Lockheed Martin has recently testing an updated variant of an extended-range aircraft designed for maritime patrol missions intended for delivery to the U.S. Coast Guard.
The Block 8.1 configuration of the HC-130J Super Hercules aircraft includes a modernized flight management system, ground power modes, civil GPS features and an optimized identification tool, the company said Tuesday.
The aircraft has also been equipped with updated diagnostic tools, public address systems, search pattern programming, approach and landing platforms. Super Hercules is built to carry out long-range maritime surveillance and heavy air transport missions for the Coast Guard.
The service branch eyes to replace its HC-130H fleet through the procurement of 22 updated HC-130J aircraft units. The company is under contract to deliver at least six units to the Coast Guard.
“The advanced features and purpose-built design enhancements found in the Block 8.1 upgrade ensure that Coast Guard crews will rely on the HC-130J for mission support for many more decades to come,” said Peter London, director of tactical airlift programs at Lockheed’s air mobility and maritime missions business.