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Ceremony for First French C-130J

Armée de l’Air’s took delivery of tactical airlifter

 

On 22 December 2017, the 2/61 “Franche-Comté” Transport Squadron, located on the BA-123 of Orléans-Bricy, took delivery of the first C-130J-30 aircraft, the stretched version of the C-130J Super HERCULES. For the story, please see here.

Florence Parly, France’s Minister of the Armed Forces, officially welcomed the country’s first C-130J Super HERCULES aircraft to the Armée de l’Air’s (French Air Force, AdA) 62st Transport Wing with a ceremony at Orléans-Bricy Air Base on 15 January. Government officials from France and the United States also attended the ceremony, along with representatives from Lockheed Martin.

France will receive a total of four Super HERCULES aircraft — two C-130J-30 combat delivery airlifters and two KC-130J aerial refuelers — through a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) with the US government, with deliveries taking place through 2019. The first of these aircraft (a C-130J-30 airlifter) was formally delivered to France in December 2017 at the Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta, GA/USA.

France first acquired C-130Hs in 1987 and its new C-130Js will be operated with its 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, Air Mobility & Maritime Missions at Lockheed Martin. “France’s new Super HERCULES fleet delivers increased power, speed and capabilities to ensure that AdA crews continue to meet — and exceed — mission requirements for decades to come.”

France is the 17th country to choose the C-130J for its airlift needs. The C-130J Super HERCULES is one of the most advanced tactical airlifters in operation today, offering great performance and enhanced capabilities with the range and versatility for every theatre of operations and evolving requirements. A second C-130J-30 will be delivered in 2018, while two KC-130Js with air-to-air refueling capability are expected in 2019 on the BA-123 at Orléans-Bricy. Their transfer to the BA 105 Evreux is, meanwhile, scheduled for 2021. When France’s four C-130Js move to Evreux air base in 2021, they will join six similar aircraft being procured by Germany, and all ten will be operated by a joint, binational squadron manned by personnel from both countries.

 

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Publish date

01/17/2018

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