Lockheed Martin officials introduced the C-130J-SOF, the newest Super Hercules aircraft configured for international military special operations requirements. The C-130J-SOF is the 10th production variant of the Super Hercules. This multi-mission aircraft is specifically intended to meet the unique demands associated with executing operations of strategic importance in support of international Special Operations Forces (SOF).
The C-130J-SOF provides the capability to execute Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and psychological operations, airdrop resupply, personnel recovery, humanitarian relief, as well as infiltration, exfiltration and re-supply of SOF personnel.
With added special mission equipment options, the C-130J-SOF may also be configured for armed overwatch that includes a 30mm gun and Hellfire missiles, helicopter/fighter/vertical lift aerial refueling, and Forward Area Refueling Point (FARP) operations. While standard configurations of the C-130J sell for roughly $70 million, this special operations aircraft would likely start in the mid-$80 million range, with more for additional modifications.
The United States already uses the C-130 for special operations, with purpose-built American configurations including the MC-130E/H Combat Talon, flown by the Air Force and used for airdrop, special ops helicopter in-flight refueling, and psychological operations, and the MC-130J Commando II, flown by Air Force Special Operations Command.
The C-130J Super Hercules is the airlifter of choice for 17 nations, offering superior performance and capabilities, with the range and versatility for every theater of operations. To date, the global Super Hercules fleet has surpassed more than 1.5 million flight hours.
There is no aircraft in aviation history that can match the flexibility, versatility and relevance of the C-130J Super Hercules. In continuous production longer than any other military aircraft, the C-130 has earned a reputation as a workhorse ready for any mission, anywhere, anytime. The 2,500th C-130 Hercules was delivered in December 2015, marking a major milestone for the world’s workhorse. There is strength in numbers and Hercules continues to demonstrate this on a daily basis around the world, by doing what other airlifters can’t, won’t and don’t.