ELIZABETH CITY, N.C., – Lockheed Martin representatives joined U.S. Coast Guard leaders and crew members for a ceremony on Jan. 31 at the Coast Guard Aviation Logistics Center in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, celebrating the completion of operational testing of the first Coast Guard HC-130J outfitted with the Block 8.1 upgrade.
This upgrade was installed on a previously delivered HC-130J at the Lockheed Martin facility in Greenville, South Carolina. The aircraft recently completed initial operational testing and will be placed into operational service. Lockheed Martin is currently contracted to deliver a minimum of six Block 8.1 upgrade kits to the U.S. Coast Guard.
The U.S. Coast Guard HC-130J Block 8.1 upgrade adds new and advanced capabilities:
- A new flight management system that complies with CNS/ATM mandates, and includes vertical navigation with coupled auto throttle
- Civil GPS
- Ground power modes
- Updated Identification Friend or Foe
- CNS/ATM Data Link
- Enhanced inter-communication system
- Enhanced approach and landing systems
- Expanded diagnostics
- Improved PA system
- Additional covert lighting
- IAMSAR compliant search pattern programming
In addition to the Block 8.1 upgrade, the Coast Guard is also integrating Minotaur mission system architecture into its fixed-wing aircraft. Missionization includes post-production modification of new C-130J aircraft to incorporate the specialized equipment necessary to carry out Coast Guard missions.
The Coast Guard’s HC-130J Super Hercules long-range surveillance aircraft provides heavy air transport and long-range maritime patrol capability. Each aircraft is capable of serving as an on-scene command and control platform or as a surveillance platform with the means to detect, classify and identify objects and share that information with operational forces.