French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly officially welcomed the Armee de l’Air’s first C-130J Super Hercules aircraft to the service’s 62st Transport Wing during a ceremony at Orléans-Bricy Air Base Jan. 15, according to a company news release.
France is acquiring four Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules aircraft through the Foreign Military Sales program with the U.S. government. The Armee de l’Air will receive two C-130J-30 airlifters and two KC-130J aerial refuelers under the deal, with deliveries taking place through 2019. The first aircraft – one of the C-130J-30 airlifters – was handed over to France in December 2017 at Lockheed Martin’s Marietta, Georgia, facility.
France is a long-time operator of the Hercules, having first acquired C-130Hs in 1987.
“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 now becomes the 17th country to acquire C-130Js for airlift duties.