The modification contract follows the previously awarded contract to Lockheed for the delivery of Harvest HAWK kits to USMC.
Under the $18.4m contract awarded by the US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), the company will supply Harvest Hawk roll-on/roll-off kit to transform KC-130J tanker-transport aircraft into a gunship and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform, reports Flightglobal.
As part of the contract, Lockheed will also upgrade seven KC-130J aircraft to facilitate installation of the roll-on/roll-off kits onto the aircraft.
According to NAVAIR, sustainment work on Harvest HAWK includes rectifying deficiencies found in the field and obsolescence avoidance.
The Harvest Hawk kits incorporate a fire-control console into the aircraft’s cargo compartment, as well as a Lockheed AN/AAQ-30 infrared and electro-optical camera equipped under-wing fuel tank.
It can carry either normal air-to-air refuelling pod or four Lockheed AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and enables Hercules to launch precision-guided munitions from the cargo ramp including Raytheon AGM-175 Griffin or MBDA GBU-44/B Viper Strike missiles.
Capable of staying for longer period of time in the air, the Harvest Hawk KC-130J aircraft provides pinpoint accuracy through its laser-guided weapons and helps ensure neutralisation of insurgents causing less damage to Afghan citzens and their property.
The USMC had earlier received three Harvest HAWK kits from Lockheed.
Delivery of the three additional kits, each valued about $9m, is scheduled to take place in 2013 and 2014.
The KC-130J aircraft has been designed to support air refuelling, cargo and troop transportation and airborne delivery, medical evacuation and battlefield missions.
Image: The US Marine Corps’ first KC-130J Harvest HAWK upgraded with Derringer door, precision-guided munitions launcher in February 2102. Photo: courtesy of NAVAIR.