Air Platforms

France inducts first C-130J airlifter

16 January 2018
The first Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules for France seen during its rollout out from the Marietta production line in Georgia in October 2017. Source: Lockheed Martin

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.

Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options at

(169 of 431 words)