KC-130J delivered to the 62nd Transport Wing.
Lockheed Martin delivered the first of two KC-130J Super Hercules aerial refuelling aircraft to personnel from France’s Armée de l’Air’s (French Air Force) 62nd Transport Wing at Orléans-Bricy Air Base.
France will receive a total of four Super Hercules aircraft — two C-130J-30 combat delivery air-lifters and two KC-130J aerial refuelling aircraft via a Foreign Military Sale with the U.S. government.
The two C-130J-30 air-lifters were delivered in 2017 and 2018, and a second KC-130J will be delivered in 2020. All of these Super Hercules are operated in conjunction with France’s existing C-130H fleet.
“The KC-130J provides Armée de l’Air crews with a proven solution that delivers much-needed fuel in any environment, at any time,” said Rod McLean, vice president and general manager, Air Mobility & Maritime Missions at Lockheed Martin.
“In choosing to operate both the C-130J-30 and the KC-130J, France has built a diverse airlift fleet that expands both the capabilities and global reach of the French Armed Forces.”
France is the 17th country to choose the C-130J for its airlift needs.
The C-130J Super Hercules is the most advanced medium tactical air-lifter aircraft type in operation today. Offering superior performance and enhanced capabilities with the range and versatility for every theatre of operations and evolving requirements.
As the preeminent tactical aerial refuelling tanker, the KC-130J is a battle-tested solution that takes full advantage of the technological and performance improvements inherent in the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft.
A true force multiplier, the KC-130J refuels both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft as well as conducts rapid ground refuelling.
With the delivery, France joins a global community of KC-130J operators.
In 2018, Germany announced the acquisition of a C-130J-30/KC-130J fleet, to be operated in partnership with France — making this first such operator relationship in C-130J history.
In Australia the C-130J-30 aircraft have just celebrated their 20th year of operations with the Royal Australian Air Forces 37 squadron, and have transitioned from a strategic air-lifter to a robust and capable tactical air-lift transport.
The evolution of the RAAF Hercules has been evident from the C-130A right through to todays J series, with the RAAF J-model fleet now on par with the United States Air Force MC-130J, and is expected to remain in service until around 2035.