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September 21, 2021

US Fleet Marine Forces receive final KC-130J HH+ aircraft

With the delivery, Harvest HAWK + reaches full operational capability.

The US Fleet Marine Forces have received the final KC-130J Super Hercules aircraft modified to the Harvest Hercules Airborne Weapons Kit (HAWK) Plus (HH+) configuration.

The aircraft was delivered last month and the KC-130J modifications are part of the US Marine Corps’ (USMC) KC-130J Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) / Weapons Mission Kit programme.

Under the programme, which commenced in 2015, a total of ten aircraft have been installed with the HH+.

With the delivery, the integrated product team of the Tactical Airlift Program Office (PMA-207) has successfully completed full operational capability (IOC).

The programme involved improving the existing USMC KC-130J Harvest HAWK system by integrating the MX-20 electro-optical (EO)/infra-red (IR) multi-sensor imaging system.

It also included the addition of door mounted missile employment capability.

PMA-207 programme manager captain Steve Nassau said: “We are proud to provide the Marine Air-Ground Task Force with an updated intra-theatre Close Air Support and Multi-Sensor Imagery Reconnaissance capability.

“I couldn’t be prouder of my government and contractor team for delivering this critical weapon system to our warfighters.”

US Naval Air Systems Command’s (NAVAIR) aircraft prototype systems division at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River in the US state of Maryland modified the first six aircraft.

Meanwhile, the last four aircraft were modified by Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, US.

A total of five HH+ aircraft were delivered to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport (VMGR) 352 in Miramar, California and four aircraft to VMGR-252 in Cherry Point, North Carolina.

One HH+ aircraft will be at VX-20 in Patuxent River to undergo Block 8.1 upgrade and future testing.

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