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Lockheed rolls out first HC-130J tanker aircraft for USAF

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MARIETTA (BNS): Lockheed Martin has rolled out the first of the new fleet of HC-130J combat rescue tanker aircraft it has developed for the US Air Force.

The new aircraft, designed to help the USAF in carrying out several operational tasks during both combat and rescue missions, rolled out from Lockheed’s Marietta facility in Georgia on Monday.

The tanker, a modified version of C-130J, will be used by the USAF’s Air Combat Command unit.

Based on the KC-130J tanker model, the HC-130J features increased service life wing, enhanced cargo handling capability, an electro-optical/infrared sensor along with provisions for the large aircraft infrared countermeasures system.

Lockheed Martin has been contracted by the USAF to build 21 C-130J Super Hercules to replace the aging fleets of combat search and rescue HC-130s and special operations MC 130s. The USAF is authorised to acquire up to 31 HC/MC 130Js which includes 11 HCs and 20 MCs.

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