Posted by John McHaleMARIETTA, Ga, 25 April 2011. The U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command's first MC-130J Combat Shadow II made its first flight near prime contractor Lockheed Martin's facility in Marietta, Ga. The aircraft is undergoing a series of flight tests prior to delivery to Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., this fall. The new aircraft is based on a KC-130J tanker baseline and will have the Enhanced Service Life Wing, Enhanced Cargo Handling System, a Universal Aerial Refueling Receptacle Slipway Installation (boom refueling receptacle), more powerful electrical generators, an electro-optical/infrared sensor, and a combat systems operator station on the flight deck. In-line production of this configuration reduced cost and risk, and fully supports the required 2012 Initial Operational Capability date. Lockheed Martin is contracted to build 15 MC 130Js to begin replacing the current aging fleet. The U.S. Air Force is authorized to acquire as many as 20 MC-130Js against an approved requirement for 37.