Air Force Buying 48 More Special Mission C-130Js

Air Force Buying 48 More Special-Mission C-130Js: The Air Force has added 48 MC-130J special operations aircraft to its HC/MC-130J recapitalization program of record, increasing the intended buy from 74 to 122 airframes. Thirty-two of the newly added MC-130Js will supplant Air Force Special Operations Command’s MC-130H/W fleets, service officials told the Daily Report. The other 16 airframes will undergo post-production conversion to AC-130J gunships, they said. The plans for the original 74 HC/MC-130Js remain unchanged: Air Combat Command is acquiring 37 HC-130J combat rescue tankers to replace its 1960s-era HC-130P fleet, while AFSOC is getting 37 MC-130Js in order to retire its legacy MC-130E/P inventory. Because of the added 48 airframes, the projected costs of the HC/MC-130J program have gone up by more than 60 percent from $8.8 billion to $14.1, according to the Pentagon’s most recent selected acquisition reports that went to Congress last month.