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Air Force orders one C-130J for Coast Guard


Using funds transferred from the Coast Guard, the Air Force awarded an $80 million contract May 6 to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics for the production of one C-130J Super Hercules aircraft. The plane, the 19th of the Coast Guard’s planned acquisition of 22 C-130Js, is contracted for delivery in late spring 2026. All work will be completed at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics’ Marietta, Georgia, facility.

This is the first C-130J that will receive the Block 8.1 upgrade during production. The Block 8.1 upgrade adds new and advanced capabilities, including enhanced inter-communication system, enhanced approach and landing systems, expanded diagnostics, civil GPS and additional covert lighting. Installing the Block 8.1 upgrade on the production line aligns the Coast Guard’s C-130J configuration with other Department of Defense and U.S. military baseline configurations, which ultimately saves time, reduces cost and avoids the logistics of having to order the kit separately and install during missionization.

The Air Force is the government’s executive agent for all C-130 procurements. The Coast Guard order was the last under a larger $3 billion multiyear Air Force contract.

The Coast Guard will award a separate post-production contract to configure the aircraft to meet its mission requirements, referred to as missionization, which will result in the aircraft's redesignation as an HC-130J.

The Coast Guard currently operates 14 HC-130Js as part of its long range surveillance aircraft fleet. One C-130J is undergoing missionization with delivery expected in June 2022. Three additional C-130Js are under construction, with delivery in 2023, 2024 and 2025. Upon delivery to the Coast Guard, missionization of these aircraft will take an additional year.

The HC-130J carries out many Coast Guard missions, including search and rescue, drug and migrant interdiction, humanitarian missions, cargo and personnel transport and maritime stewardship. The aircraft is capable of serving as an on-scene command and control platform or as a surveillance platform with the means to detect, classify and identify objects and share that information with operational forces.

For more information: HC-130J Long Range Surveillance Aircraft Program page