July 16, 2018 (by Stephane Stinn) - Lockheed Martin today at Farnborough International Airshow (FIAS) introduced the LM-100J "FireHerc," a civil-certified firefighting airtanker variant of the proven C-130J Super Hercules that is the airlifter of choice for 18 nations around the world.
Artist mockup of the Lockheed LM-100J 'FireHerc' a civil-certified firefighting airtanker variant of the proven C-130J Super Hercules. [Lockheed Martin photo]
The LM-100J is the commercial freighter production model of the C-130J Super Hercules and an updated version of the legacy L-100 commercial Hercules freighter. The LM-100J is flying at and on static display at this year's FIAS.
C-130s — legacy Hercules, Super Hercules and L-100s — have flown millions of hours in support of missions for military and civilian operators around the world for more than 60 years, which includes supporting firefighting missions for more than 40 years. The LM-100J FireHerc builds on this proven experience and offers advanced capabilities to support aerial firefighting requirements for decades to come.
"With the presence of wildfires increasing on a global scale, there is a real-time need to provide more advanced assets to protect our people, communities and environment," said George Shultz, vice president and general manager, Air Mobility & Maritime Missions at Lockheed Martin. "As a variant of the C-130J Super Hercules, the FireHerc delivers a powerful combination of established performance advantages and innovative technology that will truly change the way we fight and defeat wildfires."
The Hercules plays a vital role in firefighting by dispersing retardant to contain and control fires in locations with complex terrain and compromised operating conditions. The FireHerc's straight-wing design and turboprop power plant allows it to excel in supporting this challenging low-level, low-speed firefighting mission profile like no other large airtanker in operation.
Additional FireHerc advantages include:
- Advanced flight deck avionics that provide outstanding situational awareness and modern safety features to protect and guide flight crews through challenging conditions.
- The ability to support two different retardant dispersion solutions: the gravity-drop based Coulson Aviation RADS Product Line or the pressure-type dispersal Modular Aerial Firefighting System II (MAFFS II). Both have been certified by the U.S. Forest Service on the Hercules platform to meet strict ground coverage standards.
- A path to support night firefighting with advanced integrated technology, allowing responders to combat fires on an unprecedented 24/7 cycle — providing an unmatched advantage against nature.