Lockheed Martin has completed the manufacture of the first MC-130J Combat Shadow II special mission aircraft for the US Air Force (USAF).

The aircraft will begin flight tests after installation of additional special mission equipment, such as the chin-mounted sensor turret.

The MC-130J Combat Shadow II will fly clandestine, low-visibility, single or multiship low-level air refuelling missions for special operations helicopters; and infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces by airdrop or airland.

The MC-130J will primarily fly missions at night to reduce probability of visual acquisition and interception by airborne threats.

The Combat Shadow fleet has a fully-integrated inertial navigation and global positioning system, and night vision goggle compatible interior and exterior lighting.

It also has forward-looking infrared, radar and missile warning receivers, chaff and flare dispensers, night vision goggle compatible heads-up display, satellite and data-burst communications, as well as in-flight refuelling capability as a receiver.