C-130J SUPER HERCULES DEMONSTRATES TRANSFORMATIONAL PERFORMANCE AND CAPABILITY IN SOUTHWEST ASIA
WASHINGTON, D.C., 13-SEP-05 -- Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] officials told reporters today at the Air Force Association’s 2005 Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition that the C-130J Super Hercules is outperforming legacy air transport aircraft in combat operations by at least a two-to-one margin and the reliability is the highest of any aircraft in theater.
“Recent information pertaining to the C-130J’s performance in Southwest Asia reveals that two Js are routinely moving the same amount of troops and equipment as three of the older E or H models,” said Rob Weiss, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics vice president for Business Development. “This provides the combatant commander with additional resources to employ on other missions and most importantly, reduces risk exposure time for both crews and aircraft.”
According to senior Air Force officials, the C-130J’s additional power advantage has become more obvious, especially operating during the hot season in Southwest Asia. With temperatures regularly exceeding 120 degrees Fahrenheit, the older C-130s can be limited to as little as 2,000 pounds of cargo. Operating under the same conditions, Js are sometimes exceeding that load factor by more than 300%.
“The performance of the C-130J isn’t the only advantage over earlier models,” said Weiss. “The J’s reliability far exceeds not only that of older C-130s, but also of other platforms in theater. Mission capable rates above 92% are the norm for the C-130J, and in some months the rate has even been 100%.”
In addition, some operators are seeing less than two maintenance hours per flight hour, according to reports coming out of the theater. Legacy C-130s typically average around 20 maintenance hours per flight hour. One USAF C-130J flew 21 straight days of delivery operations, returning Code One every day, until being stood down for a routine maintenance check.
Ground operations are also more efficient in the dusty operations. “Crews can load and unload the C-130J while the engines are still running because the propellers produce no backwash at certain settings,” said Weiss. “This feature also contributes to reduced sortie time and risk exposure.”
Many countries are seeing the benefits that the aircraft brings. The Royal Air Force is conducting airdrop missions that were never possible with its older aircraft, Italy is constructing a forward C-130J deployment base in western Afghanistan, and Denmark has just completed its 100th C-130J landing at Kabul.
“Crews operating the C-130Js in theater are realizing very quickly that the aircraft can transform tactical airlift operations,” Weiss concluded.