Jun 22, 2014
US Marines receive full complement of Harvest HAWK gunships
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.