Home Americas US Marine Corps KC-130Js complete Harvest Hawk weapons kit upgrade

US Marine Corps KC-130Js complete Harvest Hawk weapons kit upgrade

KC-130J Super Hercules with the Harvest Hawk kit
USMC file photo of a KC-130J Super Hercules with the Harvest Hawk kit staged on the flight-line at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California.

The US Navy’s Tactical Airlift Program Office (PMA-207) has delivered the tenth KC-130J modified to the Harvest Hercules Airborne Weapons Kit (HAWK) Plus (HH+) configuration to the US Marine Corps.

The tenth and final aircraft was delivered to the Fleet Marine Forces on August 26, allowing the program to reach full operational capability.

The aircraft modifications were part of the Marine Corps KC-130J intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) / weapons mission kit program that began in 2015.

Under the program, the existing Marine Corp KC-130J Harvest HAWK system was improved by integrating the MX-20 electro-optical/infra-red multi-sensor imaging system and adding door mounted missile employment capability.

Harvest HAWK+ aircraft modifications began in 2015 with the first aircraft delivering in October 2015. NAVAIR’s aircraft prototype systems division at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. modified the first six aircraft while Sierra Nevada Corporation in Colorado Springs, Co. modified the last four aircraft.

Five HH+ aircraft were delivered to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport (VMGR) 352 in Miramar, California and four aircraft to VMGR-252 in Cherry Point, North Carolina. One HH+ aircraft will remain at VX-20 in Patuxent River for Block 8.1 and future HH+ testing.

“We are proud to provide the Marine Air-Ground Task Force with an updated intra-theater Close Air Support and Multi-Sensor Imagery Reconnaissance capability,” said Capt. Steve Nassau, PMA-207 program manager. “I couldn’t be prouder of my government and contractor team for delivering this critical weapon system to our warfighters.”

The Harvest Hawk first saw service in the Afghan skies in late 2010. In addition to its standard complement of officer and enlisted crew, the Harvest Hawk equipped KC-130J is manned by two fire control officers to monitor and control the weapons and surveillance systems. The kit consists of a targeting system sensor pod, a quad-launcher capable of carrying four AGM-114P2 Hellfire II anti-tank missiles and a box-launcher with AGM-176 Griffin missiles.