On behalf of the Coast Guard, the U.S. Air Force has awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin Corporation worth $218 million for production of three HC-130J Super Hercules Long Range Surveillance aircraft, the Coast Guard’s seventh, eighth and ninth Super Hercules. The U.S. Air Force is the government’s executive agent for all HC-130 procurements. The three new aircraft are scheduled for delivery in early 2016. This action is part of a planned acquisition of a total of 22 Super Hercules by 2027.
The contract provides for the missionization of two Super Hercules aircraft, while the third will be missionized under a future contract action scheduled for fiscal year 2013. Missionization equipment includes radar, electro-optical infrared sensors, communication, and a flight deck-mounted mission operator station.
The Super Hercules provides a versatile platform capable of serving as an on-scene command and control platform and carrying out many of the Coast Guard’s demanding missions, including Search and Rescue. As a surveillance platform it provides the critical means to detect, classify and identify targets. For each of these missions, the information is shared with operational forces capable of interdicting drugs or migrants, protecting living marine resources, and enforcing economic, safety and security zones.
The Coast Guard currently operates a Long Range Surveillance Aircraft fleet consisting of 23 HC-130H Hercules aircraft and six HC-130J Super Hercules; however, the Hercules aircraft are reaching the end of their useful service life. The Coast Guard is conducting a sustainment and enhancement project to modernize and extend the service life of its Hercules aircraft while acquiring more capable and cost-effective Super Hercules. The aging Hercules will be systematically retired as the newer Super Hercules aircraft are accepted into service.
The Coast Guard plans to station these aircraft at Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii.
For more information: HC-130H/J Long Range Surveillance Aircraft project page