C-130XJ as Affordable Option

Lockheed Martin officials are pushing a new variant of the C-130J aircraft to international customers who may not need the full tactical capability of the current airlifter, said Jim Grant, the company’s vice president for air mobility programs. The C-130XJ, as the aircraft is dubbed, will cost 10 percent to 15 percent less than the C-130J model used by the Air Force, he said. Customers who typically don’t do a lot of engine-running offloads will have the option of removing the fully automated cargo handling system and its underfloor winch, said Grant. In its place, Lockheed would use the above-ground winch similar to those on today’s C-130H2 and C-130H3 models, he said. The company also would remove some of the J-model’s radios and defensive capabilities, although it would leave wiring for those systems in place in case a customer wanted those as future upgrades, said Grant. “This opens up the opportunity to tailor the aircraft to meet the needs of the customer, and potentially get customers into the J-model capability who otherwise might not be able to get there,” he said on Feb. 23 during a briefing at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla.