Jun 22, 2014

US Marines receive full complement of Harvest HAWK gunships

The US Marine Corps (USMC) has received into service the 10th and final Lockheed Martin KC-130J Hercules to be modernised with the Harvest HAWK mission package, the company announced on 16 June.
Developed to fulfil an urgent operational requirement in Afghanistan, the Harvest HAWK conversion programme equipped the KC-130J with a roll-on/roll-off dual-screen fire-control console mounted in a removable cargo platform in the aircraft's cargo compartment, a Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control AN/AAQ-30 Target Sight Sensor mounted under the port-side wing fuel tank, and a Common Data Link.
The aircraft's weapons fit comprises four AGM-114P Hellfire II laser-guided air-to-surface missiles mounted on the port-side refuelling pylon, and MBDA GBU-44/E Viper Strike and Raytheon Griffin A air-to-surface missiles launched from a ramp-mounted 10-round rack and a pressurised dispenser dubbed the 'Derringer Door'. A sideways-firing Mk 44 30 mm cannon has been deferred to a later Block III upgrade.
The first Harvest HAWK kit was deployed to Afghanistan with VMGR-352 in October 2010. The type has since become the close air support (CAS) platform of choice for ground forces.

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