Lockheed Martin has started building work on a facility in the US state of Georgia to train air mobility pilots and crews for the C-130J airlifter and LM-100J commercial freighter.

The Hercules Training Center (HTC) is being built at the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics site in Marietta.

Expected to open in 2018, the HTC will house classroom space, training devices and a new, reconfigurable C-130J/LM-100J full mission simulator.

Lockheed Martin Training and Simulation Solutions vice-president Sandy Samuel said: "Our shared investment in the Hercules Training Center continues years of strong partnership between Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics to help equip pilots and aircrews worldwide to command the C-130 platform.

"We are thrilled to offer our customers even more value through integrated training solutions right here in Marietta where the aircraft is produced."

Powered by four Allison AE2100D3 turboprop engines, the C-130J principal tactical cargo and personnel transport aircraft features a glass cockpit, digital avionics and a new propulsion system with a six-bladed propeller.

"The HTC will house classroom space, training devices and a new, reconfigurable C-130J/LM-100J full mission simulator."

The LM-100J is a civil multi-purpose air freighter comes with a two-pilot cockpit, CNS/ATM compliant integrated digital avionics and integrated head-up display.

Lockheed Martin Air Mobility & Maritime Missions vice-president and general manager George Shultz said: "As the C-130 Original Equipment Manufacturer, Lockheed Martin has an unmatched knowledge of the Super Hercules, to include providing the most effective training programmes for C-130J crews.

"The Lockheed Martin partnership that is at the core of the Hercules Training Center delivers proven insights into the operation of the C-130J and LM-100J platforms."

Meanwhile, the US Air Force’s 61st Airlift Squadron at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, has taken delivery of its last C-130J Super Hercules airlifter.

Currently, the 61st Squadron operates a fleet of 14 Super Hercules airlifters.

Image: Lockheed Martin breaks ground on Hercules Training Center. Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin Corporation.