SPECIAL OPERATIONS AIRCRAFT FOR THE 21ST CENTURY.
The C-130J-SOF provides specialized intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) support, along with infiltration, exfiltration, and re-supply of special operations forces (SOF) and equipment in hostile or denied territory. With added special mission equipment options, the C-130J-SOF may be configured to execute armed overwatch, precision strike, helicopter and vertical lift aerial refueling, psychological operations, high-speed/low-signature airdrop resupply, personnel recovery, forward area refueling point (FARP) operations, and humanitarian/rescue operations.
ARMED ISR, CLOSE AIR SUPPORT, TROOPS IN CONTACT
Armed reconnaissance is flown with the primary purpose of locating and attacking targets of opportunity (i.e., enemy material, personnel and facilities) in assigned or general areas. Close air support (CAS) provides direct action against hostile targets that are in close proximity to friendly forces or troops in contact (TIC) with limited collateral damage. Air Interdiction destroys, neutralizes or delays the enemy’s potential before it can be brought to bear effectively against friendly forces.
HELICOPTER, VERTICAL LIFT, FIGHTER AERIAL REFUELING
Aerial refueling helicopters, vertical lift and fighter aircraft is conducted utilizing a podded hose and drogue system. Aerial refueling allows the receiving aircraft to extend its range and time-on-station. Due to its enhanced propulsion systems, the C-130J-SOF offers aerial refueling at speeds 15 kts faster than previous versions — a benefit to fighter refueling.
In-flight refueling employs either the aerial refueling probe installation system (ARPIS) or universal aerial refueling receptacle slipway installation (UARRSI) system to allow the receiving aircraft to extend its range or increase loiter time. In-flight refueling can allow a receiver aircraft to takeoff with a greater payload such as weapons, cargo, or personnel by carrying less fuel and refueling once airborne. Alternatively, a shorter take-off roll can be achieved due to a lower gross weight.
Through the use of an advanced flight management system (FMS) with integrated inertial navigation system (INS) and Global Positioning System (GPS), the C-130J-SOF can conduct precision low-level navigation infiltration/exfiltration of special operations forces via high/low-altitude airdrop or air-land operations utilizing austere airfields.
FORWARD AREA REFUELING POINT (FARP)
A FARP is a temporary facility that is organized, equipped and deployed by an aviation commander. It is normally located in the main battle area closer to the area where operations are being conducted to provide fuel and ammunition necessary for the employment of aviation maneuver units in combat. FARP operations with the C-130J-SOF enable combat aircraft and ground vehicles to rapidly refuel and re-arm simultaneously. FARP supports deep attack or special operations forces when distance covered exceeds the normal aircraft range.