June 26, 2013 (by Lieven Dewitte) - The State of Israel’s accepted its first C-130J Super Hercules airlifter during a ceremony today at the Lockheed Martin production facility here. This is first of three C-130Js currently on order for the Israeli Air Force (IAF), which has operated legacy C-130s since 1971.
Israel Receives First C-130J "Shimshon" #661 c/n #5723. Photo taken at Lockheed Martin's Marietta, Georgia plant. [LMTAS Photo by Andrew McMurtrie.]
The IAF has bestowed the nickname “Shimshon” on its C-130Js. Shimshon is Hebrew for Samson, who was a judge and leader for the people of Israel. Samson’s mother called him Shimshon, which is derived from the Hebrew word for sun, because she felt he was destined to be as bright and mighty as the sun and would deliver the Jewish people from their enemies.
Israel ordered its C-130Js through a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) contract with the U.S. Government. Upon delivery, this aircraft will move into a modification program and receive Israeli-unique systems. An in-country delivery for this C-130J is scheduled for spring 2014.
While Israel is the newest member of the C-130J worldwide operator family, this Super Hercules has the distinction of being one of 290 C-130Js that contributed to the worldwide fleet’s first
1 million flight hours. Shimshon’s test flight hours were included in this tally, which spans the C-130J’s first flight on April 5, 1996 through April 30, 2013.