Lockheed Martin has delivered the first HC-130J Combat King II search and rescue tanker aircraft to the New York Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing (RQW).

The delivery is part of Lockheed Martin’s contract to deliver four HC-130Js. The aircraft is a production variant of the company’s C-130J Super Hercules military transport aircraft.

The 102nd Rescue Squadron (RQS), which is part of the 106th RQW, will operate the HC-130J at Francis Grabreski Air National Guard Base in New York.

The four new HC-130Js will replace the 102nd RQS’ existing fleet of HC-130P/N variant Combat King I aircraft and will be used to refuel the New York Air National Guard’s 101st RQS HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters.

Lockheed Martin air mobility and maritime missions domestic programmes vice-president Ray Burick said: “The HC-130 Hercules aircraft has been an essential part of the 106th’s Rescue Wing’s fleet for many decades, supporting these brave airmen in meeting their mission requirements time and time again.

“Dedicated to fixed-wing personnel recovery, the HC-130J can be used to support missions in adverse weather and geographic environments.”

“The Lockheed Martin team is proud to provide the NY Air National Guard with new HC-130Js that deliver increased power, capability and performance to support their crews in doing what they do best: saving lives and protecting the people they serve.”

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The 106th RQW supports combat search and rescue. HC-130s provide air refuelling in hostile or contested airspace, helping crews extend the range of combat search and rescue helicopters.

In addition, the 106th RQW performs tactical delivery of pararescue teams, small bundles, zodiac watercraft or four-wheel drive all-terrain vehicles.

Dedicated to fixed-wing personnel recovery, the HC-130J can be used to support missions in adverse weather and geographic environments.

Manufactured at Lockheed’s facility in Marietta, Georgia, US, the aircraft is designed to perform airdrop, airland, and helicopter air-to-air refuelling and forward-area ground refuelling missions.

Other areas the aircraft can be involved in include humanitarian aid operations, disaster response, security cooperation / aviation advisory, emergency aeromedical evacuation and non-combatant evacuation operations.

In April last year, the company delivered the first HC-130J Combat King II aircraft to the California Air National Guard.