Category Archives: Air Force

PC-21 first flight

In a recent ceremony that marked a significant milestone for the AIR 5428 Pilot Training System, Lockheed Martin celebrated the Chief of Air Force first flight of the in-service PC-21 aircraft.

Australia’s Chief of Air Force pilots a PC-21 aircraft taking his first PC-21 in-service flight in East Sale, Australia, to mark the significant milestone for the AIR 5428 Pilot Training System (Photo credit: Australia Department of Defence)
Australia’s Chief of Air Force pilots a PC-21 aircraft taking his first PC-21 in-service flight in East Sale, Australia, to mark the significant milestone for the AIR 5428 Pilot Training System (Photo credit: Australia Department of Defence)

The occasion was celebrated at a media event hosted by Australian Minister for Defence Senator the Hon Marise Payne, in East Sale, Australia. Also in attendance was the Hon Darren Chester MP, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, highlighting the significance of the program to the Australian Government.

Vince Di Pietro, chief executive for Lockheed Martin Australia attended the event along with AIR 5428 partners Pilatus Aircraft and Hawker Pacific.

«We are excited to celebrate this momentous occasion with the CAF and recognise this marks the beginning of training for Australia’s fifth-generation air capability», said Vince Di Pietro. «This milestone is a great achievement to all involved and we celebrate the Australian Defence Force’s first flight in service and acceptance of the first six of 49 PC-21 aircraft, as the mainstay trainer for Australia’s pilot training program for decades to come. Combining the PC-21 turboprop training aircraft with state-of-the-art training simulations and an electronic learning environment, Australia’s new Pilot Training System will prepare Australia’s next-generation pilots for mission success».

The AIR 5428 Pilot Training System is an integrated solution tailored for all future pilots of the Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Australian Navy and the Australian Army.

«Lockheed Martin Australia leads the delivery of integrated solutions for all future pilots of the Australian Defence Force», said Amy Gowder, vice president of Training and Logistics Solutions for Lockheed Martin’s Rotary and Mission Systems business. «This milestone is an important achievement, and confirms the Lockheed Martin-led team is on track to deliver a world-class pilot training solution to the Australian Defence Force».

Under the AIR 5428 contract, Lockheed Martin is providing overall project management for the pilot training system and delivering a family of integrated ground-based training technologies. Pilatus Aircraft is providing 49 PC-21 turboprop training aircraft and through-life engineering and airworthiness support, while Hawker Pacific is providing maintenance services and fleet support, and leveraging its established supply chain in Australia.

Signed in December 2015, the initial seven-year AIR 5428 Pilot Training System is valued at AU$1.2 billion, with performance-based options to extend the value and length of the contract for up to 25 years.

AFTRS-R terminals

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a contract to upgrade existing radio terminals aboard the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) fleet and replace them with Air Force Tactical Receive System-Ruggedized (AFTRS-R) terminals. AFTRS-R assures capability for the Joint STARS fleet and those interacting with the weapon system to receive intelligence reports, including threat warnings in hostile environments, ensuring undiminished battle management in support of warfighters in the air, on the ground and at sea.

Northrop Grumman to Integrate Air Force Tactical Receive System-Ruggedized on Joint STARS
Northrop Grumman to Integrate Air Force Tactical Receive System-Ruggedized on Joint STARS

AFTRS-R provides data feeds from airborne and overhead electronics intelligence collectors and allows Joint STARS to detect and track a host of mobile threats, including enemy air defense and theater ballistic missile assets. The AFTRS-R capability will modernize the Integrated Broadcast Service by replacing the current Commander’s Tactical Terminal/Hybrid-Receive Only (CTT/H-R) radio. The modification also addresses cryptographic modernization and diminishing manufacturing source (DMS) issues with the CTT/H-R radio.

«One of the benefits of our 32-year partnership with the United States Air Force on Joint STARS is that we have an in-depth understanding of the E-8C fleet and its mission in support of combatant commanders globally», said Bryan Lima, director, manned Command, Control & Intelligence plus Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C2ISR) programs, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. «The AFTRS-R modification is another demonstration of our joint commitment to fleet sustainment while providing uninterrupted mission support to the warfighter until the recapitalized fleet is fielded».

The AFTRS-R contract is a separate delivery order under the indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity Joint STARS Systems Improvement Program (JSSIP) III contract awarded by the U.S. Air Force to Northrop Grumman in October 2013. Other modifications under JSSIP III to maintain 21st-century mission readiness include the Global Imagery Server, which allows for the display of worldwide imagery data on all Joint STARS operator work stations, and the Automatic Identification System that will provide Joint STARS with a permanent, integrated solution for maritime identification of participating vessels.

«Our mission is to ensure our combat commanders have the highest degree of situational awareness in the battlespace. Over the past 20 years, our government-industry team has successfully delivered on a variety of advanced, highly affordable capabilities to the fleet. The Global Imagery Server, Automatic Identification System and AFTRS-R are all great examples of how we will continue to ensure our troops remain well-ahead of the threats», said Colonel Raymond Wier, Program Manager, C2ISR, Battle Management, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, U.S. Air Force.

Joint STARS offers battlefield commanders real-time situational information, while simultaneously transmitting target locations to aircraft and ground strike forces. The fleet has been operating at surge levels since 2011 and has flown more than 130,000 combat hours since 9/11 supporting operations globally, including Operation Inherent Resolve over Iraq and Syria. Joint STARS is the only all-weather, long-range, real-time, wide area surveillance and battle management and command and control weapon system in the world.

Reliability of the ICBM

A team of Air Force Global Strike Command Airmen from the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren Air Force Base (AFB), Wyoming, launched an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile equipped with a single test reentry vehicle August 2, 2017 at 2:10 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time from Vandenberg AFB, California.

An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches during an operational test at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ian Dudley)
An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches during an operational test at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ian Dudley)

While not a response to recent North Korean actions, the test demonstrated the U.S.’ nuclear enterprise is safe, secure, effective and ready to deter, detect and defend against attacks on the U.S. and its allies.

The ICBM’s reentry vehicle, which contained a telemetry package used for operational testing, traveled approximately 4,200 miles/6,759 km to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. These test launches verify the accuracy and reliability of the ICBM weapon system, providing valuable data to ensure a continued safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent.

«This operational test launch highlights the commitment and outstanding professionalism of the 90th Missile Wing, the 576th Flight Test Squadron and our mission partners in the 30th Space Wing», said Colonel Dave Kelley, the 576th FLTS commander. «These test launches require the highest-degree of technical competence and commitment at every level and provide critical data necessary to validate the reliability, accuracy and performance of the ICBM force».

F.E. Warren AFB is one of three missile bases with crew members standing alert 24 hours a day, year-round, overseeing the nation’s ICBM alert forces.

«I am extremely proud of the operators and maintainers from the 90th Missile Wing. This task force worked flawlessly alongside the absolute professionals from the 576 Flight Test Squadron (FLTS) to make this mission a success», said Lieutenant Colonel Troy Stauter, the Glory Trip 223 Task Force commander. «Promoting the deterrence, assurance and strike capability of the Minuteman III could not be done without the dedication, professionalism and teamwork of the men and women of Air Force Global Strike Command».

The ICBM community, including the Department of Defense, Department of Energy and U.S. Strategic Command, uses data collected from test launches for continuing force development evaluation. The ICBM test launch program demonstrates the operational capability of the Minuteman III and ensures the U.S.’ ability to maintain a strong, credible nuclear deterrent as a key element of U.S. national security and the security of U.S. allies and partners.

 

General characteristics

Primary function Intercontinental Ballistic Missile
Contractor Boeing Co.
Power plant Three solid-propellant rocket motors: first stage ATK refurbished M55A1; second stage ATK refurbished SR-19; third stage ATK refurbished SR-73
Technologies chemical systems division thrust first stage: 203,158 pounds/92,151 kg; second stage: 60,793 pounds/27,575 kg; third stage: 35,086 pounds/15,915 kg
Weight 79,432 pounds/36,030 kg
Diameter 5.5 feet/1.67 m
Range 5,218 NM/6,005 miles/9,664 km
Speed approximately Mach 23/15,000 mph/24,000 km/h at burnout
Ceiling 700 miles/1,120 km
Date deployed June 1970, production cessation: December 1978
Inventory 450

 

GT-223GM MMIII Media Release

Electromagnetic Testing

A Boeing-led team, including U.S. Air Force and Naval Air Systems Command representatives, recently completed KC-46 Pegasus tanker electromagnetic testing.

A Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tanker undergoes testing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, on the base’s electromagnetic pulse pad. In order to evaluate its ability to operate safely through electromagnetic fields produced by radar, radio towers and other systems, the aircraft received a series of pulses from a large coil mounted overhead. The KC-46 is protected by technologies designed into the aircraft to negate any effects (Photo credit: NAVAIR photographer)
A Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tanker undergoes testing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, on the base’s electromagnetic pulse pad. In order to evaluate its ability to operate safely through electromagnetic fields produced by radar, radio towers and other systems, the aircraft received a series of pulses from a large coil mounted overhead. The KC-46 is protected by technologies designed into the aircraft to negate any effects (Photo credit: NAVAIR photographer)

This testing evaluates the aircraft’s ability to safely operate through electromagnetic fields produced by radars, radio towers and other systems under mission conditions.

«The KC-46 tanker is protected by various hardening and shielding technologies designed into the aircraft to negate any effects on the aircraft», said Mike Gibbons, Boeing KC-46 vice president and program manager. «This successful effort retires one of the key risks on the program».

Testing was conducted on the Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) and Naval Electromagnetic Radiation Facility pads and also in the Benefield Anechoic Facility at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

During tests on the EMP pad at Patuxent River, the program’s second low-rate initial production KC-46 Pegasus received pulses from a large coil/transformer situated above the aircraft. The outdoor simulation was designed to test and evaluate the KC-46’s EMP protection while in flight.

The KC-46A Pegasus is a multirole tanker that is designed to refuel all allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures and can carry passengers, cargo and patients.

Boeing is assembling KC-46 Pegasus aircraft at its Everett, Washington, facility.

 

General Characteristics

Primary Function Aerial refueling and airlift
Prime Contractor The Boeing Company
Power Plant 2 × Pratt & Whitney 4062
Thrust 62,000 lbs/275.790 kN/28,123 kgf – Thrust per High-Bypass engine (sea-level standard day)
Wingspan 157 feet, 8 inches/48.1 m
Length 165 feet, 6 inches/50.5 m
Height 52 feet, 10 inches/15.9 m
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) 415,000 lbs/188,240 kg
Maximum Landing Weight 310,000 lbs/140,614 kg
Fuel Capacity 212,299 lbs/96,297 kg
Maximum Transfer Fuel Load 207,672 lbs/94,198 kg
Maximum Cargo Capacity 65,000 lbs/29,484 kg
Maximum Airspeed 360 KCAS (Knots Calibrated AirSpeed)/0.86 M/414 mph/667 km/h
Service Ceiling 43,100 feet/13,137 m
Maximum Distance 7,299 NM/8,400 miles/13,518 km
Pallet Positions 18 pallet positions
Air Crew 15 permanent seats for aircrew, including aeromedical evacuation aircrew
Passengers 58 total (normal operations); up to 114 total (contingency operations)
Aeromedical Evacuation 58 patients (24 litters/34 ambulatory) with the AE Patient Support Pallet configuration; 6 integral litters carried as part of normal aircraft configuration equipment

 

Proof-of-Concept Phase

MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) participated in the 2017 Airborne Law Enforcement Association (ALEA) Expo, July 26 – 28, 2017 at the Reno Sparks Convention Center, Reno, Nevada. The MD Helicopters booth, #600, was feature the MD 6XX Concept helicopter custom-configured for execution of a range of law-enforcement missions.

MDHI’s new MD-6XX concept helicopter is based on a stretched Hughes 500 airframe, and is currently in proof-of-concept development for operations including scout attack and special operations, utility and VIP transport (MDHI photo)
MDHI’s new MD-6XX concept helicopter is based on a stretched Hughes 500 airframe, and is currently in proof-of-concept development for operations including scout attack and special operations, utility and VIP transport (MDHI photo)

«We are always excited and honored to attend ALEA as an affirmation of our support for and commitment to this country’s law enforcement community», said Craig Kitchen, Chief Commercial Officer for MD Helicopters, «this year especially as we celebrate both our legacy of support for the law enforcement aviators and the future of law enforcement aviation in our MD 6XX Concept helicopter».

The MD 6XX Concept Helicopter will offer next generation technology and true multi-mission capability in a design that is underpinned by the performance, value and exceptional customer support that is inherent in the MD brand and is currently in proof-of-concept development for operations that range from law enforcement and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) to scout attack/special operations, utility and VIP transport.

MDHI debuted the MD 6XX Concept Aircraft at the 2017 Helicopter Association International conference configured with a certified single-patient EMS/Air Medical interior from Air Ambulance Technology.

 

Law Enforcement Configuration

In addition to the core components and enhancements highlighted at its HAI Heli-Expo debut:

  • Genesys Aerosystems IDU-680 all-glass primary displays;
  • Macro-Blue Tactical Displays featuring TekFusion Global, Inc.’s Mission Management System;
  • All-new Main Rotor Blades to deliver more efficient, more aerodynamic operation, reduced noise profile and better auto-rotation;
  • 4-Bladed Tail Rotor for enhanced performance and reduced noise signature;
  • Extended Composite Boom;
  • Boosted flight controls, providing reduced pilot work-load;
  • Digital 3-Axis Auto Pilot;
  • Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) Capability.

The MD 6XX Concept aircraft also features mission equipment specifically selected for effective execution of law enforcement missions including:

  • Forward Looking InfraRed (FLIR) Star SAFIRE 380-HDc single Line-Replaceable Unit (LRU) Electro-Optical/InfraRed (EO/IR) Imaging System;
  • Spectrolab Nightsun XP Searchlight;
  • Little Bird Auxiliary Tank System (LBATS) by Robertson Fuel Systems;
  • Raptor Long Gun Mounting System.

«Our company is committed to ensuring law enforcement and military tactical teams are provided versatile, durable and high-quality equipment that provides both security and ease of access to their firearms when required», said Raptor President Nathan Wasankari. «Working with MD Helicopters to integrate our proven, modular, fast-access weapon mounting system into their law enforcement options package has been a seamless process. We look forward to ongoing collaborations and opportunities to reach new markets».

MD Helicopters manufactures class-leading helicopters that offer agility, versatility, unparalleled safety and economic value. Operators worldwide turn to MD Helicopters for high-performance rotorcraft backed by a passion for service and support.

«Air Units play a critical role in keeping communities safe. They provide an invaluable force multiplication that “We will forever stand strong with American law enforcement”», Kitchen concludes. «We have been dedicated to the airborne law enforcement community for more than 40 years now, and we look forward to serving and supporting this community for decades still to come».

In addition to showcasing the MD 6XX concept aircraft, MDHI will also be celebrating:

  • new aircraft sales specifically to law enforcement operators;
  • the growth of our E-to-F conversion program;
  • development milestones in the integration of all glass cockpits and MDHI’s full fleet of single and light twin-engine helicopters;
  • improving customer support performance and enhancements to the MyMD.aero customer support portal;
  • MDHI’s internal R&D and aircraft enhancement programs.

The First L-39NG

In recent weeks, the production of new parts for L-39NG aircraft, the new generation of the legendary Albatros, has been fully launched in Aero Vodochody.

Aero launched production of the first L-39NGs
Aero launched production of the first L-39NGs

The key project of Aero Vodochody and its partner Omnipol, has thus entered the next phase. The largest Czech aircraft manufacturer plans to produce the total of four L-39NGs at this stage – three prototypes and one pre-serial aircraft.

The first complete L-39NG aircraft with a new certification should be ready at the end of 2019 and the first customer deliveries can then begin in 2020. «All around the world, there are still about 60 users of L-39 aircraft and about 600 of L-39s are still in operation. These older aircraft will need to be gradually replaced by the new ones, so we believe the new generation of L-39 has a great potential to succeed in the market», said the President of Aero, Giuseppe Giordo.

The new generation of the aircraft maintains the best features of its predecessor – low operation cost, high reliability, easy logistics and great flying capabilities – and those characteristics combines with modern avionics, newly developed engine from Williams International and many other enhancements. There are about 800 new parts of L-39NG currently in the production; further 800 parts are taken from the original Albatros.

Out of the four aircraft built during this production phase, the first one will serve as a flight prototype, two are designed for structural and fatigue tests, and the fourth one should be delivered to the first customer. «We are currently intensively negotiating with potential customers. A number of countries of the existing L-39 users has shown serious interest, as well as other countries that in the upcoming years expect the necessary generational replacement of their training jet air squadron», added the President of Aero, Giuseppe Giordo.

 

About the L-39NG

The L-39NG aircraft is a modern and effective trainer designed as a unified, comprehensive training system for modern air forces. The L-39NG is based on the aerodynamic concept of the current L-39, but utilizes the latest technologies and equipment. Power is provided by the highly modern FJ44-4M engine supplied with the TAP Blue engine support service to ensure unprecedented airworthiness and predictable maintenance costs. The aircraft’s avionics are prepared to train future pilots of 4th and 5th generation aircraft and can be tailored to the customer’s requirements to a great extent. The L-39NG is equipped with five mounting points for weapons. The aircraft also features a broad range of simulation technologies, including the integration into high-tech tactical simulation centers with the goal of increasing training efficiency. The strategic partner in the L-39NG project is company Omnipol that contributes 50% financially to the aircraft’s development.

Live firing

The first live firing of MBDA’s Brimstone air-to-surface missile from a Eurofighter Typhoon has been successfully completed as part of ongoing development work to significantly upgrade the capability of the aircraft. The trial is part of work to integrate the Phase 3 Enhancement (P3E) package for Typhoon, which will also deliver further sensor and mission system upgrades.

Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft enhancements move forward with successful live firing of Brimstone missile
Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft enhancements move forward with successful live firing of Brimstone missile

The P3E package forms part of Project Centurion – the programme to ensure a smooth transition of Tornado GR4 capabilities on to Typhoon for the Royal Air Force.

The UK’s IPA (Instrumented Production Aircraft) 6 Typhoon conducted the firing with support from the UK Ministry of Defence, MBDA, QinetiQ, Eurofighter GmbH and the Eurofighter Partner Companies – Airbus and Leonardo. It was designed to test the separation of the low-collateral, high-precision Brimstone weapon when it is released. In total, nine firings will take place to expand the launch and range capabilities.

The initial firing follows completion of a series of around 40 flight trials earlier this year, some of them conducted alongside pilots from the Royal Air Force’s 41(R) Squadron – the Test and Evaluation Squadron – in a Combined Test Team approach.

Volker Paltzo, CEO for Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH, said: «The successful completion of this trial is an important step towards integration of the weapon on to the aircraft. Brimstone will provide the Typhoon pilot with the ability to precisely attack fast-moving targets at range, further enhancing the aircraft’s already highly potent air-to-surface capabilities».

Andy Flynn, BAE Systems Eurofighter Capability Delivery Director, added: «Through the dedicated work of our teams, and with support from our partners, we have been able to reach this milestone in a short space of time. We will now continue to work alongside the Royal Air Force and our partner companies in a joint approach to ensure we successfully deliver this package of enhancements into service».

Andy Bradford, MBDA Director of Typhoon Integration, said: «This first firing is a major milestone for both the Brimstone and Typhoon programmes. Together Brimstone and Typhoon will provide the Royal Air Force and other Eurofighter nations with a world-beating strike capability to beyond 2040».

The successful trial follows completion earlier this year of the flight trials programme for the MBDA Storm Shadow deep strike air-to-surface weapon and the MBDA Meteor ‘beyond visual range’ air-to-air missile. Operational testing and evaluation of those capabilities is currently ongoing with the Royal Air Force ahead of entry into service in 2018.

 

CHARACTERISTICS

Weight 50 kg/110.2 lbs
Length 1.8 m/5.9 feet
Diameter 180 mm/7 inches
Guidance Millimetric Wave Radar and Semi-Active Laser
Warhead Tandem Shaped Charge

 

Growler in Australia

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, together with Air Vice Marshal Steven Roberton, Air Commander Australia, on 07 July welcomed the full fleet of EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft to RAAF Base Amberley.

Australia has now received all 12 Boeing EA-18G Growler two-seat electronic attack aircraft (RAAF photo)
Australia has now received all 12 Boeing EA-18G Growler two-seat electronic attack aircraft (RAAF photo)

Since the first two Growlers arrived in Australia in February 2017, the fleet has grown to the full twelve aircraft.

Minister Payne said the arrival of the Growler provides a potent and technologically advanced new capability for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

«We are the only country outside the United States operating the EA-18G Growler and the full fleet arrival represents a significant leap forward in joint electronic warfare capability», Minister Payne said. «This is an amazing achievement for the ADF. These aircraft are able to support the full spectrum of Defence missions, including operations with coalition partners. The EA-18G Growlers will work with Army and Navy to deliver a networked joint force able to manoeuvre and fight in the electromagnetic spectrum. The arrival affirms the Government’s commitment to maintain our capability edge and prepare for the more complex and high-tech conflicts of the future».

Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Leo Davies said he was extremely proud of all the personnel who have worked on this project both in Australia and overseas.

«The delivery of this capability shows what our Defence Force members are capable of alongside our U.S. counterparts», Air Marshal Davies said. «The U.S. Navy has been very generous in their training of our aircrew and maintenance teams, and we have cemented our reputation as credible coalition partners. Australian Growlers have already conducted successful weapon firings and integration flights with RAAF F/A-18F Super Hornets and U.S. Navy EA-18G Growlers as part of Operational Test and Evaluation. We have also had the graduation of the first Operational Transition course. Through our partnership with the U.S. Navy we are already planning to keep Growler at the forefront of electronic attack capability throughout the life of the aircraft. I wish to acknowledge the commitment of RAAF Base Amberley, the Estate & Industry Group and the 6 Squadron families who have generated the home of this exciting new aircraft».

The Growler is based on the F/A-18F Super Hornet airframe and fitted with additional avionics, enhanced radio frequency receivers, an improved communications suite and radio-frequency jamming pods that enable it to jam enemy systems. It will provide a complementary capability to the F/A-18F Super Hornet and the F-35A Lightning II aircraft.

JSTARS Recapitalization

Lockheed Martin is pleased to announce that Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has joined the Skunk Works Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) Recapitalization (Recap) team, which currently includes Bombardier and Raytheon, bringing greater value to the partnership, and the team’s ability to deliver a premier solution to the U.S. Air Force.

The Lockheed Martin Skunk Works-led team delivers a low-risk, affordable solution for the United States Air Force’s JSTARS Recap program (LM image)
The Lockheed Martin Skunk Works-led team delivers a low-risk, affordable solution for the United States Air Force’s JSTARS Recap program (LM image)

SNC, which previously qualified as a prime contractor candidate for the U.S. Air Force’s JSTARS Recap program, will perform modifications to Bombardier’s Global 6000 aircraft, and will help obtain the necessary airworthiness certifications from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and U.S. Air Force. This strategic partnership further enhances this powerful industry team to provide a system that will drive cost-savings, schedule and performance efficiencies for the U.S. Air Force.

«We are extremely pleased to combine forces with the Lockheed Martin-led team», said Ralph Pollitt, senior vice president of SNC’s Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) business area. «We look forward to contributing to the team’s success by applying decades of experience in modifying and certifying commercial and military aircraft for a wide-variety of users around the globe».

Lockheed Martin is the lead systems integrator for the program, while Raytheon brings its experience with ground surveillance, ISR systems, and JSTARS communications. Bombardier will provide its ultra-long-range Global 6000 business jet platform, which is less expensive to operate than modern airliners and is uniquely suited to the JSTARS Recap mission.

«SNC shares our team’s vision and commitment to our warfighters», said Andrew Adams, vice president of Advanced Systems, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works. «Together we will deliver a system that offers the optimum solution – quickly and affordably».

Special Operations

On June 20, 2017, at the Paris Air Show, Lockheed Martin officials introduced the C-130J-SOF, the newest Super Hercules aircraft configured for international military special operations requirements.

Lockheed Martin's latest C-130J variant, the C-130J-SOF, a Super Hercules configured to support international special operations forces missions
Lockheed Martin’s latest C-130J variant, the C-130J-SOF, a Super Hercules configured to support international special operations forces missions

The C-130J-SOF is the 10th production variant of the Super Hercules. This multi-mission aircraft is specifically intended to meet the unique demands associated with executing operations of strategic importance in support of international Special Operations Forces (SOF).

«The C-130J’s inherent versatility is capable of supporting missions across a broad spectrum of military operations, and this is amplified once again with the C-130J-SOF», said Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. «As our global partners face increasing and evolving threats that transcend borders, they want a proven solution. The C-130J-SOF, is in fact, the solution that will ensure security is preserved around the world».

The C-130J-SOF Super Hercules provides the capability to execute Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and psychological operations, airdrop resupply, personnel recovery, humanitarian relief, as well as infiltration, exfiltration and re-supply of SOF personnel.

With added special mission equipment options, the C-130J-SOF Super Hercules may also be configured for armed overwatch that includes a 30-mm gun and Hellfire missiles, helicopter/fighter/vertical lift aerial refueling, and Forward Area Refueling Point (FARP) operations.

«Our global partners said they need to support their SOF teams with a solution that is reliable, affordable, effective and integrated. They must support their teams in the sky, on the sea and on the ground», said George Shultz, vice president and general manager, Air Mobility and Maritime Missions at Lockheed Martin. «International operators want a special missions Super Hercules that’s proven and a true force multiplier. Today, we offer that solution to the world in the form of the C-130J-SOF».

The C-130J Super Hercules is the airlifter of choice for 17 nations, offering superior performance and capabilities, with the range and versatility for every theater of operations. To date, the global Super Hercules fleet has surpassed more than 1.5 million flight hours.