April 22, 2011 (by Lockheed Martin) - The first Combat Shadow II for the United States Air Force Special Operations Command has completed its first flight at the Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta, Georgia.
First flight of MC-130J #09-6207 on April 22nd, 2011 at Marietta, Georgia. [Lockheed Martin photo]
Less than one month after a rollout ceremony for the aircraft’s AFSOC customer the MC-130J has begun a series of flight tests prior to delivery to Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., in September. The new aircraft is based on a KC-130J tanker baseline and will have the Enhanced Service Life Wing, Enhanced Cargo Handling System, a Universal Aerial Refueling Receptacle Slipway Installation (boom refueling receptacle), more powerful electrical generators, an electro-optical/infrared sensor and a combat systems operator station on the flight deck. In-line production of this configuration reduced cost and risk, and fully supports the required 2012 Initial Operational Capability date. Lockheed Martin is contracted to build 15 MC 130Js to begin replacing the current aging fleet. The U.S. Air Force is authorized to acquire up to 20 MC-130Js against an approved requirement for 37.