The Commando II flies clandestine, or low visibility, single or multiship, low-level infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces, by airdrop or airland and air refueling missions for special operations helicopters and tiltrotor aircraft, intruding politically sensitive or hostile territories. The MC-130J primarily flies missions at night to reduce probability of visual acquisition and intercept by airborne threats. Its secondary mission includes the airdrop of leaflets.
The MC-130J includes the following: advanced two-pilot flight station with fully integrated digital avionics; fully populated Combat Systems Operator and auxiliary flight deck stations; 13 color multifunctional liquid crystal displays; head-up displays; fully integrated navigation systems with dual inertial navigation system and global positioning system; integrated defensive systems; low-power color radar; digital moving map display; new turboprop engines with six-bladed, all-composite propellers; digital autopilot; improved fuel, environmental and ice-protection systems; enhanced cargo-handling system; Universal Air Refueling Receptacle Slipway Installation (UARRSI), air refueling pods, Electro Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) System; dual SATCOM for voice/data; 60/90 KVA generators; increased DC electrical output, loadmaster/scanner restraint system; and LAIRCM provisions.
The MC-130J is replacing the aging SOF fleet of 57 MC-130E, H and P aircraft. The first aircraft was delivered in September 2011 to Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, with final delivery expected in fiscal year 2025.
Primary Function: Infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces by airdrop or airland, air refueling of SOF helicopter/tilt rotor aircraft.
Builder: Lockheed Martin
Power Plant: Four Rolls-Royce AE 2100D3 Turboprops
Thrust: 4,591 shaft horsepower
Wingspan: 132 feet, 7 inches (39.7 meters)
Length: 97 feet 9 inches (29.3 meters)
Height: 38 feet 10 inches (11.9 meters)
Speed: 362 knots at 22,000 feet
Ceiling: 28,000 feet with 42,000 lb payload
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 164,000 lbs
Range: 3,000 miles
Crew: Two pilots, one Combat Systems Officer (officers), and two Loadmasters (enlisted)
Date Deployed: 2011
Unit Cost: $114.2M (FY22)
Inventory: Active duty, 57 by fiscal 2025
(Current as of March 2021)