Posted by John McHaleMARIETTA, Ga., 30 March 2011. Officials at the U.S. Air Force's Special Operations Command (AFSOC) and Lockheed Martin introduced first MC-130J Combat Shadow II. The new aircraft is based on a KC-130J tanker baseline. "The MC-130J is one of the most versatile tactical airlifters in the world. Its multi-mission capabilities will increase the combat performance of special operations forces worldwide," says Lt. Gen. Donald C. Wurster, commander, Air Force Special Operations Command. "The MC-130J's advanced sensors, expanded avionics, and universal aerial refueling capability will enable the highly skilled Airmen of AFSOC to operate under difficult conditions with unmatched speed and capability."The aircraft will have the Enhanced Service Life Wing, Enhanced Cargo Handling System, a Universal Aerial Refueling Receptacle Slipway Installation (boom refueling receptacle), more powerful electrical generators, an electro-optical/infrared sensor, a combat systems operator station on the flight deck, and provisions for the large aircraft infrared countermeasures system. Lockheed Martin is contracted to build 15 MC 130Js to begin replacing the current aging fleet. The U.S. Air Force is authorized to acquire up to 20 MC-130Js against an approved requirement for 37.In-line production of this configuration reduces cost and risk, and meets the required 2012 Initial Operational Capability.