Marine Corps KC-130J Harvest HAWK Plus reaches full operational capability

By Aidan Quigley / September 21, 2021 at 11:03 AM

The Marine Corps’ Harvest Hercules Airborne Weapons Kit Plus has reached full operational capability, the service announced Monday.

The 10th and final KC-130J to be updated with the Harvest HAWK Plus configuration was delivered to the Fleet Marine Forces on Aug. 26, the service announced.

The Harvest HAWK improvements were part of the service’s KC-130J Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR)/Weapons Mission Kit program that began in 2015.

“The program improved the existing Marine Corp KC-130J Harvest HAWK system by integrating the MX-20 electro-optical/infra-red multi-sensor imaging system and adding door mounted missile employment capability,” the service said in a press release.

Sierra Nevada Corp. modified the final four aircraft after Naval Air Systems Command modified the first six. Five of those aircraft were delivered to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport (VMGR) 352 in California, four went to VMGR-252 in North Carolina and one is remaining at VX-20 in Naval Air Station Patuxent River for future testing.

The first Harvest HAWK kit -- a package that allows KC-130J to perform gunship-like missions and traditional refueling and hauling tasks -- was first deployed in Afghanistan in 2010.