Category Archives: Air

32 Super Hercules

Lockheed Martin will deliver 78 C-130J Super Hercules to the U.S. government through a C-130J Multiyear II contract, which was announced by the U.S. government on December 30, 2015.

The C-130J Super Hercules is the most flexible airlifter in the world
The C-130J Super Hercules is the most flexible airlifter in the world

The Department of Defense announced the award of more than $1 billion ($1,060,940,036) in funding for the first 32 aircraft of the Multiyear contract (13 C-130J-30, five HC-130J, 11 MC-130J, two KC-130J and one U.S. Coast Guard HC-130J aircraft). The overall contract, worth $5.3 billion, provides 78 Super Hercules aircraft to the U.S. Air Force (30 MC-130Js, 13 HC-130Js and 29 C-130J-30s) and the U.S. Marine Corps (six KC-130Js). Also through this contract, the U.S. Coast Guard has the option to acquire five HC-130Js. Aircraft purchased through the multiyear contract will deliver between 2016 and 2020.

«We are proud to partner with the U.S. government to continue to deliver to the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard the world’s most proven, versatile and advanced airlifter», said George Shultz, vice president and general manager, Air Mobility & Maritime Missions at Lockheed Martin. «This multiyear contract provides true value to our U.S. operators as they recapitalize and expand their much-relied-upon Hercules aircraft, which has the distinction of being the world’s largest and most tasked C-130 fleet».

The C-130J-30 Super Hercules is a stretch version of the C-130J
The C-130J-30 Super Hercules is a stretch version of the C-130J

Constructed in alignment with the U.S. government’s Better Buying Power initiative, this contract provides significant savings to the U.S. government through multiyear procurement as compared to annual buys.

Lockheed Martin provided 60 C-130Js to the U.S. government through an initial multiyear contract announced in 2003, which delivered aircraft to the U.S. Air Force and U.S Marine Corps from 2003-2008.

The C-130J Super Hercules is the standard in tactical airlift, providing a unique mix of versatility and performance to complete any mission, anytime, anywhere. It is the airlifter of choice for 16 nations and 19 different operators. The Super Hercules worldwide fleet has more than 1.3 million flight hours to its credit.

The HC-130J Combat King II – this C-130J variation specializes in tactical profiles and avoiding detection and recovery operations in austere environments
The HC-130J Combat King II – this C-130J variation specializes in tactical profiles and avoiding detection and recovery operations in austere environments

 

C-130J Super Hercules

Power Plant Four Rolls-Royce AE 2100D3 turboprops; 4,691 horsepower/3,498 kW
Length 97 feet, 9 inch/29.3 m
Height 38 feet, 10 inch/11. 9 m
Wingspan 132 feet, 7 inch/39.7 m
Cargo Compartment Length – 40 feet/12.31 m; width – 119 inch/3.12 m; height – 9 feet/2.74 m
Rear ramp Length – 123 inch/3.12 m; width – 119 inch/3.02 m
Speed 362 knots/Mach 0.59/417 mph/671 km/h at 22,000 feet/6,706 m
Ceiling 28,000 feet/8,615 m with 42,000 lbs/19,090 kg payload
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) 155,000 lbs/69,750 kg
Maximum Allowable Payload 42,000 lbs/19,090 kg
Maximum Normal Payload 34,000 lbs/15,422 kg
Range at Maximum Normal Payload 1,800 NM/2,071 miles/3,333 km
Range with 35,000 lbs/15,876 kg of Payload 1,600 NM/1,841 miles/2,963 km
Maximum Load 6 pallets or 74 litters or 16 CDS bundles or 92 combat troops or 64 paratroopers, or a combination of any of these up to the cargo compartment capacity or maximum allowable weight
Crew Three (two pilots and loadmaster)
The MC-130J Commando II is assigned to the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC)
The MC-130J Commando II is assigned to the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC)

 

C-130J-30 Super Hercules

Power Plant Four Rolls-Royce AE 2100D3 turboprops; 4,691 horsepower/3,498 kW
Length 112 feet, 9 inch/34.69 m
Height 38 feet, 10 inch/11. 9 m
Wingspan 132 feet, 7 inch/39.7 m
Cargo Compartment Length – 55 feet/16.9 m; width – 119 inch/3.12 m; height – 9 feet/2.74 m
Rear ramp Length – 123 inch/3.12 m; width – 119 inch/3.02 m
Speed 356 knots/Mach 0.58/410 mph/660 km/h at 22,000 feet/6,706 m
Ceiling 26,000 feet/8,000 m with 44,500 lbs/20,227 kg payload
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) 164,000 lbs/74,393 kg
Maximum Allowable Payload 44,000 lbs/19,958 kg
Maximum Normal Payload 36,000 lbs/16,329 kg
Range at Maximum Normal Payload 2,100 NM/2,417 miles/3,890 km
Range with 35,000 lbs/15,876 kg of Payload 1,700 NM/1,956 miles/3,148 km
Maximum Load 8 pallets or 97 litters or 24 CDS bundles or 128 combat troops or 92 paratroopers, or a combination of any of these up to the cargo compartment capacity or maximum allowable weight
Crew Three (two pilots and loadmaster)
The KC-130J Tanker is the global leader in aerial refueling for tactical and tiltrotor aircraft and helicopters
The KC-130J Tanker is the global leader in aerial refueling for tactical and tiltrotor aircraft and helicopters

TERN for Small Ships

Small-deck ships such as destroyers and frigates could greatly increase their effectiveness if they had their own Unmanned Air Systems (UASs) to provide Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and other capabilities at long range around the clock. Current state-of-the-art UASs, however, lack the ability to take off and land from confined spaces in rough seas and achieve efficient long-duration flight. Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node (TERN), a joint program between Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR), seeks to provide these and other previously unattainable capabilities. As part of TERN’s ongoing progress toward that goal, DARPA has awarded Phase 3 of TERN to a team led by the Northrop Grumman Corporation.

DARPA has awarded Phase 3 of TERN to a team led by the Northrop Grumman Corporation. DARPA plans to build a full-scale demonstrator system of a medium-altitude, long-endurance UAS designed to use forward-deployed small ships as mobile launch and recovery sites
DARPA has awarded Phase 3 of TERN to a team led by the Northrop Grumman Corporation. DARPA plans to build a full-scale demonstrator system of a medium-altitude, long-endurance UAS designed to use forward-deployed small ships as mobile launch and recovery sites

The first two phases of TERN successfully focused on preliminary design and risk reduction. In Phase 3, DARPA plans to build a full-scale demonstrator system of a medium-altitude, long-endurance UAS designed to use forward-deployed small ships as mobile launch and recovery sites. Initial ground-based testing, if successful, would lead to an at-sea demonstration of takeoff, transition to and from horizontal flight, and landing – all from a test platform with a deck size similar to that of a destroyer or other small surface-combat vessel.

«The design we have in mind for the TERN demonstrator could greatly increase the effectiveness of any host ship by augmenting awareness, reach and connectivity», said Dan Patt, DARPA program manager. «We continue to make progress toward our goal to develop breakthrough technologies that would enable persistent ISR and strike capabilities almost anywhere in the world at a fraction of current deployment costs, time and effort».

«ONR’s and DARPA’s partnership on TERN continues to make rapid progress toward creating a new class of UAS combining shipboard takeoff and landing capabilities, enhanced speed and endurance, and sophisticated supervised autonomy», said Gil Graff, deputy program manager for TERN at ONR. «If successful, TERN could open up exciting future capabilities for U.S. Navy small-deck surface combatants and U.S. Marine Corps air expeditionary operations».

«Through TERN, we seek to develop and demonstrate key capabilities for enabling distributed, disaggregated U.S. naval architectures in the future», said Bradford Tousley, director of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office (TTO), which oversees TERN. «This joint DARPA-Navy effort is yet another example of how the Agency collaborates with intended transition partners to create potentially revolutionary capabilities for national security».

The TERN Phase 3 design envisions a tailsitting, flying-wing aircraft with twin counter-rotating, nose-mounted propellers. The propellers would lift the aircraft from a ship deck, orient it for horizontal flight and provide propulsion to complete a mission. They would then reorient the craft upon its return and lower it to the ship deck. The system would fit securely inside the ship when not in use.

TERN’s potentially groundbreaking capabilities have been on the U.S. Navy’s wish list in one form or another since World War II. The production of the first practical helicopters in 1942 helped the U.S. military realize the potential value of embedded Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft to protect fleets and reduce the reliance on aircraft carriers and land bases.

The TERN demonstrator will bear some resemblance to the Convair XFY-1 Pogo, an experimental ship-based VTOL fighter designed by the U.S. Navy in the 1950s to provide air support for fleets. Despite numerous successful demonstrations, the Convair XFY-1 Pogo never advanced beyond the prototype stage, in part because the U.S. Navy at the time was focusing on faster jet aircraft and determined that pilots would have needed too much training to land on moving ships in rough seas.

«Moving to an unmanned platform, refocusing the mission and incorporating modern precision relative navigation and other technologies removes many of the challenges the Convair XFY-1 Pogo and other prior efforts faced in developing aircraft based from small ships», Patt said. «TERN is a great example of how new technologies and innovative thinking can bring long-sought capabilities within reach».

DARPA and the U.S. Navy have a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to share responsibility for the development and testing of the TERN demonstrator system. The Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL) has also expressed interest in TERN’s potential capabilities and is providing support to the program.

The Convair XFY-1 Pogo is one of many attempts made after World War II to devise a practical VTOL combat aircraft
The Convair XFY-1 Pogo is one of many attempts made after World War II to devise a practical VTOL combat aircraft