Aug. 22, 2018 —
CGNR-2009, an HC-130J Super Hercules long range surveillance aircraft outfitted with the Minotaur Mission System Suite, arrived at Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, Alaska, Aug. 21, 2018. It is the first HC-130J with Minotaur to be stationed outside of Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jonathan Harper.
The Coast Guard transferred an HC-130J Super Hercules long range surveillance aircraft, CGNR-2009, to Air Station Kodiak, Alaska, Aug. 21. The aircraft, originally stationed at Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, is the first of five HC-130Js that will replace the five HC-130H aircraft currently stationed at Kodiak.
The HC-130J features more advanced engines and propellers, which provide a 20 percent increase in speed and altitude, and a 40 percent increase in range over the HC-130H Hercules model. Another notable difference is the liquid oxygen (LOX) system which will allow the crew to fly at higher altitudes, providing a better vantage point for many missions. These aircraft are also outfitted with the Minotaur Mission System Suite, which provides increased capabilities for use of the sensors, radar and intelligence-gathering equipment.
These improvements enable the Coast Guard to better respond to mariners in peril by improving response times, extending time on scene for searching, law enforcement patrols, and increasing effectiveness and versatility in Alaska’s challenging weather and terrain. For example, the improvements enable the HC-130J to execute precision air-delivery drops of survival gear to mariners in zero-visibility conditions.
"The Coast Guard recognizes the strategic and economic importance of Alaska. We have always been an enthusiastic partner with the state, protecting the maritime public and safeguarding the environment,” said Capt. B.E. Dailey, Air Station Kodiak commanding officer. “This new aircraft, with its increased capabilities, represents the Coast Guard’s continued commitment to the state and will greatly improve our ability to respond while providing an additional margin of safety for our crews."
The first phase of facilities improvements to accommodate the new aircraft - building LOX storage and service facilities - is underway, with completion planned later this year. Additional facilities improvements will begin this fall and run through October 2019.
Four additional HC-130Js are scheduled to arrive at Kodiak in 2019. The incoming HC-130s will join Kodiak’s current fleet of six MH-60s and four MH-65s. As the HC-130Js deploy to Kodiak, the five HC-130Hs will be removed. Those outgoing aircraft will be used to fill HC-130H long range surveillance fleet gaps or disposed of once all usable parts are salvaged to support the remaining HC-130H and HC-130J fleet.
For more information: HC-130J Long Range Surveillance Aircraft program page