Includes Latest ECM
The Marines' new KC-130J, the next generation aerial refueling
tanker aircraft, has successfully passed its' second operational
evaluation. The new aircraft is part of the Marine Corps
transformational efforts to increase speed, persistence, precision,
and reach to project capabilities over longer distances. This
aircrafts' second Op eval concentrated on the on-board electronic
The Commander of the Operational Test and Evaluation Force found
that the equipment was operationally effective in both permissive
and non-permissive environments.
"The electronic countermeasures equipment in the KC-130J
incorporates the latest in defensive systems designed to protect
the aircraft and crew from hostile threats," said Marine Corps Maj.
John Albers, the Principal Deputy for C-130 aircraft, PMA-207.
"When the on-board electronic countermeasures equipment detects a
threat, the system automatically dispenses the appropriate counter
measure to neutralize that particular threat."
Thirty-two Op Eval test flights, totaling more than 60 flight
hours, were flown against realistic threat scenarios both at China
Lake, Calif. and Cherry Point, NC. An additional 33 test flights,
totaling more than 70 hours, were flown at Cherry Point, NC and at
Yuma, AZ during a pre-deployment exercise called "Desert
"During the evaluation phase of the testing, some anomalies were
discovered but these were corrected and a number of enhancements
were made to the systems," said Albers. "This system is better than
what we have in the fleet today."
The first successful Op Eval of the KC-130J's was completed in
April 2004, and the aircraft was found effective and suitable in a
permissive threat environment.
As a result of this second successful Op Eval, the Marine Corps'
next generation aerial refueler is set to embark on its first
operational deployment in the next few days.
The KC-130J is replacing aging KC-130 tankers, some as old as 46
years, currently in the Marine Corps fleet. The KC-130J provides
enhanced aircrew and utility systems such as improved avionics with
night vision capability and improved flight performance. Capability
is extended with improved reliability and maintainability,
increased mission availability and improved delivery of fuel.