Lockheed to Sell Special-Ops C-130s to Civilians

Lockheed to Sell Special-Ops C-130s to Civilians

Lockheed Martin is planning to offer a civilian version of the C-130J Super Hercules, an aircraft designed for Special Operations Command.

The LM-100J will be marketed as a civil, multi-purpose air freighter capable of rapid and efficient transport of cargo worldwide, Lockheed officials said in a Feb. 3 press release.

Lockheed produced a commercial variant of the first-generation C-130, the L-100, but only 100 were built between 1964 and 1992.

“The LM-100J is a natural expansion of the Super Hercules family. It is a modern answer to the existing, multi-tasked L-100 airlift fleet which, true to Hercules form, is a workhorse that has been a critical cargo asset for 40 years,” George Shultz, vice president and general manager, C-130 Programs, said in the release. “Our customers and legacy L-100 operators tell us that the best replacement for an L-100 is an advanced version of the same aircraft. The LM-100J is that aircraft.”

Lockheed officials submitted a Program Notification Letter to the Federal Aviation Administration on Jan. 21 for a type design update of the civil-certified variant of the proven C-130J, which will be marketed as the LM-100J.

It’s based on the operational C-130J, so it can operate from short, unprepared airfields without ground support equipment, Lockheed officials maintain. It requires minimal material handling equipment and enables rapid onload and offload at truck-bed height. Growth provisions built into the LM-100J will enable it to support a variety of future missions including aerial spray, aerial firefighting and delivery, medevac/air ambulance, humanitarian aid and VIP transport, according to the release.

The LM-100J incorporates technological developments and improvements over the existing L-100s at a competitive price that results from years of C-130J operational experience, including more than 1 million fleet-wide flight hours, Lockheed officials maintain.

“With the LM-100J, we are leveraging the proven technology and capabilities of the C-130J Super Hercules to offer a modern, flexible commercial aircraft that is ready to deliver freight and support critical civilian missions — anywhere, anytime,” said Jack Crisler, vice president for business development for Air Mobility, Special Operations and Maritime Programs at Lockheed.

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Don’t see a lot of interested buyers coming out for this one. Versus the numerous aircraft from airliners that went bust?

Wonder if a C-130 could be outfitted for ASW duty…

Usually, commercial guys like oil crews want the old stuff because they don’t want to pay new prices. So, the let-me-do-your-marketing Pentagon should just sell its used C-130’s and buy new replacements.

Didn’t the government give our excess C-130 to the Coast Guard or the Forest Service?

Drake1, I think you may be talking about the c-27’s that were repurposed to the coast guard and forest service after the air force decided they didn’t want the aircraft anymore

He’s thinking of the fire tanker scandal of the ‘80s in which C-130A’s were exchanged for aircraft in very very terrible condition.

The LM-100J is a derivative of a C-130J-30 Super Hercules, which to my knowledge is not used in any US Special Operations squadrons.
Oddly, no other article reporting LockMart’s filing for civilian certification of the LM-100J suggests this airframe is derived from a special operations application aircraft.

OK, stupid question here.…Are these NEW C-130’s, or are these being rescued from the bone yard.…????.…
And yes, “blight_”, I covered this in another comment.…
The C-130 is excellent for 21st Century U.S. Navy ASW.…Just drop the rear ramp, and roll the depth charges right out the back.….
Add the MAD boom the P-3 DOESN’T have, some magnetic anvils, and she’ll sink diesel-electric boats, too.…

The P-3 doesn’t have a magnetic anomaly detector?
I think that would be news the the US Navy, not to mention the numerous other countries operating the airplane.

Alright Mr. Cox buy one and take me flying at least once every two weeks LOL.

I’m sure he meant P-8.

So, how much for an AC-130 model? You never know when the UPS might need to express deliver some pain on somebody.

This is fairly recent stuff. http://​www​.aviationweek​.com/​A​r​t​i​c​l​e​.​a​s​p​x​?​i​d​=​/​a​rti

How about for a replacement of Air Force One (lol)?


It’s not derived from the special ops aircraft, a civilian version of the C-130J-30 to replace the L-100 that commercial customers have now and requested.

No the Air Force is actually taking 7 C-130’s from the Coast Guard to give to the Forest Service which will leave the USCG with a very small number of 130’s, not enough to do thew mission.

The C-130Hs the Coast Guard is passing on were already scheduled to be replaced with new HC-144s. The C-27Js being received will take the place of planned HC-144 purchases and actually allow the USCG to replace aged aircraft faster

Some of the applications mentioned in the article seem a bit dubious:

Aerial spray — this is listed separately from aerial firefighting, so I’m assuming they mean crop spray. Isn’t the C-130 a little large and expensive to operate for that application?

VIP transport — most countries (depending on their size/wealth) seem to prefer airliner or corporate jet airframes for this application. I realize that sometimes VIPs get flown in miltary aircraft when shuttling around austere locations (e.g., SecDef or VP flying within CENTCOM AOR sometimes take C-17), but when that happens it’s a regular military aircraft that’s flying them. Is a country really going to buy a LM-100J for the minority of times when a civilian airframe won’t do?

Thank-you. —> “blight_” is correct, as usual. Yes, the P-3 Orion DOES have a MAD boom tail, but the P-8 does not. I really DID know what I was talking about, at least enough to fake it, just like the REST of us hacks on here. So, sorry, my mistake.
What’s really scary are N.Koreas’ new pre-stressed, non-ferrous carbon fiber nanotube glass-fiber composite panel constructed submarines. They’re invisible to MAD booms.….

As an alternative to the P-8, though obviously too late now.

The planning to replace Air Force One has been underway for some time already.

The C-130J wasn’t designed specifically for Special Ops — they just happen to be one of the customers — and only then after a number of very expensive enhancements are made.

The C-130J is just the latest version of a a very successful, and incredibly well designed transport thats been in service for almost 50 years.

How useful really is the C-130 (any model) as a forest firefighting aircraft? Is it manageable flying low? Looking for info. Thanks.

The VIP version will probably be outfitted with a nice lounge, comfy chairs, disco ball and a bar… might even have special rooms for those VIP ventures…


Will there be a UAV Version of the c130 civilian?

I’m waiting for the news that Homeland Security is acquiring a fleet of AC-130H Spectre gunships for crowd control.

Maintaining and cost of operating the older Legacy aircraft as well as the manpower to maintain the legacy aircraft is what make the new C130J attractive.

What are the alternatives to getting a shiny new C-130? Cargo Boeings? Not sure the “old stuff” market segment is still heavily dominated by old Skytrains and Flying Boxcars, which should’ve died by now…

The VIP Saudi A-380 is pretty nice.

Indeed, I’m waiting for a Presidential Airship that floats on helium augmented by hot air. Indeed, the hot air generated in DC is big enough to float Congress too.

That said, airships would have excellent loiter times. Can’t exactly outrun an air-to-air missile in a 747 to begin with.

Maybe. Isn’t there a stealth version? The NO-C-130?.…

I figure the narco subs are also made of fiberglass, they get picked up just fine. There’s a finite amount of materials to make engines out of, and most of them are ferromagnetic.

If the MAD can pick up the motor on a narco-sub we should be fine. It’s just like Glock and “plastic guns”: still enough metal in it to trigger a metal detector.

Aerial spray: Defoliating Afghan opium fields?

VIP transport: You are correct. Bombardier and Gulfstream or a C-130? Easy choice. And the truly rich VIPs will go to Boeing or Airbus. Not sure why Lockheed is trying to go all civilian…

There’s a really cool video, –easy to find — of an older model C-130, doing fire-fighting, where both wings break right off.…
Of course, the fact that several people were killed isn’t cool at all.…

Er„,that would be for crowd “protection”.

Depth charges? This isn’t the 1950’s any more. Conventional depth charges have not been in the arsenal for decades now. Even propeller aircraft move too quickly to be able to adequately target conventional depth charges. This is why air dropped weapons are just about always torpedoes which will guide to the target once dropped.

Same thing I was thinking. No VIP in their right mind would fly in a herc.…

The. C-130 was a great firefighting platform, until the wings came off due to a design defiency that covered up potential problems.

Still leaves the question of why the C-130? I don’t recall issues with the P-8 having to do with the airframe, but rather the mission systems, which would have come up regardless of what airframe was being used for the new aircraft. I suppose they could have just taken the latest P-3 outfit and installed it in a C-130 or 737 or why not even an Airbus, is that what you’re proposing?

There were a considerable number of L-100s (civil variant of earlier C-130 models) sold to air carriers, so I think this is the niche they anticipate the new aircraft will replace those.
The benefit of the design is the rear loading feature is more ideal than conveyor-assisted side loading cargo aircraft variants of DC-10/MD-11, 737, etc…

I recall my OIF deployment in 2009, there were just as many leased civilian-contract airlifters bringing in cargo as there was US military USAF C-130s, C-17s, and fewer C-5s. We saw more leased Il-76s land US military logistics than we saw C-5s.
Sad really, that the USAF was that hard-pressed to provide adequate logistics support.
Can’t imagine a fullscale multi-country (more than 2) military situation where the USAF would be tasked to support 4 services worldwide at a much higher tempo than we’ve seen in the last decade.

Problem still, even the civil Hercules is limited to the 20-ton payload range: heavier vehicles and cargo will still then need C-17s, C-5s, and leased Russian birds to fly it in.

Considering how much money is spent on contracts to civilian air carriers to fly cargo in because the USAF just doesn’t have the resources to provide adequate air transport for the military as a whole worldwide, how can they have the audacity to say they had “excess” C-130s?

Seems like, if the USAF has issues providing adequate intra-theater and global support, maybe it’s time to demilitarize the air transport away from the USAF altogether and just create a large primarily-civilian commerical service, akin to Sealift Command and the Merchant Marine.

Depth charges off the back ramp?
Today’s airborne maritime ASW mission is sonobuoys and parachute-slowed-descent homing torpedoes.
They don’t just roll stuff off a ramp: the sensors and weapons need datalinks thru pylons or launch chutes.
This isn’t WW2 anymore where a Civil Air Patrol aircraft can drop a dumb bomb to scare off an enemy submarine.

Some aerial fire services do use C-130s configured to drop water and retardant.
Even larger aircraft are used.

Piss on a scrub administrator for deleting that.
What’s so offensive about trying to mention that C-130s and larger aircraft are used as water bombers, dropping water and/or fire retardant as the mission dictates.

An image search for water bombers will show up aircraft like the C-130, the DC-10/MD-11, Russian Albatros, even that massive Martin Mars.

You mean Immigration and counter-drug operations?

.…I’m sorry, “d. kellogg”.…
.…obviously, I put WAY too much BAIT on that troll-hook.…
My bad.

Aerial Spray via the C-130 Modular Aerial Spray System (MASS) is used, mostly, to kill mosquitoes, bitin midges, and filth flies, but can be used to kill other pests as well or eradicated weeds (typically on a bombing range). The C-130 can cover a larger area than any of the current commercial contractor aircraft. The MASS was also used to disperse oil during the DEEP WATER HORIZON oil spill. Airborne firefighting can also be be conducted by the C-130. Air National Guard C-130s use the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS). Three of the wings (NC, CO, and WY) use the C-130H, but California uses the C-130J. Both the MAFFS and MASS are roll on roll off packages. However, there are a few minor modificactions to the aircraft.

The C-130J-30 is not used in special ops squadrons. The correct version is the C-130J-100. (AKA a short version of the –30) It is than modified to be either the HC-130J or the MC-130J. The LM-100J is a direct dirivative from the AF Special Ops aircraft

Trust me, after many years as a C130 pilot, the aircraft has a proven record as an aerial fire fighter. This includes civilian ops as well as on-going Air Force ops. The latter by a Reserve unit which performs the mission as an addition to their regular missions. The equipment is modular and loaded as any other cargo when required. The civilian operators typically operate much older models which may not be up to latest maintenance and mod requirements. The operation in fore fighting role is much like the traditional low level military operation. This of course requires increased maintenance due to loads and stresses of low level flight.


C-130J (current variant) are sold to many nations as VIP aircraft. A lot of countries aren’t blessed with nice airports and prepared runways like we are so the Herc is a great option for them. There is even a palletized VIP module that can come out of the aircraft if it needs to be used for other purposes.

I agree — Not the best question. You didn’t read the article, did you?
As the article says, these will to be a civilian version of the NEW C-130J’s — The civilian version of the old Hercules was the LM-100 which was made from 1964 to 1992
They are brand new planes and they will only build as many of them as they can sell

Try looking up MAFFS, it is a system that rolls into the back of C-130s and has been operational since 1976. It is flown by the 146th Airlift Wing of the CA ANG, 145th Airlift Wing of the NC ANG, 153rd Airlift Wing of the WY ANG and the 302nd Airlift Wing of the Reserves out of Peterson AFB, CO.

The wings folded up not because of a design flaw but from years of stress to the airframe. It was an old A model which is the first version of the C-130.
This brought to light several newer versions being grounded forever due to stress cracks in the wing box.

A C-130J with a loadable VIP Module would be a great saving in cost to the tax payer. Support vehicles could
be hauled without having to use multiple aircraft. Air Force One requires a 4 engine aircraft and the C-130
would fit the requirement. Presently airline aircraft are two engine for fuel economy, but the President needs
to economize with the rest of us.

Monolithic​.com is the Website of my friend
David South in Italy, TX given to the monolithic dome designed by Buckminster Fuller in the 70’s when he lectured at SMU
In Dallas, TX. where I was a graduate student.


Delta Air Lines had one many years ago. They used it for their engine change crew. The crew would roll their tools in along with the engine, then fly to wherever the aircraft was with the engine that needed to be changed.

Balter, We modified the early model 130’s for aerial spray at Rickenbacker AFB Ohio, they were used primarily for insect control such as after a hurricane for mosquito control, out west during the grasshopper infestation, etc. They have since expanded the capabilities I’m sure. They actually were much more efficient for pest control than light aircraft.

More supplies to the drug cartels.… Are you going to furlough loadmasters and rigging crews as well?

I really liked the magnetic anvils.

The Airforce took 8 of the C130J’s from the best and most experienced unit (135th Tactical Airlift Squadron — Baltimore’s Best) to ever fly the aircraft only to replace them with the C27J. Now that unit has been “De-Activated” and flies nothing. Sorry, I’m a little disgruntled. Lol. As a former member, I can say without one flash of doubt that that aircraft was a damn workhorse! I know it can fill many useful tasks in the civilian industry.

i want one

Would be a great add for the Civil Reserve Air Fleet .… http://​www​.amc​.af​.mil/​l​i​b​r​a​r​y​/​f​a​c​t​s​h​e​e​t​s​/​f​a​c​t​s​hee

D. Kellog, your view from the fox hole is skewed. For one, there is more C-5 airlift capability in the reserves and guard than on the active duty side. You won’t see all of that capability brought to bear unless the entire fleets are mobilized. C-130’s are a similar story, C-17’s are headed that way, and more than half of your aerial refueling is also in the guards and reserves. If you saw guard or reserve birds in theater, they were most likely doing their monthly duty requirements.

Two, the CRAF agreement. In exchange for guaranteed business during peace time, civilian carriers agree to make portions of their fleets available to the military during war time if the agreement is invoked. That guaranteed business is nearly a billion dollars a year.

In summary? You only saw a slice of the mobility capability in the air force, because OIF/OEF is not all that has been supported. You will see a lot of civilian airliners flying military missions because of the guaranteed business. Airlift is a precious commodity, but it’s not as scarce as you may have thought.

Congress often forces to buy more aircraft than the force structure can support. More aircraft than crews and maintenance can possibly support/operate = excess airframes. Congress forcing the Air Force to buy more C-17’s is why a few C5 and C130 units had their iron retired (before end of serviceable life) and converted to C-17’s.

The Air Force does have the civilian reserve airlift fleet… but that still operates on a pay basis.

L100J’s would be an ideal aircraft for airlines operating on a continent like Africa.

This is an excellent aircraft made famous for Special Operations missions by the Israelis in their raid on Entebbe Uganda, to free mostly Jewish hostages on a airliner hijacked by Palestinian Terrorists in 1976. This could not have been done without the C-130. As for spraying this would be government aerial spraying of huge areas to kill of any insect pest that is a general danger to a forest or other areas including oil spills.

Give him a fricken Hot Air Ballon with a hole in it!!! He only gives us hot air /bull
shit anyway!!!

Remember seeing it many a time, flying out of ATL in the 60’s. I was fresh out of school working at Lockheed (GELAC) on the C-5 project. Lockheed also had planned a commercial version of the C-5, L-500, (that one never made it).

Exactly.…not sure why this poorly informed author thinks the C-130J was designed for Special Ops…Wrongo…that’s just a mod!

You obviously have no knowledge of what it takes to move the POTUS around…one measly C-130 won’t cut it and doesn’t have the legs to make long distances unrefueled.

Not really the CRAF needs big planes with long legs this is neither.

Yes, but it’s too expensive for them to maintain and they’d have to import the talent on top of it.

I was in Alaska during the winters of 1955–56 with the 433ed Ftr Intercepter Sqdn at what was then Ladd AFB. The 130A’s were undergoing Cold Weather tests which included Ski’s. The old three bladed prop’ worked well, even then. Temps were normally –60 f at that time.

Not sure whom you mean by them. Legit airlines on Africa operate various jet freighters that have higher flight hour costs (that includes maintenance costs) that have similar but shorter ranges than the C130J, and carry less cargo. Besides, if an airline is buying a $60+ million aircraft, I’m certain they’ll include some training from Lockheed.

Its the perfect aircraft for that continent, perhaps even south america, but the price might put it out of reach.

“D. Kellog, your view from the fox hole is skewed…”

I was flightline support nearly every day for almost 8 months nonstop.
Leased Candids flew in far more often than C-5s, almost as often as C-17s.
Even saw the occasional Cub (An-12, Russian C-130 equiv.).
There were weeks even DHL (only commercial carrier that flew into hot zones) made more trips in and out in commercial aircraft than we saw C-5s.

Just because where I was doesn’t fit with your view of how you think things are, how dare you tell someone that was there that they didn’t see what was actually there.
More loads were left sitting delayed on the flightline because USAF didn’t or couldn’t stick to schedule and move it in a timely fashion, ending up loaded into leased air or even pallets broken down into Chinook payloads for intra-theater.
Can’t even spare a C-130; it’s why Army wanted its Sherpa replacement for LOCALIZED (intra-theater) support.
Change the flavor of your Air Force Kool Aid.

tHANKS, hANK, eye sea what yew mean.….
cAPS lOCK, mUCH, dO yA?.…
What model c-!#) did you fly?

Thanks, “Retired ANG”, let me take your “test”:
Without looking it up, my semi-educated guess is that “MAFFS” is “Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System”.…
Well, I was pretty close, wasn’t I?.…

Thanks, “Crew Chief”, for the experts’ perspective.
I was also thinking, regarding THAT incident, that in a forest-fire-fighting situation, you’re gonna encounter VERY strong Updrafts, while trying to fly LOW.
Those 2 sets of extreme counter-stresses were the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Or in this case, snapped the wings off a C-130.
I prefer MORE lessons, and FEWER casualties.
One lesson being, yes, we DO need to keep the assembly lines open, building NEW planes, etc…
Keeps more folks EMPLOYED, too.…

Market this ACs to Asian countries like Vietnam and the Philippines with a huge discount so they can quickly counter the Chinese threat. Throw in a few ship killing missiles so they can be quickly installed on board…

Lockheed announce yet another failed plan to sell overpriced aircraft on the open market.

First of all the headline was to get people to read the article. The aircraft will not carry many items not required for civil use. This should include secure communications equipment, formation lighting, NVG lighting, and inflight refueling capability not fitted. Not to mention equipment and weapons specific for the AC/HC/MC versions. Since 100 L-100’s were fabricated then there should be a market for approximately 100 aircraft as replacements. Used C-130’s have drawbacks as they require more maintenance and higher operating cost. Plus IF an aircraft is to be used in low level work used aircraft may be banned by the US Forrest Service due to inflight airframe failures. So used aircraft for these uses have to be certain models. New airframes should not have the same restrictions. Also the US Air Force is retiring aircraft due to airframes running out of time. While they can be refurbished to give more time, it cost money to do so and cost are increasing. Hence, buying new C-130J’s instead of refurbishing older aircraft. As far as aircraft performance for aerial spraying, aerial fire fighting, and short field performance goes the C-130J/C-130J-30 has already proven low level and short field capabilities. Business’s need to look at the long term cost of the aircraft, not short term. Please remember the article talks about civil use of the aircraft, any discussion of military applications is inappropriate and should be discussed elsewhere.

When an aircraft is developed on a US government contract, does the government get a cut of the profit from subsequent private sales of the resulting product?

The C130 was an excellent aircraft for spraying Agent Orange in Vietnam and delivering supplies to Antarctica.
Firefighting variants are used here in CA. In one case with tragic results. The wings ripped off during a fire run.
I don’t see much of a commercial market outside of undeveloped runways in AK, CAN, Africa and So Am. Maybe it will replace the DC3/C47’s that still operate in those regions.

D Kellog, you misunderstand. I am not disputing what you saw.… I know for a fact you saw it. I am trying to better explain why you saw it that way, and help you form a better conclusion. There were certainly, and still is more movement requirements than there is airlift capacity, or throughput capabilities at the aerial ports. Thats just the nature of the business. You didn’t see tons of commercial aircraft because the Air Force CANT support the military, you saw it because a large portion of the capability is unmobilized in the reserves and guard. Cheaper to buy commercial aircraft than to mobilize the military. Also CRAF.… the civilian side gets sooo much guranteed DOD business anywho. You saw what you saw.… just not why you think you saw it.

For those who have the money to buy the aircraft in the first place, I think it’s going to be the increased power and modern avionics that will sell the J model. Otherwise it would just be cheaper to recondition a used plane.

I believe the Youngstown, Ohio Air Reserve is the only unit in the country with spray conversions for the 130.
They fly all over for mosquito and pest control.

The MAFFs are used every year in the US. It has been flown in Calif on fires twice in the last two years in Colorado. They can place more retardant on a fire, with the exception of the DC10, than most of the civilian aircraft. The spray birds use to spray for bugs

It could be outfitted for ASW duty buy again “why” the airframe is actually too big for the mission, the pP-3 is still the best at what it does. The P-8 is way to Fast (And low loiter time) for the mission, it is not the mission systems but the airframe that makes the ASW mission. And Yes Commercial operators really want and need a cargo airplane that is cost effective. The LM-100J may be slower than a jet but that would be nominal and it woul dbe faster turnaround on the ground. Plus the cargo load would be higher. Don’t for get the LM-100J would also be able to move vehicles and rolling stock much faster and easier than a traditional Jet cargo plane.

That 55 years.… And the C-130J (and now LM-100J) Is a very successful airplane. Well proven and Liked by its operators.

More L-100’s operate in Africa the C-130’s.….

“The P-8 is way to Fast (And low loiter time) for the mission, it is not the mission systems but the airframe that makes the ASW mission.”

Do you think they have people looking out the windows trying to spot the submarine under the water? For the ASW mission the mission system is far more important to finding submarines than the airframe it is installed on. The belief that flying slower somehow improves ASW mission performance makes no sense to me and also ignores the fact that the US Navy’s Maritime Patrol Aircraft spend very little of their time doing ASW anyway and much more of it on other missions.

No, but the government benefits from the sales indirectly. Keeping the arms manufacturers healthy in theory drives down costs for the government

Nope. They gave the c-27s to the Coast Guard and US Forest Service.

It is not the aircraft — it is the SOF team inside that makes a C-130 special ops.

Lockheed can sell all they want. They are charging way too much for these anyhow. Only the Sultan can afford one now.

Which is probably why the P-8 doesn’t ship with the MAD (and weight requirements, among other things).

Pretty sure the author used the SOC reference to attract readers. It is not a super informative article to begin with, just some business dev from Lockheed. Noteworthy, but not news-worthy.

It was designed in Burbank at the Lockheed Skunk Works built in Marietta, GA.

Any idea how much these babies will cost?

does anyone knows were to get the operating cost of the civilian L-100?

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