May 29, 2020 (by Stephanie Stinn) - Lockheed Martin recently delivered the first KC-130J Super Hercules tanker assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 452 (VMGR-452), the Marine Forces Reserve squadron at Stewart Air National Guard Base, New York. A U.S. Marine Corps crew ferried the aircraft from Lockheed Martin’s facility on May 28 to the aircraft’s new home.
USMC KC-130J #169536 marked in VMGR-452 markings seen taking to the air on a test flight from Lockheeds Marietta facility on May 14, 2020. [Lockheed Martin Photography by David Key]
VMGR-452 is the second Marine Reserve squadron to operate KC-130Js and this delivery signifies the recapitalization of the squadron’s existing KC-130T fleet. VMGR-452 — known as the Yankees — has operated Hercules tankers for more than 30 years, flying KC-130s in support of Operations Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
“The KC-130 Hercules tanker has been a pivotal part of Marine Corps aviation operations since 1960, a relationship that began with the KC-130F and R-models, transitioned to the KC-130T and continues now with the KC-130J Super Hercules,” said Rod McLean, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin’s Air Mobility & Maritime Missions line of business. “Our C-130 team knows this delivery is significant and represents increased capability for VMGR-452. We are proud to support our Marine aviation partners as they continue to be ‘first to fight'."
KC-130s are operated in support of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) commander by providing tactical in-flight refueling for fixed-wing, rotary-wing, and tilt-rotor aircraft; aviation delivered ground refueling of aircraft or tactical vehicles; assault air transport or air-landed or aerial-delivered (parachute) personnel and equipment; pathfinder support, battlefield illumination; tactical aeromedical evacuation; and tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel support.
The proven and battle-tested KC-130J builds on the Hercules’ proven tanker refueling system while taking full advantage of the tremendous technological and performance enhancements found only in a Super Hercules. Compared to legacy models, the KC-130J delivers increased speed and fuel efficiency, improved payload/range capabilities, an integrated defensive suite, automated maintenance fault reporting, high-altitude ramp and door hydraulics, and unmatched situational awareness with its digital avionics and dual Head Up Displays.
The KC-130J is one of nine production variants of the C-130J Super Hercules, the current production model of the legendary C-130 Hercules aircraft. With 460+ aircraft delivered, the C‑130J is the airlifter of choice for 20 nations. The global Super Hercules fleet has more than 2 million flight hours of experience supporting almost any mission requirement — anytime, anywhere.
The U.S. Marine Corps has the distinction of operating the largest KC-130J Super Hercules fleet in the world. This delivery continues the U.S. government’s transition to the C-130J as the common platform across Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard.