squadron is equipped with two or three Harvest HAWK
kits, to be three when fully fielded.
“Having additional aircraft modified to accept the
weapons kit provides flexibility and uninterrupted support to the MAGTF when maintenance-phase inspections and planned depot events occur,” Sconfietti said.
“The genesis of the KC-130J Harvest HAWK pro-
gram was in response to a 2008 Urgent Universal Need
Statement from Marine Corps forward-deployed forces,”
he said. “First deployed in 2010, the Harvest HAWK’s
success was measured not only in ordnance fired on
target, but in the extensive ground force Joint Tactical
Air Requests submitted and fulfilled for Harvest HAWK
on-station support. Complementing these planned MIR/
CAS [multi-imagery reconnaissance/close-air support]
requests, the Harvest HAWK’s ability for extended air-
borne endurance also provided ground forces the much
needed on-call CAS with troops in contact.”
As of Oct. 31, 2014, the KC-130 Harvest HAWK
had launched more than 300 standoff precision-guided
missiles with a 94 percent on-target rate among more
than 1,000 sorties and [more than] 6,000 flight hours
in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
“The combat lessons learned in Afghanistan, com-
bined with the experience of KC-130J aircrews fielding
the Harvest HAWK, have led to constructive feedback in
developing the Harvest HAWK upgrade plan,” he said.
“A modification to the 10 legacy Harvest HAWK-configured aircraft is in progress, with the Naval Air
Systems Command Tactical Airlift Program Office as
the lead systems integrator,” said a Harvest HAWK program official in an e-mail response.
The Harvest HAWK legacy system was a federated
solution, the HQMC official said, meaning that the components were not fully integrated as a mission suite. He
said the legacy system had a cumbersome operator station, lacked full-motion video, used an obsolete version
of the Hellfire missile and had reliability issues with the
Target Sight System, which also was hampered with a
limited view because of its location on the aircraft. The
legacy version also reduced the aerial refueling capacity
of the KC-130J, and required two days to install.
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG SEAPOWER / OCTOBER 2016
The Marine Corps’ Harvest HAWK-configured KC-130J Super Hercules aircraft include AGM-114 Hellfire missile launchers mounted on the left wing, launchers for AGM-176B Griffin and GBU- 44 Viper Strike precision-guided missiles in the
cargo bay and a wing-mounted AAS- 30 Target Sight System electro-optical/infrared sensor.