MC-130J Commando II Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2012 Maiden Flight: 23 September 2010 Total Production: 122 Unitary Cost: USD$115 million Total Cost: USD$14 billion Also Known As:HC-130J Combat King II and MC-130J Combat Shadow II Origin:United States of America Corporations:Lockheed Martin
Description: The MC-130J Commando II, formerly Combat Shadow II, and HC-130J are a derivative of the US Marine Corps KC-130J tanker selected by the US Air Force to replace the aging fleets of both Air Combat Command (ACC) and Special Operations Command (SOCOM) aircraft. Currently, Lockheed Martin is working on both configurations. The HC/MC-130J aircraft will provide global, day, night, and adverse weather capability to infiltrate, re-supply and ex-filtrate US and allied special operation forces. The HC-130J designation also refers to a distinct configuration closer to the C-130J aircraft and employed by the US Coast Guard.
The US Air Force MC-130J Combat Shadow II will fly clandestine, or low visibility, single or multi-ship low-level air refueling missions for special operations helicopters, and infiltration, exfiltration, and resupply of special operations forces by airdrop or airland. The MC-130J will primarily fly missions at night to reduce probability of visual acquisition and intercept by airborne threats. In March 2012, the US Air Force Special Operations Command officially changed the name of the MC-130J to Commando II to better reflect the multi-mission role of the aircraft and the units that will fly them.