The French Air Force (Armée de l’Air: AdlA) officially inducted into service the first of four Lockheed Martin C/KC-130J Hercules transport aircraft on 15 January.
The transport variant C-130J-30 was handed over to the Transport Squadron 2/61 ‘Franche-Comté’ based at Air Base 123 Orléans-Bricy, some three weeks after it first arrived in-country in late December 2017.
With one further C-130J-30 and two KC-130J aerial refuellers set to be delivered by the end of 2019, the new Hercules aircraft will join the AdlA’s existing fleet of five C-130H and nine C-130H-30 aircraft. These legacy platforms are currently being upgraded with Flight2 avionics system by Rockwell Collins, Sabena Technics, and Lockheed Martin. The C/KC-130Js will also supplement France’s ageing Transall C-160s, and help offset delays to the Airbus Defence and Space A400M transport aircraft.
In 2017 France and Germany agreed details of the countries’ joint C-130J squadron.
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