Lockheed Martin has delivered two additional MC-130J Commando II multimission combat transport / special operations tankers to the US Air Force (USAF) from its facility in Marietta, Georgia, US.
The new aircraft is assigned to the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) at Hurlburt Field, Florida, US.
AFSOC will deploy the aircraft for missions that require clandestine single or multi-ship, low-level aerial refueling of special operation force vertical and tilt-rotor aircraft; and / or infiltration, resupply and exfiltration by airdrop or landing on remote airfields.
The USAF will replace existing MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft with the new MC-130J that delivers increased combat performance to the warfighter with its more powerful engines, Lockheed said in a statement.
The MC-130J Commando II was developed under the AC/MC-130J programme, which used the proven design and technology of the KC-130J tanker to achieve initial operational capability by 2012.
The 29.3m-long aircraft has space to accommodate a crew of two pilots, one combat systems officer and two loadmasters.
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Its cockpit features an advanced flight station equipped with fully integrated digital avionics and includes head-up and multifunctional colour liquid crystal displays for flight control and navigation.
Powered by four Rolls-Royce AE 2100D3 turboprop engines coupled to four six-bladed Dowty propellers, the aircraft can fly at a maximum altitude of 28,000ft with a 19,050kg payload.
Image: MC-130J Commando II assigned to the Air Force Special Operations Command. Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin Corporation.