The Coast Guard’s HC-130J Super Hercules long range surveillance aircraft provide heavy air transport and long-range maritime patrol capability.
The Coast Guard is acquiring a fleet of 22 new, fully missionized HC-130J aircraft to replace its older HC-130Hs.
The HC-130J has a more advanced engine and propellers, which provide a 20 percent increase in speed and altitude, and a 40 percent increase in range over the HC-130H. The new aircraft also features state-of-the-market avionics, including all-glass cockpit displays and improved navigation equipment. The HC-130J’s suite of command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment – comparable to that of the HC-144 Ocean Sentry medium range surveillance aircraft – helps to extend the fleet’s mission capabilities. The aircraft is capable of serving as an on-scene command and control platform or as a surveillance platform with the means to detect, classify and identify objects and share that information with operational forces.
The Coast Guard is integrating the Navy’s Minotaur mission system architecture into its fixed-wing program. Missionization includes post-production modification of new C-130J aircraft to incorporate the specialized equipment necessary to carry out Coast Guard missions. This process includes installation of radar, sensors and other C4ISR equipment that enables the aircrew to collect and process surveillance information for transmission to shore and surface operators. The Minotaur processor integrates those specialized systems. Work on the HC-130J prototype is ongoing.Seven aircraft from the existing fleet of HC-130Hs are being transferred to the U.S. Forest Service as directed by the Defense Authorization Act of 2014 as part of the acquisition of 14 C-27Js divested by the U.S. Air Force.