The RAF, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps are all recording significant operational performance statistics. "The C-130J is setting records for mission throughput, reliability, effectiveness and survivability," said Ross Reynolds, vice president, Lockheed Martin Air Mobility Programs. "No other military aircraft has established such a track record during its first deployment."
RAF Squadron Leader Don Macintosh, a member of the C-130J Operational Evaluation Team at RAF Lyneham, England, presented details on the use of C- 130Js in several operational areas. The first coalition aircraft to land at Baghdad International airport when it reopened in 2003 was an RAF C-130J.
While supporting the Global War on Terror, C-130Js achieved a mission capable (MC) rate of 93.9 percent from Dec. 18, 2004, to April 16, 2005, and a staggering 98.9 percent MC rate from March 30 to April 5, 2005. That means, on average, a C-130J was flying or ready to fly 98.9 percent of the time. In contrast, older model airlift aircraft typically achieve a 75 percent MC rate.
Two stretch C-130J-models can do the work of three C-130H models. In addition, the use of the J-model significantly reduces the number of crew members being placed in harm's way and, because of its payload and range capabilities, the new aircraft can replace more than 40 trucks in one mission. This capability alone vastly reduces the exposure to danger for hundreds of personnel.
During a recent visit to Lockheed Martin, Gen. John Handy, head of the United States Air Force's Air Mobility Command, said, "Not only is the C-130J demonstrating outstanding performance and reliability, but it is doing so during a no-kidding shooting war."
The U.S. Air Force has reported that between Dec. 10, 2004, and April 17, 2005, C-130Js on deployment to the U.S. Central Command at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar logged 1,371.2 flight hours during some 625 sorties while sustaining a mission capable rate of 93.9 percent. During those missions, C-130Js transported 2,399.2 tons of cargo, including 11,151 pallets and 7,031 passengers.
The U.S. Marine Corps is recording equally impressive performance from their new KC-130J tankers. During the past three months, the squadron has logged more than 1,550 combat flight hours during 785 sorties; dispensed nearly 5 million pounds, or 735,294 gallons, of fuel, to more than 610 aircraft; and moved more than 6,388 passengers and 2.6 million pounds of cargo. The Marine Corps is seeing average mission capable rates of 80 percent with its legacy R- and F-model C-130s, due to the aircraft's age, while achieving a 100 percent rate with the KC-130J most of the time.
While the combat delivery and tanker versions of the C-130J are performing in the Southwest Asia theater, the WC-130J Hurricane Hunter aircraft are carrying out their unique mission back in the United States. This is the first hurricane season that the Hurricane Hunters at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., will use an all J fleet. The aircraft have already seen action when they flew into "Adrian," the first hurricane of the 2005 season.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, a business area of Lockheed Martin, is a leader in the design, research and development, systems integration, production and support of advanced military aircraft and related technologies. Its customers include the military services of the United States and allied countries throughout the world. Products include the F-16, F/A-22, F-35 JSF, F-117, C-5, C-130, C-130J, P-3, S-3 and U-2. The company produces major components for the F-2 fighter and is a co-developer of the C-27J tactical transport and T-50 advanced jet trainer.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin Corp. employs about 130,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2004 sales of $35.5 billion.
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SOURCE: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
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