20 May 2020
The US Marine Corps (USMC) is looking to upgrade the Harvest Hercules Airborne Weapons Kit (HAWK) mission package for its Lockheed Martin KC-130J tanker-transport aircraft with a beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) capability.
An airman poses next to the operational ‘kill’ markings stencilled onto the fuselage of a Harvest HAWK in Afghanistan during the war fighting stage of the conflict, giving an indication of the type’s work rate in the CAS role. The USMC is now looking to enhance the aircraft’s capability with a BLOS capability.
The request for information (RFI), issued by the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) on 19 May, covers the design, manufacture, test, integration, and installation of a new Harvest HAWK Plus (HH+) BLOS standard.
“The BLOS upgrade addresses the void of battlespace commanders’ situational awareness by providing full-motion video and enhanced communications capability within the HH+ Mission Operator Pallet (MOP) via hardware and [Sierra Nevada Corporation] Burma software modifications,” the RFI said, noting that responses are due by 17:00 EST on 30 May.
Originally developed to fulfil an urgent operational requirement in Afghanistan, the Harvest HAWK conversion programme equipped the KC-130J with a roll-on/roll-off, dual-screen, fire-control console mounted in a removable cargo platform in the aircraft’s cargo compartment, a Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control AN/AAQ-30 Target Sight Sensor mounted under the port-side wing fuel tank, and a Common Data Link. The aircraft’s weapons fit comprises four AGM-114P Hellfire II laser-guided, air-to-surface missiles mounted on the port-side refuelling pylon, and MBDA GBU-44/E Viper Strike and Raytheon Griffin A air-to-surface missiles launched from a ramp-mounted 10-round rack and a pressurised dispenser dubbed the ‘Derringer Door’. A sideways-firing Mk 44 30 mm cannon has been deferred to a later Block III upgrade set to be implemented from fiscal year 2023.
The US Marine Corps (USMC) is looking to upgrade the Harvest Hercules Airborne Weapons Kit (HAWK) mi...