October 21, 2013 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Lockheed Martin has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Government for the Foreign Military Sale of the first two of 25 potential C-130J Super Hercules airlifters for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Specifically, this contract action is for the purchase of two KC-130J refueling tankers.
Two KC-130J Hercules aircraft, assigned to VMGR-352, stagger themselves during a refueling training exercise off the coast of Southern California. The closest C-130J is #166765 [USMC photo by Lance Cpl. Kelly R. Chase]
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the 16th country to choose the proven C-130J Super Hercules to meet its airlift needs. The C-130J is the standard by which all other airlift is measured in terms of availability, flexibility and reliability. C-130Js currently are deployed in two combat theaters where they operate at a very high tempo efficiently and reliably.
Last November, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Saudi FMS purchase of 20 C-130J cargo planes and five KC-130Js. That combined package, which included the two KC-130J sales announced last week, was estimated at $6.7 billion for the planes, engines and support.
Based on the C-130 airframe, the KC-130J carries more than 12,000 gallons of fuel. Primarily used by the US Marine Corps, it is capable of refueling two planes in the air at once.
Recently, the C-130J worldwide fleet surpassed 1 million flight hours, which were logged beginning with the C-130J’s first flight on April 5, 1996 through April 30, 2013.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has requested a possible sale of 20 C-130J-30 Aircraft, 5 KC-130J Air Refueling Aircraft, 120 Rolls Royce AE2100D3 Engines (100 installed and 20 spares), 25 Link-16 Multifunctional Information Distribution Systems, support equipment, spare and repair parts, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical data, U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance, and other related logistics support. The total estimated cost is $6.7 billion.