U.S. Marines with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 252 fly a KC-130J Hercules and fireplace AGM-114 Hellfire missiles close to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California, Aug. 29, 2022. VMGR-252 skilled in close-air assist through the use of the Harvest Hercules Airborne Weapons Equipment. The KC-130 is a multi-role, multi-mission tactical tanker/transport inside a 500-nautical-mile (930 km) working radius, in addition to fast floor refueling when required, which gives the refueling assist required by the USMC for its plane. VMGR-252 is a subordinate unit of 2nd Marine Plane Wing, the aviation fight ingredient of II Marine Expeditionary Pressure.

A U.S. Marine Corps KC-130J Hercules assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 252, geared up with 4 AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, awaits clearance for departure at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California. (U.S. Marine Corps picture by Lance Cpl. Christian Cortez)

The Lockheed Martin (beforehand Lockheed) KC-130 is a household of the extended-range tanker model of the C-130 Hercules transport plane. The KC-130J is the newest variant operated by the US Marine Corps (USMC), with 48 delivered out of 79 ordered. It changed older KC-130F, KC-130R, and KC-130T variants for aerial refueling. USMC reserve unit, VMGR-452 operated 12 KC-130T plane till Might 2021; this was the final USMC reserve unit that operated the legacy KC-130s, finishing the corps’ transition to the extra superior Tremendous Hercules. The brand new KC-130J gives elevated utility and far wanted enchancment in mission efficiency.

Commercial

U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Luke Maxson, a KC-130J Hercules co-pilot with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 252, flies a KC-130J Super Hercules while an AGM-114 Hellfire missile is launched near Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California.
U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Luke Maxson, a KC-130J Hercules co-pilot with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 252, flies a KC-130J Tremendous Hercules whereas an AGM-114 Hellfire missile is launched close to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California. (U.S. Marine Corps picture by Lance Cpl. Christian Cortez)

With the addition of the Marine Corps’s ISR / Weapon Mission Equipment, the KC-130J will be capable to function an overwatch plane and may ship floor assist fireplace within the type of Hellfire or Griffin missiles, precision-guided bombs, and ultimately 30mm cannon fireplace in a later improve. This functionality, designated as “Harvest HAWK” (Hercules Airborne Weapons Equipment), can be utilized in eventualities the place precision shouldn’t be a requisite, equivalent to space denial. The plane retains its authentic capabilities in refueling and transportation. All the system could be eliminated in lower than a day if essential. The U.S. Air Pressure MC-130W Dragon Spear program makes use of an analogous idea.

U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Jared Cass, a KC-130J Hercules co-pilot with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 252, laser guides an AGM-114 Hellfire missile by using the AN/AAQ-30 target sight system in a KC-130J Hercules near Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California.
U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Jared Cass, a KC-130J Hercules co-pilot with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 252, laser guides an AGM-114 Hellfire missile through the use of the AN/AAQ-30 goal sight system in a KC-130J Hercules close to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California.

The AN/AAQ-30 Goal Sight System (TSS) integrates an infrared and tv digital camera, and is mounted beneath the left wing’s exterior gas tank. It’s the identical TSS used on the upgraded AH-1Z Viper assault helicopter. The standard loadout is 4 Hellfire missiles and 10 Griffin GPS guided missiles. The weapons techniques operator makes use of a Fireplace Management Console mounted on an HCU-6/E pallet within the KC-130J’s cargo compartment. The USMC plans to amass three kits per active-duty KC-130J squadron for a complete of 9 kits, every costing as much as US$22 million. It was first check flown on 29 August 2009 by VX-20, and first deployed in October 2010 with VMGR-352.

U.S. Marines with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 252 prepare to equip AGM-114 Hellfire missiles to a KC-130J Hercules at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California.
U.S. Marines with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 252 put together to equip AGM-114 Hellfire missiles to a KC-130J Hercules at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California. (U.S. Marine Corps picture by Lance Cpl. Christian Cortez)