Lockheed MC-130E/H Combat Talon I/II
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Information on the MC-130E/H Combat Talon I/II
Primary Function: Infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces
Power Plant: Four Allison T56-A-15 turboprop engines
Thrust: 4,910 shaft horsepower each engine
MC-130E: 100 feet, 10 inches (30.7 meters)
MC-130H: 99 feet, 9 inches (30.4 meters)
Height: 38 feet, 6 inches (11.7 meters)
Wingspan: 132 feet, 7 inches (40.4 meters)
Speed: 300 mph
MC-130E: 53 troops, 26 paratroopers
MC-130H: 77 troops, 52 paratroopers or 57 litter patients
Ceiling: 33,000 feet (10,000 meters)
Maximum Takeoff Weight:155,000 pounds (69,750 kilograms)
Range: 2,700 nautical miles (4,344 kilometers) Inflight refueling extends this to unlimited range
MC-130E: Officers - two pilots, two navigators and an electronic warfare officer; enlisted - flight engineer, radio operator and two loadmasters
MC-130H: Officers - two pilots, a navigator and electronic warfare officer; enlisted - flight engineer and two loadmasters
Date Deployed: MC-130E, 1966; MC-130H, June 1991
Unit Cost: MC-130E, $75 million; MC-130H, $155 million (fiscal 2001 constant dollars)
Inventory: Active force, MC-130H, 24; Reserve, MC-130E, 14; ANG, 0
The MC-130E Combat Talon I and MC-130H Combat Talon II provide infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces and equipment in hostile or denied territory. Secondary missions include psychological operations and helicopter air refueling
Both aircraft feature terrain-following and terrain-avoidance radars capable of operations as low as 250 feet in adverse weather conditions. Structural changes to a basic C-130 include the addition of an in-flight refueling receptacle, and strengthening of the tail to allow high speed/low-signature airdrop. Their navigation suites include dual ring-laser gyros, mission computers and integrated global positioning system. They can locate, and either land or airdrop on small, unmarked zones with pinpoint accuracy day or night.
An extensive electronic warfare suite enables the aircrew to detect and avoid potential threats. If engaged, the system will protect the aircraft from both radar and infrared-guided threats. Currently, the MC-130E is equipped with aerial refueling pods to provide in-flight refueling of Special Operations Forces and combat search and rescue helicopters. The MC-130H will be modified to provide this capability in the near future.
The primary difference between the MC-130E and MC-130H involves the degree of integration of the mission computers and avionics suite. The Combat Talon I was conceived originally and developed during the 1960s, and although extensively upgraded in the 1980-90s it still features analog instrumentation and does not fully integrate the sensors and communications suites. The Combat Talon II, designed in the 1980s, features an integrated glass flight deck which improves crew coordination and reduces the crew complement by two.
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