MC-130W Combat Spear: Aircraft profile

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The MC-130W Combat Spear conducts infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of US and allied special operations forces in direct support of unified and theater special operations commands and U. S. Special Operations Command contingencies.

MC-130W Combat Spear side: The Air Force Special Operations Command’s MC-130W takes off on its maiden flight over Hurlburt Field, Fla., in 2006. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Andy Biro).MC-130W Combat Spear side: The Air Force Special Operations Command’s MC-130W takes off on its maiden flight over Hurlburt Field, Fla., in 2006. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Andy Biro).

Collateral missions include refueling of special operations vertical lift assets, forward arming and refueling, specialized ordnance delivery, airdrops in support of psychological operations, and limited command and control capabilities. Its world-wide mission is performed primarily at night to reduce operational risk.

Features

The aircraft is a highly modified C-130H featuring improved navigation, threat detection and countermeasures, and communication suites. The navigation suite is a fully integrated Global Positioning System and Inertial Navigation System that interfaces with the AN/APN-241 Low Power Color Radar and AN/AAQ-17 Infrared Detection System. The improved threat detection and countermeasures systems include advanced radar and missile warning receivers, chaff and flare dispensers and active infrared countermeasures, protecting the aircraft from both radar and infrared-guided threats.

MC-130W Combat Spear: A MC-130W refuels two MH-53J Pave Lows during an air demonstration ceremony Nov 16 at Hurlburt Field, Fla. The ceremonial is part of the Hurlburt Field's Heritage to Horizon. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Stephanie Sinclair)MC-130W Combat Spear: A MC-130W refuels two MH-53J Pave Lows during an air demonstration ceremony Nov 16 at Hurlburt Field, Fla. The ceremonial is part of the Hurlburt Field's Heritage to Horizon. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Stephanie Sinclair)

The communication systems upgrades include dual sateliite communications suite with data burst capability. The aircraft has both interior and exterior night vision goggle compatible lighting. In-flight refueling extends the aircraft's range to unlimited.

Structural improvements to the basic C-130H include the addition of the Universal Aerial Refueling Receptacle Slipway Installation or UARRSI, and a strengthened tail empennage. The UARRSI allows the aircraft to conduct in-flight refueling as a receiver, and strengthening of the tail will allow High Speed Low Level Aerial Delivery System airdrop operations. The MC-130W is equipped with Mk 32B-902E refueling pods. These pods are part of the most technologically advanced refueling system available, and provide the ability to refuel special operations helicopters and the CV-22 Osprey.

MC-130W Combat Spear: An MC-130W Combat Spear drops a container release system load at Melrose Air Force Range, N.M., during a training exercise Sept. 23. The drops are done at least once a week and prepares the aircrews for resupply missions in areas that have no airfields. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Evelyn Chavez)MC-130W Combat Spear: An MC-130W Combat Spear drops a container release system load at Melrose Air Force Range, N.M., during a training exercise Sept. 23. The drops are done at least once a week and prepares the aircrews for resupply missions in areas that have no airfields. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Evelyn Chavez)

Background

The first MC-130W was presented to the Air Force Special Operations Commander June 28, 2006, in a ceremony at Robins Air Force Base, Ga. The aircraft was developed by a team of contractor and depot personnel to replace MC-130 Combat Talon combat losses experienced over time. The program modifies C-130H aircraft from the 1987 to 1990 year group, which is the same time period as the Combat Talon fleet currently in AFSOC service.

The new aircraft will be able to accomplish many of the same missions as the previous ones, plus they have the ability to air-to-air refuel special operations helicopters. The aircraft will be based at AFSOC bases worldwide.

MC-130W Combat Spear: The first-of-its-kind MC-130W was presented to Air Force Special Operations Command in a ceremony at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., on Wednesday, June 28. The highly modified C-130 will replace special operations aircraft lost in combat. (U.S. Air Force photo/Sue Sapp)MC-130W Combat Spear: The first-of-its-kind MC-130W was presented to Air Force Special Operations Command in a ceremony at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., on Wednesday, June 28. The highly modified C-130 will replace special operations aircraft lost in combat. (U.S. Air Force photo/Sue Sapp)

General Characteristics

Primary Function: Infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces; in-flight refueling of special operations vertical lift assets
Contractor: Lockheed
Power Plant: Four Allison T56-A-15 turboprop engines
Thrust: 4,910 shaft horsepower each engine
Wingspan: 132 feet, 7 inches (40.4 meters)
Length: 98 feet, 9 inches (30.09 meters)
Height: 38 feet, 6 inches (11.7 meters)
Weight: 75,745 pounds (34,430 kilograms)
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 155,000 pounds (69,750 kilograms)
Fuel Capacity: 44,240 pounds (20,108 kilograms)
Payload: 33,000 pounds (maximum) (14,969 kilograms)
Speed: 300 mph
Range: 1,208 miles (1,944 kilometers)
Ceiling: 33,000 feet (10,000 meters)
Crew: pilot, copilot, two navigators (officers), flight engineer and two loadmasters (enlisted)
Initial operating capability: 2007
Unit Cost: $60 million
Inventory: Active force, 12 (planned)

Source: USAF

More photos: MC-130W Combat Spear photo gallery

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