Lockheed Martin firefighting airtanker launched

July 18: Lockheed Martin at Farnborough International Airshow (FIAS), introduced the LM-100J “FireHerc,” a civil-certified firefighting airtanker variant of the proven C-130J Super Hercules that is the airlifter of choice for 18 nations around the world.

The LM-100J is the commercial freighter production model of the C-130J Super Hercules and an updated version of the legacy L-100 commercial Hercules freighter. The LM-100J is flying at and on static display at this year’s FIAS.

C-130s – legacy Hercules, Super Hercules and L-100s – have flown millions of hours in support of missions for military and civilian operators around the world for 60+ years, which includes supporting firefighting missions for more than 40 years. The LM-100J FireHerc builds on this proven experience and offers advanced capabilities to support aerial firefighting requirements for decades to come.

“With the presence of wildfires increasing on a global scale, there is a real-time need to provide more advanced assets to protect our people, communities and environment,” said George Shultz, Vice President and General Manager, Air Mobility & Maritime Missions at Lockheed Martin. “As a variant of the C-130J Super Hercules, the FireHerc delivers a powerful combination of established, performance advantages and innovative technology that will truly change the way we fight and defeat wildfires.”

The Hercules plays a vital role in firefighting by dispersing retardant to contain and control fires in locations with complex terrain and compromised operating conditions. The FireHerc’s straight-wing design and turboprop power plant allows it to excel in supporting this challenging low-level, low-speed firefighting mission profile like no other large airtanker in operation.

Additional FireHerc advantages include:
-Advanced flight deck avionics that provide outstanding situational awareness and modern safety features to protect and guide flight crews through challenging conditions.
-The ability to support two different retardant dispersion solutions: the gravity-drop based Coulson Aviation RADS Product Line or the pressure-type dispersal Modular Aerial Firefighting System II (MAFFS II). Both have been certified by the U.S. Forest Service on the Hercules platform to meet strict ground coverage standards.
-A path to support night firefighting with advanced integrated technology, allowing responders to combat fires on an unprecedented 24/7 cycle – providing an unmatched advantage against nature.