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Lockheed Martin MC-130J Amphibious Capability (MAC)

Tactical Transport Flying Boat Proposal

United States | 2027

"The Lockheed MC-130J Amphibious Capability is seen as a possible contender for a future SOCOM requirement."

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the MC-130J (MAC) Tactical Transport Flying Boat Proposal.
4 x Rolls-Royce AE2100D3 turboprop engines developing 4,637 horsepower each driving six-bladed propeller units.
407 mph
655 kph | 354 kts
Max Speed
27,887 ft
8,500 m | 5 miles
Service Ceiling
2,209 miles
3,555 km | 1,920 nm
Operational Range
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the MC-130J (MAC) Tactical Transport Flying Boat Proposal.
97.8 ft
29.80 m
O/A Length
132.5 ft
(40.40 m)
O/A Width
54.3 ft
(16.55 m)
O/A Height
78,044 lb
(35,400 kg)
Empty Weight
166,449 lb
(75,500 kg)
Notable series variants as part of the Lockheed Martin MC-130J Amphibious Capability (MAC) family line.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/11/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

The MC-130J Amphibious Capability (MAC) is a proposed United States Special Operations COMmand (SOCOM) variant of the ubiquitous Lockheed Martin C-130J "Super Hercules" transport. With the growing threat of China in the Pacific, and Russian incursions witnessed elsewhere, the need for an amphibian-minded platform has once-again come to the forefront of the special operating branch of the United States Armed Forces. An artist's concept was briefly showcased in a May 19th, 2021 presentation by SOCOM's Program Executive Officer for Fixed-Wing (PEO-FW).

The long-running Lockheed C-130 "Hercules", on which the evolved J-model is based in, has evolved considerably since its 1950s debut - eventually fully-modernized in the notable C-130J Super Hercules mark. Variants of the line include an entire subset of entries specifically developed for special forces use under the "MC-130" general designation; these include the MC-130E "Combat Talon" I, MC-130H "Combat Talon II", MC-130W "Combat Spear" / "Dragon Spear", MC-130P "Combat Shadow", and MC-130J "Commando II". A very-specialized model was used in the Iran Hostage Crisis operation "Credible Sport" as a YMC-130H.

In the MAC offering, an MC-130J "Commando II" model is showcased with twin floats added to the fuselage by way of support structure. Another alternative approach is a complete reworking of the lower fuselage to have a traditional "boat-like" form (as in a flying boat aircraft) for waterborne landings and take-offs. In either case, an amphibian quality is required so that the aircraft can land and take-off from both water sources as well as land-bases - the end-result is a platform capable of operating anywhere water sources allow, giving SOCOM operators considerable tactical flexibility for insertion/extraction. Considering the C-130s inherently good rough-field performance, the aircraft makes a good candidate for the conversion.

From time-to-time, Lockheed has been involved in amphibian / waterborne C-130 developments including a true flying boat offering in the 1960s intended for the United States Navy. This model retained much of the form-and-function of the C-130 with the exception of the hull redesign and floats added outboard of the outermost engine nacelles. The boat-like hull was to have a retractable, wheeled undercarriage for land-based actions. Another attempt by the company took place in the 1990s and involved a specially-modified C-130 with twin-floats intended for the United States Navy SEALs as a quick insertion/extraction solution. Neither proposal made it far.

The idea of an oversized floatplane / flying boat is not unheard of in today's military marketplace: both the Russians and Chinese, potential U.S. adversaries on any given day, have invested in the type. However, for the Americans, the investment in cost and development in bringing about a very-specialized variant of an aging line of aircraft may undo any potential benefit in pursuing such solutions as the MAC.

Beyond the MAC, other aviation-related items of note in the presentation were a high-speed Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) solution (tilt-rotor) as well as a "remote" gunship, also in the form of a C-130.

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Total Production: 0 Units

Contractor(s): Lockheed Martin - USA
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Image of the Lockheed Martin MC-130J Amphibious Capability (MAC)
Concept art image from official SOCOM presentation.

Developments of similar form-and-function, or related, to the Lockheed Martin MC-130J Amphibious Capability (MAC) Tactical Transport Flying Boat Proposal Specifications and Pictures.
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