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Lockheed Martin C-130J program marks two major milestones

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) today began final assembly of the first HC/MC-130J, which will also be the 200th C-130J to be produced. U.S. Air Force and company officials commemorated the milestones during a short ceremony on the production line by signing the keel or floor of the historic C-130J that will be delivered in 2010.

"Again we see the C-130 setting new standards for mission flexibility," said Ross Reynolds, vice president of Lockheed Martin C-130 programs. "This new Special Mission configuration of the proven C-130J will give the U.S. Air Force unparalleled capability for Combat Search and Rescue, Personnel Recovery and Special Operations Missions. As demand for the C-130J continues to grow around the world, we will see more and more the way this aircraft can meet the demands of any operator and mission."

Lockheed Martin is under contract to the U.S. Air Force to build the HC/MC-130J Special Mission Hercules to replace aging fleets of Combat Search and Rescue HC-130s and Air Force Special Operations MC-130s. In April 2008, a Department of Defense Acquisition Decision Memorandum (ADM) was signed to start the HC/MC-130J program with a six-aircraft buy. Since that time, six more aircraft have been placed on contract and the latest ADM, signed on Aug. 26, 2009, authorized up to 22 HC/MC130J aircraft.

The new aircraft, based on a KC-130J tanker baseline, will have a host of factory installed provisions to support special mission operations. These include the Enhanced Service Life Wing, the Enhanced Cargo Handling System, a Universal Aerial Refueling Receptacle Slipway Installation (boom refueling receptacle), an Electro-Optic/Infrared Sensor, a Combat Systems Operator Station on the flight deck, dual military SATCOMs, Enhanced Vision System provisions, and higher capacity 60/90 kilovolt amp (KVA) generators. In-line production of this configuration reduces cost and schedule, allowing the aircraft to meet the required 2012 Initial Operational Capability.

C-130Js are engaged in high-tempo operations in multiple combat theaters and are routinely deployed in support of both peacekeeping and humanitarian missions. The C-130J is a proven airlifter that has been selected by 10 nations, with 177 aircraft delivered through the second quarter of this year. The C-130J is a flexible, multimission aircraft that has been delivered in multiple and varied configurations to meet a wide range of operational needs.

Press release issued by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company on October 5, 2009


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