HC-130J Combat King II, USAF Battle King transport aircraft
MilitaryMedia.net - United States - Designed specifically for the United States Air Force (USAF) and used since 2010, the HC-130 Combat King II is one of nine variants of the C-130J Super Hercules which gets the frightening name, the Combat King.
However, bearing the name Combat King does not mean that this aircraft is equipped with weapons for warfare in the air or carry out attacks against ground targets.
The HC-130J Combat King II remains in its original state as the military transport aircraft of the Super Hercules family, a descendant of the large Hercules family born on earth in the 1950s with the production of more than 3,000 units to date (2,600 C-130 and over 400 C-130J ).
Even if there is something special that earned the nickname the King of Combat, it is because this Lockheed Martin-made aircraft has specificity as a personnel recovery aircraft or in a more popular terminology called Combat SAR (CS Combat SAR).
More than that, this aircraft also has the capability to carry out air command and control missions and refueling in the air against helicopters (Sikorsky HH-60G Pave Hawk). For the task of "breastfeeding" this rotary wing fleet, Combat King II can carry it out simultaneously on two helicopters at night.
Combat King II can also function as a land tanker to refuel other aircraft in remote areas or in other terms called FARP (forward area refueling point).
For the latter task, Hercules' expertise has gone into remote areas carrying out logistics and humanitarian transport missions.
Another advantage of the Lockheed Martin Combat King II, which is also a manufacturer of F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II fighter jets, is its capability to carry out tactical flight maneuvers to avoid enemy detection.
This was fulfilled with supporting equipment such as radio frequency jammer, digital radar warning receiver, terrain-following and terrain-avoidance radar systems, chaff and flare dispensing systems, missile warnings, and others.
The night vision goggle (NVG) system can be fully integrated into the aircraft's cockpit system. The use of head-up displays (HUD) and multifunctional displays (MFD) has also completed the cockpit device for flight navigation and control.
There are also INS, GPS, and forward-looking infrared (FLIR) and satellite-based communication systems on this aircraft.
In terms of structure, the HC-130J Combat King II uses a C-130J-30 base or a stretced version. More precisely the aircraft uses the US Marine Corps (USMC) KC-130J tanker base with minor modifications and the addition of a more advanced navigation and detection system.
Speaking of Combat King II users, this aircraft was originally made to replace the role of HC-130P / N which is operated by the USAF Air Combat Command (ACC).
Now, there are three agencies in the USAF that have used this aircraft. The three are the USAF Air Combat Command (ACC), the USAF Air Training and Education Command (AETC), and the US Coast Guard (USCG). On 2 April 2020, one more agency followed after getting Combat King II, namely the USAF Reserve.
The first Combat King II was received by the USAF ACC in September 2010 as a realization of the 11-unit order contract in 2008.
Furthermore, USAF AETC received the first aircraft in September 2011. While USCG obtained this aircraft in 2015 through a contract to procure nine aircraft in 2012. One Combat King II unit at that time was hit by a tag of approximately 70 million US dollars. As for customers outside the US, currently the price per Combat King II unit reaches 100-160 million US dollars.
The USAF Reserve will operate Combat King II in the 39th Rescue Squadron, part of the 920th Relief Wing, based at the Patrick Air Base in Florida.
The aircraft is manned by five personnel. Consists of a pilot, copilot, combat systems officer, and two load masters.
Combat King II with a length of 29.5 m, a wing span of 40.4 m, and a height of 11.5 m has a maximum flying weight (MTOW) of 74,389 kg. The fuel tank capacity reaches 34,159 liters. The aircraft can also carry fuel in the cabin weighing 15,875 kg.
Four FADEC turboprop Rolls Royce AE2100D3 engines with six Dowty propeller blades are perched on both wings of the Combat King II. Each machine produces 4,591 shp.
The aircraft can go at a maximum speed of 316 knots and fly to an altitude of 33,000 feet. For cruising distances 3,478 nautical miles can travel.
Hercules and Super Hercules with a variety of variants, become examples of military transport aircraft that have long life and have proven resilience on all fields. The family of 'son of god' is a plane that is always missed during disasters to carry out logistical support missions to remote areas.