November 19, 2020 (by Stephanie Stinn) - French and German C-130J Super Hercules aircrews and maintainers will train in a facility located in France, built and equipped by Lockheed Martin for the countries’ binational C-130J Super Hercules Squadron.
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]
Lockheed Martin will provide training devices, the learning management system, courseware, and options for five years of training services under the terms of a new direct commercial sale (DCS) contract, allowing for in-country learning.
Lockheed Martin will break ground on the training center in 2021 and aircrew and maintainers will begin training in the center in 2024.
The training center will be located in Évreux-Fauville Air Base in the Normandy region of France and will provide training for both C-130J-30 airlifter and KC-130J tanker aircraft under a first-of-its-kind partnership in the entire scope of 65 years of Hercules history where the countries share the aircraft, which are used for aerial refueling, airdrop and cargo missions.
"The French/German C-130J Binational Training Center will allow both countries to train pilots and maintainers on the full capability of these proven aircraft," said Tom Gordon, Lockheed Martin, vice president of Training and Simulation Solutions. "Lockheed Martin is honored to support this historic partnership and proud to work directly with our customers in establishing a first-of-its-kind resource that will benefit Super Hercules crew members for decades to come."
The French and German binational squadron consists of a combined 10 Super Hercules aircraft. In 2018, Germany announced the acquisition of six Super Hercules aircraft (three C-130J-30s and three KC-130J fleets) to be operated in partnership with France. France has received a total of four Super Hercules aircraft through a Foreign Military Sale with the U.S. government. France’s Super Hercules are operated in conjunction with its existing C-130H fleet.
Lockheed Martin is the leading global provider of C-130J training and has experience creating
"turn-key" training facilities for the aircraft. Lockheed Martin’s own Hercules Training Center (HTC) is located in Marietta, Georgia, adjacent to the Super Hercules production line. The HTC is a combined academic and simulator facility purpose-built for training efficiency on the C-130J fleet. The HTC trains C-130J crews as needed and will be used to train France and Germany’s initial instructor cadre of pilots and maintainers during the construction of the new facility.
The C-130J Super Hercules is the current production model of the legendary C-130 Hercules mid-size tactical airlifter, offering superior performance and enhanced capabilities with the range and versatility for every theater of operations and evolving requirements. To date, the Super Hercules fleet counts 24 operators in 21 nations around the world and has surpassed 2 million flight hours.