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Coast Guard accepts 16th C-130J long range surveillance aircraft


16th C-130J Super Hercules long range surveillance aircraft

CGNR 2016 makes a stop at L3Harris following acceptance by the Coast Guard Nov. 10, 2022. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Coast Guard accepted its 16th C-130J Super Hercules long range surveillance aircraft from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Marietta, Georgia, Nov. 10, more than 60 days ahead of its contract delivery schedule.

The aircraft was delivered to the Coast Guard in its baseline configuration and will operate out of the Aviation Logistics Center in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, until mid-December 2022. Then it will depart for L-3 Communications Integrated Systems LP (L3Harris) in Waco, Texas, where it will be outfitted with a Block 8.1 upgrade, Minotaur Mission System Suite as well as the APY-11 multimode radar. Missionization of the aircraft takes approximately one year to complete, so the new HC-130J will officially join the fleet in 2024.

The Minotaur software incorporates Coast Guard-specific integrated radar, sensors and C5ISR communication systems in a process called missionization, after which the aircraft will be redesignated as an HC-130J. The Block 8.1 upgrade enhances inter-communication systems, approach and landing systems and expanded diagnostics. Civil GPS and additional covert lighting will also be completed. In addition to continued Minotaur missionization efforts on new aircraft, the service plans to complete the block upgrade on all its HC-130J aircraft.

The service’s fleet of 15 HC-130Js is the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) largest airlift asset. Each aircraft is capable of serving as a command and control or surveillance platform from which crews can identify and classify objects while in flight, as well as share that information with operational forces. The fleet is used to execute a variety of Coast Guard missions including search and rescue, drug and migrant interdiction, cargo and personnel transport and maritime stewardship while providing critical support to DHS partners.

For more information: HC-130J Program page