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France receives second and final KC-130J tanker-transport

07 February 2020
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The second of two KC-130Js and the last of four new Hercules for the French Air Force were handed over to service officials at the Marietta production facility in the United States on 4 February. Source: Lockheed Martin

France has received into service the second of two Lockheed Martin KC-130J tanker-transport aircraft as part of a wider Hercules procurement effort, the Directorate General of Armament (DGA) announced on 7 February.

The tanker variant of the C-130J transport aircraft was handed over to French officials at the Marietta production facility in Georgia on 4 February. The event came four months after the first KC-130J arrived at Orléans-Bricy Air Base in France in late September 2019.

Prior to receiving its two KC-130Js, France had earlier taken delivery of two 'stretched' transport C-130J-30 aircraft. All four aircraft are to be operated by 2/61 "Franche-Comté" 123 at Orléans-Bricy Air Base.

As previously noted by the DGA, the purchase of the four new Hercules is being expedited due to the high operational commitment in North Africa. The arrival of the first KC-130J enabled the air force to immediately undertake aerial refuelling of its Airbus Helicopter H225M Caracal rotorcraft, extending their reach across the Sahel-Sahara region. This was a capability that France had not previously possessed.

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