Lockheed Martin said it has 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.
US Marine Corps crew ferried the aircraft from Lockheed Martin’s facility in Marietta, Ga., on May 28 to the aircraft’s new home, the company said in a statement Friday.
VMGR-452 is the second Marine Reserve squadron to operate KC-130Js. 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.
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.
Lockheed claims the KC-130J, compared to legacy models, 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 better 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.