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.

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.