May 5, 2005 (by Lockheed Martin) - Lockheed Martin today delivered a third C-130J Super Hercules to Little Rock AFB, Arkansas at the controls was Gen. John W. Handy, commander, U.S. Transportation Command, and commander, Air Mobility Command, Scott AFB, Illinois.
"Our great airmen flying daily in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom have the highest possible praise for the C-130J," Handy said. "I am extremely pleased with the performance of the C-130J during its deployment. In fact, it is doing so well that we are sending four J's in the next rotation to the theater of operations."
The C-130J performs the same missions as the legacy C-130 fleet. However, it employs technology that allows it to operate seamlessly in the modern combat environment with fewer crew members, leaner logistical support and increased reliability. The C-130J also provides commanders the flexibility of greater range and payload. For example, the average in-theater C-130H mission is scheduled to carry 50 passengers and two pallets. The stretched C-130Js average 75 passengers and three pallets - a 50% increase.
U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules have been on deployment in southwest Asia since December 2004. The aircraft have already established a reputation for being able to conduct operations that are transforming the way tactical airlift is conducted. The aircraft's vastly increased performance is resulting in more efficient and safer operations. C-130Js are able to relieve many of the truck convoys, thus taking U.S. forces out of harm's way.
Handy also remarked on the high reliability of the C-130Js in theater. "A mission capable (MC) rate reflects what percentage of time an aircraft can perform its mission. For example, typically we expect C-130s to operate at a 75% MC rate meaning that on average, an aircraft is flying or is ready to fly 75% of the time. The C-130J, while supporting the Global War on Terror, achieved a superb 93.9% MC rate from Dec. 18, 2004 to April 16, 2005 and a staggering 98.9% MC rate from March 30 to April 5. In practical terms, this means the aircraft was broken less than 2% of the time. This is a phenomenal accomplishment."
The U.S. Air Force formally accepted its first C-130J Super Hercules on April 16, 2004, marking the beginning of a new generation of cargo and personnel transport for the active-duty Air Force.
Little Rock is home to the Air Force's C-130 Center of Excellence, which provides C 130 aircrew and maintenance training for all U.S. military branches as well as for 27 allied nations. The base also has a new Lockheed Martin C-130J Maintenance and Aircrew Training System (JMATS) facility, a simulator-based schoolhouse that will support C-130J entry into the fleet. Under the current USAF plan, there will eventually be 26 C-130Js based at Little Rock.
A total of 180 C-130Js are on order, and 124 have been delivered to date. In the United States the USAF, Air Force Reserve Command and Air National Guard units fly C-130Js. The Marine Corps operates KC-130J tankers and the Coast Guard flies the HC-130J