 nm/4,083 miles (6,571 km)
Armament/Weapons: Harvest HAWK: 4x AGM-114P Hellfire II missiles; 10-tube launcher for precision guided munitions;
and a side-mounted Orbital ATK Mk 44 Bushmaster 30mm gun.
Precision guided munitions include the MBDA GBU-44/B Viper Strike
and the Raytheon AGM-175 Griffin short-range air-to-surface missile.
Crew: Basic Crew: Three officers (pilot, co-pilot, and combat systems officer) + two enlisted loadmasters.
Harvest HAWK retrofitted KC-130Js also have a fire control operator.
Price/Unit Cost: $71.1 million flyaway cost (in FY 2014)
First Flight: June 9, 2000
Deployed: September 2004; Initial Operational Capability (IOC): February 2005
Aircraft Inventory: 47 (as of March 31, 2014)

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