Lucky Thirteen

Lockheed Martin delivered the 13th factory-fresh MC-130J special-mission aircraft to the Air Force, according to an entry posted at the company’s Flickr page. Aircraft 5711 departed Lockheed Martin’s production plant in Marietta, Ga., on Dec. 20, headed for Cannon AFB, N.M., for beddown with the 27th Special Operations Wing. This airframe is one of the 27 Commando II airplanes that the Air Force has on order so far for Air Force Special Operations Command for roles such as in-flight refueling of other special operations platforms, infiltration and extraction of special operations forces, and aerial delivery and resupply. The previous new-build MC-130J off of the production line left for Cannon on Dec. 10. Overall, the Air Force intends to acquire 85 MC-130Js, 16 of which will undergo post-production conversion to the new AC-130J gunship standard.