Air Station Kodiak welcomed a new asset last month.
CGNR 2002, an HC-130J Super Hercules, arrived in Kodiak on July 30. The multipurpose aircraft will be used for search and rescue, patrol, law enforcement, marine environmental protection and other endeavors.
It is one of five that have been delivered to the Air Station in the course of a year. The HC-130J was delivered on Aug. 21, 2018.
“This aircraft gives our aviators the ability to fly higher, get on scene faster, and stay on scene longer than any other Coast Guard aircraft and will serve the people of Alaska and the United States for many years to come,” said Lt. Cmdr. Adam McCarthy, a C130 pilot stationed in Kodiak.
The HC-130J features more advanced engines and propellers than the HC-130H model, and the Minotaur Mission System Suite provides increased capabilities for use of the sensors, radar and intelligence-gathering equipment installed on the aircraft, according to a Coast Guard news release.
“From the outside, the new C130J may look a lot like the C130H that it replaced, but the differences are immense. The ‘Super Hercules’ comes equipped with modern avionics, a highly advanced sensor system, and overall efficiencies in range, performance, and capability due to the newly designed engines and propellers,” McCarthy said.
The new plane, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, costs $85 million when fully “missionized,” or equipped with Coast Guard-specific features like sea search radar, infrared sensors, enhanced communications and life rafts, according to the Coast Guard.
The fleet upgrade follows a 2016 contract between Lockheed Martin and the U.S. armed forces worth $5.3 billion for the delivery of 78 model J planes between 2016-2020. The Air Station’s fleet of HC-130H planes dates to the 1980s.