Acquisition Update: Missionized HC-130J Conducts First Test Flight
January 24, 2008
Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) recently granted an Interim Flight Clearance for the Coast Guard’s first missionized HC-130J Long Range Surveillance (LRS) Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA), and it flew its first test flight today, January 24. This significant milestone achievement signals the beginning of Mission System flight test operations.
Highlights of the extensive modifications include: a belly-mounted 360-degree surface search radar, Direction Finder system, nose-mounted electro-optical/infrared radar, an airborne Automatic Identification System and new communications systems. The new equipment is designed to deliver enhanced search, detection and tracking capabilities to perform maritime search and rescue, law enforcement and homeland security missions.
Upon completion of these tests, the Coast Guard and Lockheed Martin team will oversee the HC-130J’s Mission System requirements verification testing. The aircraft will then be flown to Naval Air Station Patuxent River to complete Electromagnetic Environmental Compatibility and TEMPEST testing.
The Firm Fixed Price contract, valued at $122 million, will result in the delivery of three fully missionized Coast Guard HC-130J LRS MPAs no later than April 2008, as well as all spare parts and kit materials for the three remaining unmodified aircraft, no later than June 2008. The Coast Guard awaits the results of an independent audit on costs and will then proceed with missionization of the final three aircraft.