February 7, 2020 (by Stephanie Stinn) - Lockheed Martin delivered the second of two KC-130J Super Hercules aerial refuelers to representatives from France’s Armée de l'Air on February 4, at the company’s Aeronautics facility in Marietta, Georgia.
French Air Force KC-130J #61-PR from ET 02.061 is seen taking to flight on November 26, 2019. [Lockheed Martin Photo by David Key]
France has received 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 first KC-130J delivered in September 2019. All of these Super Hercules are operated in conjunction with France’s existing C-130H fleet.
“France’s C-130 crews have long demonstrated the unmatched and proven performance of the Hercules aircraft in support of critical missions,” said Rod McLean, vice president and general manager, Air Mobility & Maritime Missions at Lockheed Martin. “This additional KC-130J expands the Armée de l‘Air’s already robust airlift and refuelling resources to not only serve as a national asset, but a global resource as well.”
France is the 17th country to choose the C-130J for its airlift and refuelling 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 theater 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 the first operator relationship of this type in C-130J history.