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First C-130J Super Hercules 'Shimshon' arrives In Israel

April 9, 2014 (by Stephanie Stinn) - Israel's first Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules airlifter #661 arrived at Nevatim Air Base on April 9, 2014. Along with senior Israeli officials, Chairman, President and CEO Marillyn Hewson attended the ceremony and made remarks.

New Israeli C-130J-30 #661 "Shimshon" lands in Israel on April 9, 2014. [Photo by Amit Agronov]

Israel ordered its C-130Js through a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) contract with the U.S. Government. This is the first ferry of the C-130Js currently on order for the IAF, which has operated legacy C-130s since 1971.

In non-combat — but equally harsh environments — C-130Js are often the first to support humanitarian missions such as search and rescue, aerial firefighting in the U.S., and delivering relief supplies after earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons and tsunamis around the world.

This C-130J Super Hercules was first delivered to the Israeli Air Force (IAF) in June 2013 in Marietta, Ga., at the Lockheed Martin facility where it was manufactured. The aircraft remained in the U.S. to receive Israeli-specific, post-production modifications.

Remarks by Marillyn Hewson, as prepared for delivery, at the arrival ceremony:

I am delighted to be here today to commemorate the delivery of Israel’s first C-130J Super Hercules aircraft. I am especially honored to mark this occasion in the presence of so many brave and talented members of the Israeli Air Force. All of us at Lockheed Martin are proud to support the Israel Defense Force in its mission to protect and defend the State of Israel.

We feel privileged to bring you the world’s most advanced technology to meet the complex and dynamic security challenges of this region. And we are proud of our decades-long partnership.

Today, we mark the latest milestone in that important partnership. And we celebrate the long-time friendship between Israel and the United States of America.

This first C-130J represents a new generation of transport aircraft that will bring unique capabilities and superior performance. This aircraft is worthy of its given name.

Shimshon a leader whose power was thought to be as mighty as the sun. Shimshon used his power to combat the enemies of Israel and perform heroic feats. In the same way this aircraft will support the defense of Israel. And the men and women who are the heroes of the Israeli Defense Force.

The C-130 family has played a critical role in the Israeli Air Force for more than four decades. And this C-130J along with the additional aircraft scheduled to join the fleet in the coming years will ensure the continued strength and technological superiority of the IAF in this critical region of the world.

In honor of this historic occasion and on behalf of the 115,000 men and women of Lockheed Martin, I am proud to present a memento to commemorate this important milestone. These glass C-130J models were handcrafted by artisans.

They represent the precision and workmanship that our employees put into your aircraft. And the pride we take in supporting our friends and partners in Israel.

From all of us at Lockheed Martin please accept these as a sign of our commitment to you and the people of the Israel Defense Forces.

Today, we have had the pleasure of commemorating some of the critical missions and amazing accomplishments of Israel’s storied C-130 fleet. As this new generation of C-130Js join you here I am confident they will continue that legacy of service.

Courtesy of Lockheed Martin Corporation

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Israeli Air Force's first C-130J Super Hercules aircraft left the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics facility where it was built in Marietta, Ga., for Nevatim Air Base, Israel. This Super Hercules was welcomed to its new home on April 9, 2014, in Israel with an official welcome ceremony at the air base. [Lockheed Martin photo by Todd R. McQueen]