Lockheed Martin has delivered the first KC-130J Super Hercules tanker to the US Marine Corps (USMC) Reserve Squadron at Stewart Air National Guard Base in New York.
The tanker was assigned to the US Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 452 (VMGR-452), the Marine Forces Reserve squadron.
The delivery signifies the recapitalisation of the squadron’s existing KC-130T fleet.
VMGR-452, called the Yankees, has operated Hercules tankers for the last 30 years, flying KC-130s in support of Operations Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom.
Operated in support of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) commander, the tankers provide tactical in-flight refuelling for fixed-wing, rotary-wing, and tilt-rotor aircraft, as well as for aviation delivered ground refuelling of aircraft or tactical vehicles.
KC-130Ts offer assault air transport for personnel and equipment, pathfinder support, battlefield illumination, tactical aeromedical evacuation, and tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel support.
The technologically enhanced KC-130J model will deliver increased speed and fuel efficiency, improved payload capabilities, an integrated defensive suite, and automated maintenance fault reporting.
It will also support high-altitude ramp and door hydraulics, and unmatched situational awareness with its digital avionics and dual Head Up Displays.
The tanker is one of nine production variants of the C-130J Super Hercules. It is the current production model of the legendary C-130 Hercules aircraft.
The USMC operates the largest KC-130J Super Hercules fleet in the world.
Following this delivery, the US Government will continue its transition of the C-130J Super Hercules tanker across Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard.
Under the $789m cost-plus-incentive-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price and cost contract, the company agreed to provide support for the combat management system of the service’s littoral combat ships.