The U.S. Air Force has taken a U.S. Marine Corps idea for an “instant gunship” and developed an “instant reconnaissance aircraft” along the same lines. The “instant gunship” is known as “Harvest Hawk” and it’s a system that enables weapons and sensors to be quickly rolled into a C-130 transport and hooked up. This takes a few hours, and turns the C-130 into a gunship (similar in capabilities existing AC-130 gunships). The sensor package consists of day/night vidcams with magnification capability. The weapons currently consist of ten Griffin missiles and four Hellfires. These are lightweight missiles, so more can be carried.
The “instant reconnaissance aircraft” is known as “Senior Scout” and it quickly equips a C-130 with equipment that enables the transport to collect visual and electronic data from areas it flies over. On the larger C-130J, this leaves room for the aircraft to carry passengers and cargo as well as Senior Scout. This means that a C-130J that regularly makes trips between two bases, can just as regularly carry out surveillance on the ground below. The route the C-130J follows on these cargo runs can be modified a bit to suit intelligence needs on the ground.