Military Aviation

ARMÉE DE L’AIR WELCOMES FIRST C-130J SUPER HERCULES

France will receive a total of four Super Hercules aircraft, two C-130J-30 combat delivery airlifters and two KC-130J aerial refuelers

On Jan. 15, 2018 Florence Parly, France’s minister of the Armed Forces, officially welcomed the country’s first C-130J Super Hercules aircraft to the Armée de l’Air‘s 62st Transport Wing with a ceremony at Orléans-Bricy Air Base.

According to a company news release France will receive 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, with deliveries taking place through 2019. The first of these aircraft (a C-130J-30 airlifter) was formally delivered to France in December 2017 at the Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta, Georgia, in the United States.

France first acquired C-130Hs in 1987 and its new C-130Js will be operated with its existing Hercules fleet.

“As a long-time Hercules operator, France has continuously demonstrated to the world the unmatched qualities and versatility found only in a C-130,” said George Shultz, vice president and general manager, Air Mobility & Maritime Missions at Lockheed Martin. “France’s new Super Hercules fleet delivers increased power, speed and capabilities to ensure that Armée de l’Air crews continue to meet — and exceed — mission requirements for decades to come.”

France is the 17th country to choose the C-130J for its airlift 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.

Designed and developed with mission flexibility in mind, the C-130J has a unique mix of agility and performance to complete any mission, anytime, anywhere.

The C-130J airframe has proven it’s reliable, efficient and highly operational in harsh environments and combat theaters like Iraq and Afghanistan. This rugged aircraft is often the first aircraft “in,” touching down on austere landing zones before any other transport to provide humanitarian relief after natural disasters. Among its missions, the C-130J also counts capabilities as diverse as special ops, aerial refueling, close air support, search and rescue and personal recovery.

Photo credit: Armée de l’Air

Gabriele Barison

Gabriele Barison is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Co-Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. He has flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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