The United States Coast Guard (USCG) HC-130J Long Range Surveillance (LRS) aircraft acquisition program has an approved acquisition baseline of 22 HC-130J aircraft. Each aircraft is procured from Lockheed Martin Aero as a baseline C-130J and missionized with the government developed Minotaur Mission System Suite (MSS+). Following missionization, a C-130J is designated HC-130J.
The Coast Guard currently has 17 HC-130J aircraft in either operational use or active production. “The USCG will receive new aircraft with the same baseline configuration as the previously delivered aircraft with the exception of changes made to mitigate Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and material obsolescence,” the Coast Guard said in contract documents released Friday. “Additionally, all C-130J aircraft will require Block Upgrade 8.1 modifications in order to maintain access to global airspace, enhance aircraft navigational accuracy, maintain commonality with the worldwide C-130J operational community, and reduce component obsolescence.”
The HC-130J’s capabilities lends itself ideally to protecting critical national infrastructure by reducing vulnerabilities, providing continuity of operations in the event of an emergency and providing surveillance capability for protecting maritime transportation systems. The USCG fleet of HC-130J aircraft is the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) largest airlift asset and can provide critical support to DHS partners in response to national events as well as logistical support during routine operations.
The Coast Guard is transitioning its entire LRS inventory of HC-130H aircraft to the HC-130J. The aircraft and MSS+ line repairable units and software have commonality across multiple platforms within the Department of Defense and DHS. By leveraging same/like components and software programs, the USCG gains efficiencies in logistics support, purchase agreements and obsolescence mitigation.
“At this time, the USCG is only interested in information from contractors capable of performing the required spare parts procurements and modifications on up to three C-130J aircraft simultaneously as a prime contractor,” officials said in a Request For Information document released Friday.
The USCG anticipates an effort to modify up to six baseline C-130J aircraft to incorporate the MSS+ and all external sensors and communications equipment (integration). In this case, the project consists of installation, integration, and test of the complete complement of HC-130J MSS+, which includes the legacy belly-mounted radar, Electro-Optical/Infrared Sensors and INMARSAT systems.