USAF MC-130J Amphib Aircraft Is Coming . . . later this year.
From US Defense News – January 16, 2022
The C-130J is an incredibly versatile aircraft, and since its creation, it’s landed on rough fields, in arctic locations, and even an aircraft carrier.
Yet, it cannot land on water, which covers about 71% of the planet. As national strategic objectives shift focus to littoral regions, Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) is advancing new approaches to expand the multi-mission platform’s runway independence and expeditionary capacity. In partnership with the Air Force Research Lab’s Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation (AFRL-SDPE) directorate, AFSOC is developing an MC-130J Commando II Amphibious Capability (MAC) to improve the platform’s support of seaborne special operations.
“The development of the MAC capability is the culmination of multiple lines of effort,” said Lt Col Josh Trantham, AFSOC Science, Systems, Technology, & Innovation (SST&I) Deputy Division Chief. “This capability allows the Air Force to increase placement and access for infiltration, exfiltration, and personnel recovery, as well as providing enhanced logistical capabilities for future competition and conflict.”
The development of a removable amphibious float modification for an MC-130J would enable “runway independent” operations, which, according to Trantham, would extend the global reach and survivability of the aircraft and Air Commandos. “Seaborne operations offer nearly unlimited water landing zones providing significant flexibility for the Joint Force,” Trantham said.
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