The French Air Force (Armée de l’Air) took delivery of the second of two KC-130J Super Hercules aerial refuelers at Lockheed Martin’s facility in Marietta, Georgia on Feb. 4.
France ordered a total of four Lockheed Martin Super Hercules aircraft – two C-130J-30 combat delivery airlifters and two KC-130J aerial refuelers – through a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) deal with the U.S. government.
The first of these aircraft (a C-130J-30 airlifter) was formally delivered to France in December 2017. This aircraft was inducted in French Air Force’s 62nd Transport Wing with a ceremony at Orléans-Bricy Air Base on Jan. 15 next year. The second C-130J was delivered in 2018. The company delivered the first French KC-130J aerial refueler to 62st Transport Wing at Orléans-Bricy Air Base on Sept. 19 last year.
The delivery of the fourth Super Hercules aircraft concluded the French contract. All of these Super Hercules aircraft are being operated in conjunction with France’s existing C-130H Hercules 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 refueling 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 refueling 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 refueling 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 refueling.
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.
The C-130J Super Hercules is the global standard in tactical airlift, providing a unique mix of versatility and performance to complete any mission — anytime, anywhere. The Super Hercules worldwide fleet has more than 2 million flight hours and is the airlifter of choice for 20 nations.