17 Jan 2018

French Minister welcomes first C-130J Super Hercules aircraft

The French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, has officially welcomed the country’s very first C-130J Super Hercules aircraft to the Armée de l’Air’s 62st Transport Wing.

Government officials from France and the United States of America attended a ceremony held at Orléans-Bricy Air Base on 15th January 2018 – alongside representatives from Lockheed Martin – to celebrate the milestone achievement.

France is expected to receive four Super Hercules aircraft in total – two C-130J-30 combat delivery airlifters and two KC-130J aerial refuelers – via a Foreign Military Sale with the US government. The remaining aircraft are to be delivered during 2019.

The first C-130J was formally delivered to France in December 2017, having been dispatched from a Lockheed Martin manufacturing plant in Marietta, Georgia.

France first acquired the C-130H in 1987 and the new C-130Js will be operated as part of the existing Hercules fleet.

“As a long-time Hercules operator, France has continuously demonstrated to the world the unmatched qualities and versatility found only in a C-130,” said George Shultz, Vice President and General Manager of Air Mobility & Maritime Missions at Lockheed Martin.

“France’s new Super Hercules fleet delivers increased power, speed and capabilities to ensure that Armée de l’Air crews continue to meet – and exceed – mission requirements for decades to come.”

To date, France is the 17th country to specify the C-130J for its airlift needs. It is one of the most advanced tactical airlifters in operation today, offering range and versatility for every theatre of operation.

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