September 19, 2019 (by Stephanie Stinn) - Lockheed Martin delivered the first of two KC-130J Super Hercules aerial refuelers to representatives from France’s Armée de l'Air's 62st Transport Wing at Orléans-Bricy Air Base on September 19th.
The first KC-130J for France’s Armée de l'Air's 62st Transport Wing takes off from the Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta, Georgia. [Lockheed Martin photo by Todd R. McQueen]
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 with the U.S. government. The two C-130J-30 airlifters were delivered in 2017 and 2018, and a second KC-130J will deliver 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 tactical airlifter 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 tremendous 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 this 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.