MC-130W Combat Spear
The MC-130W Combat Spear is based around the C-130H Hercules airframe. Combat Spears are Operated by USAF Special Operations Squadrons, specifically, the 73rd Special Operations Squadron, Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico.
The MC-130W program was initiated in order to replace MC-130E/H/P losses in the Global War On Terror.
MC-130W Combat Spear - Roles
USAF Special Ops use the MC-130W aircraft for the following roles:
- insertion, extraction and re supply of special operations forces by airdrop and by landing/takeoff
- air-to-air refueling of helicopters and CV-22 Osprey aircraft
- specialized ordnance delivery
- psychological operations (leaflet drops)
MC-130W Combat Spear - Features
Combat Spears frequently fly at night, cloaked in darkness and so features night-vision-goggles-compatible interior and exterior lighting.
Combat Spears feature a fully integrated Global Positioning System and Inertial Navigation System, a AN/APN-241 Low Power Color weather/navigation Radar and a AN/AAQ-17infrared sensor.
The communications package on the MC-130W includes satellite and data burst capabilities.
A suite of radar and missile warning sensors, in addition to flare and chaff launchers provide defense against hostile weapons systems.
Combat Spears can receive fuel from other airborne tankers via its Universal Aerial Refueling Receptacle Slipway Installation. Mk 32B-902E refueling pods and their attached drogues allow the MC-130W to refuel special ops helicopters and CV-22 Ospreys.
All of the above features makes the MC-130w a far more capable aircraft than the C-130H it is based around. It is, however, less capable than its MC-130E / MC-130H cousins, due to a lack of terrain following radar. It has, however, had its tail section strengthened to permit fast low-level air drops. In terms of capability, the MC-130w fits somewhere between the MC-130E/H Combat Talon I/II and the MC-130P Combat Spear.
An armed variant of the Combat Spear, given the moniker, 'Dragon Spear' has recently been introduced to augment the ageing AC-130 Gunship fleet.
more info : MC-130W Dragon Spear
MC-130W Operational History
The MC-130W Combat Spear entered service with USAF Special Operations in June 2006
4 officers (pilot, copilot, two navigators)
3 enlisted (flight engineer, 2 loadmasters)
|Engines||4 Allison turboprop engines T56-A-15|
|Dimensions|| Length : 29.8 meters (E) / 30.4 meters (H)
Height : 11.7 meters
Wingspan : 40.4 meters
|Max Takeoff Weight||69,750 kilograms|
|Range||1,944 nm (without in-flight refueling)|
|Speed||300 mph (sea level)|
|Defensive systems||AN/ALE-27 chaff/flare dispensers|
|Avionics||AN/APN-241 Low Power Color weather/navigation Radar
AN/AAQ-17infrared detection set