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SNC delivers first modified MC-130J to US Air Force Special Operations Command

US AFSOC MC-130J aircraft
Photo: SNC

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announced it has delivered the first MC-130J equipped with the advanced airborne mission networking (AbMN) secure communications suite to the US Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC).

The AbMN suite improves interoperability between special operations platforms as well as other US Air Force (USAF), Army, Navy, Marine and coalition platforms. The system unifies data from various components that collectively make up a mission system. This permits USAF operators to focus on one set of mission data rather than monitoring multiple systems.

The suite enables battlefield management and threat avoidance; generates customized surveillance information; and provides situational awareness for air, ground, and command and control nodes. The suite has applications for mapping and situational awareness, data routing, video recording and playback, and user interface control. It also features data link radios and supporting equipment including 10 subsystems that are interfaced to work together.

“Multi-domain command and control is a defense department top priority,” said IAS senior vice president of business development and technology Robert Horky. “With the AbMN-equipped MC-130J, we’re bringing that capability to the AFSOC community by providing enhanced communications and data links, and an integrated software suite.”

The MC-130J is a version of Lockheed Martin’s C-130J modified specifically for the special operations community. It replaces the MC-130H Talon IIs, which AFSOC is retiring. These modifications bring the critical capabilities required to successfully replace the MC-130H while providing additional communications and situational awareness capabilities.

SNC said it is currently modifying AFSOC’s second MC-130J aircraft with AbMN.