Air Platforms

German Hercules buy approved

08 May 2018
A French C-130J-30 seen at the recent ILA Airshow in Berlin. France is to contribute four aircraft to a new joint air transport squadron, with Germany to contribute six. Source: IHS Markit/Gareth Jennings

The US government has approved the sale of six Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules aircraft for an estimated USD1.4 billion to Germany.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 4 May that the State Department has given the go-ahead for the potential sale of three C-130J-30 transport and three KC-130J aerial refuelling aircraft to the Luftwaffe, along with defensive aids and other equipment.

“The German Air Force will use these aircraft to conduct airlift, air refuelling, and air drop missions as part of a French-German allied squadron based in Evreux [in Normandy], France. This common air transport squadron will have unrestricted exchange of aircraft, air crews, and maintainers, as well as technical and logistical support based on a common pool of spare parts and a common service support contract,” the DSCA said in its approval notification, adding, “The [K]C-130Js will provide crucial air refuelling capability to German and French fighter and light transport aircraft, as well as helicopters. Germany requests these capabilities to provide for the support of its deployed troops, regional security, and interoperability with France and the United States.”

As noted by the DSCA, Germany is setting up a joint air transport squadron with France that is to around the C-130J. In January, the French Armée de l’Air inducted the first of the two C-130J-30s and two KC-130Js that it is contributing to the new unit. One more French C-130J-30 and the two KC-130Js will be delivered by the end of 2019, while deliveries of the German aircraft are expected to begin in 2021.

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