The 61st Airlift Squadron at Little Rock AFB, Ark., took delivery of a factory-fresh C-130J airlifter, announced aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin. Lt. Gen. Brooks Bash, Air Mobility Command’s vice commander, ferried the C-130J from the company’s assembly facility in Marietta, Ga., to Little Rock on May 15, states the company’s release. This airframe, serial number 5745, is one of nine new-build C-130Js scheduled for beddown with the squadron. The first of these touched down at Little Rock, a hub of C-130 training and operations, in October 2013. Two subsequent deliveries took place in December followed by one in March, according to the company’s website.
NASA, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance are all preparing to launch their next-gen rockets from Florida’s Space Coast, two of them before the year is out. One is expected to liberate the U.S. launch enterprise from its reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines, while all three rockets could eventually carry astronaut crews.