The U.S. Coast Guard has delivered the first Lockheed Martin HC-130J long-range surveillance jet from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., to Air Station Kodiak, Alaska, as part of the service branch’s aircraft modernization program, the Coast Guard said Wednesday.
The CGNR-2009 aircraft, designed to withstand extended maritime patrol missions in the Alaskan environment, is one of five HC-130Js slated to replace Kodiak’s HC-130H jets in 2019.
HC-130J features a liquid oxygen system to enable high-altitude flight and is equipped with a Minotaur Mission System Suite containing sensors, radar and intelligence-gathering technology to help crews facilitate air-delivery drops of survival gear in zero-visibility settings.
Capt. B.E. Dailey, commanding officer at Air Station Kodiak, said that the upgraded aircraft “represents the Coast Guard’s continued commitment to the state and will greatly improve our ability to respond while providing an additional margin of safety for our crews."
The Kodiak station, which currently has six MH-60s and four MH-65s, has already begun construction of supplementary facilities such as LOX storage and service areas for the new aircraft.
Construction is scheduled for completion later this year, with additional facilities to follow through October 2019.