The US Air Force has awarded Lockheed-Martin a contract to modify a C-130J Super
Hercules aircraft for the Pennsylvania Air National Guard. The contract includes
options on two additional aircraft and is valued at approximately $29 million.
The modification work order placed by the US Air Force is the first step to
convert the C-130J aircraft into EC-130J Commando Solo configuration. The
modified C-130J is being referred to as Super J and will be operated by the
193rd Special Operations Wing in Middletown, Pennsylvania. EC-130J will conduct
information operations and civil affairs broadcasts in AM, FM, HF, TV and
military communications bands.
The current EC-130E Commando Solo fleet operated by the US Air Force evolved
from the proven C-130E Hercules cargo/transport aircraft. Super J will feature
aerial refueling equipment, a modified operator station, an expanded internal
communications system, plus a more powerful generator for needed electrical
power. The modified aircraft will be complete in the third quarter of 2006.
The C-130J aircraft includes state-of-the-art equipment to reduce manpower
requirements as well as lifecycle costs and has been designed to replace aging
C-130Es, which also includes C-130E variants. C-130E was introduced in 1962 and
still remains in service with the US military forces and allied nations
worldwide in large numbers.
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