Friday, September 18, 2009

A Step in Marine Corps Aviation

Recently the Untied States Marine Corps made a rather large step in modernizing the planes in the Marine Corps Aviation. The KC-130J “Super Hercules” with its new “Harvest Hawk” mission kit have increased it battlefield capabilities drastically. “Harvest Hawk is a new surveillance and weapons system. The very first flight was flown by personnel from Navy Air Test and evaluation Squadron 20 and it marks the first time in the C-130’s 50 year service that it has the capability to fly armed into combat. This is because before now, the C-130 was strictly a transport or cargo plane. The new mission kit gives the Super Hercules aircrew first strike ability, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities with its targeting sight system. From more than a thousand feet away, The fire control operator of the plane will have the ability to get eyes on target. The new system will be located under the left wing’s external fuel tank. Lockheed Martin out fitted he plane with many other weapon system connected to the new surveillance systems to increase it combat effectiveness. The system also has the ability to be dismounted easily and calibrated in order to be mounted with other “Super Hercules” . This means that with only one system that can be switched, around the clock surveillance can be achieved. This is because when a plane needs to be maintained they can just take off the system and put in on a pane ready to go. Maj Jeffry P. Pellegrino said “The Harvest Hawk mission kits will usher in a new era of Marine aviation, bringing a more versatile aircraft into the fight. It’s a flying Swiss Army knife, and we must continue to take advantage of its versatility. This mission kit will bring tremendous agility and flexibility to the MAGTF commander.” There are also plans to retro fit all the “Super Hercules” with the system. After the many test flights, it was concluded the new system did not hamper the maneuverability of the plane in any way while drastically increasing it combat effectiveness.Click Here to Read the Story

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