The Marine Corps has its sights set on equipping the Harvest Hawk weapons kit on their entire KC-130J and MV-22 fleet. Harvest Hawk would give the remainder of the non-outfitted KC-130J’s, and all of the MV-22’s the ability to perform precision strikes with a variety of weapons. The kit also outfits both fleets with the Intrepid Tiger pod. The pod would provide some electronic warfare capabilities for self protection.
The Marine Corps intends to add improved sensors and precision-strike capability to its entire KC-130J Super Hercules tanker/transport plane and MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor fleets, applying the Harvest Hawk concept to make both aircraft more multi-mission, the deputy commandant of the Marine Corps for aviation told USNI News this week.
Lt. Gen. Jon Davis said the Marines’ next aviation plan would include upgrading all 79 C-130Js into Harvest Hawk-capable platforms. The Hercules Airborne Weapons Kit (HAWK) includes both modifications to the plane – the installation of a new MX-20 sensor ball with a laser designator on the nose of the plane, and the Intrepid Tiger electronic warfare pod – as well as a supply of Hellfire, Griffin and Viper Strike missiles for precision strike.
The Intrepid Tiger pod is already installed on the AV-8B Harriers and F/A-18 Hornets, and the Marine Corps intends to put the pod on the C-130Js, V-22s and H-1 attack helicopters.
Davis said the pod is a “great capability, gives us a jamming capability, an electronic warfare capability for not only [self]-protection but more importantly that people on the ground can manipulate and operate. It’s open architecture so they can control the weapon system from the ground.”
Davis said 10 C-130Js had already been modified with the initial Harvest Hawk kit and would receive the upgraded sensor ball, and the rest of the fleet would go through the full Harvest Hawk modifications under the Marines’ next aviation plan, which is being developed now.