Lockheed Martin
C-130J Super Hercules

Armée de l’Air Adds Super Hercules to Fleet

Feb. 19, 2020
The French fleet of KC-130J Super Hercules tactical aircraft continues to grow with the addition of a versatile aerial refueler.

Representatives from France’s Armée de l’Air received the second of two C-130J Super Hercules aerial refuelers from Lockheed Martin earlier this month as part of a foreign military sale with the U.S. government. The sale has included a total of four Super Hercules aircraft: two C-130J-30 combat delivery airlifters and this second of two KC-130J aerial refuelers. The refueler was transferred to the French representatives at Lockheed Martin’s aeronautics facility in Marietta, Ga. The C-130J-30 Super Hercules airlifters were delivered in 2017 and 2018 while the first of the refuelers was delivered in late 2019. The tactical aircraft are operated with an existing French C-130H Super Hercules fleet.

In specifying the versatile aircraft, France is the 17th country to use variants of the C-130J Super Hercules for its airlift and refueling requirements. “France’s C-130 crews have long demonstrated the unmatched and proven performance of the Hercules aircraft in support of critical missions,” notes Rod McLean, vice president and general manager for Lockheed Martin’s Air Mobility & Maritime Missions. “This additional C-130J expands the Armée de l’Air’s already robust airlift and refueling resources to not only serve as a national asset, but a global resource as well.”

The battle-tested aircraft (with a worldwide fleet of more than 400 aircraft that has logged more —than 2 million flight hours) can refuel both fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft and perform efficient ground refueling functions. It is well equipped with RF/microwave tactical systems and features many automated systems, including a traffic collision and avoidance system (TCAS), a ground collision avoidance system (GCAS) and a terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS). In addition, the aircraft is powered by an inertial navigation system (INS) and has dual GPS systems. All C-130J Super Hercules variants are designed for night operations—for example, using infrared (IR) landing lights to illuminate the landing zones.

About the Author

Jack Browne | Technical Contributor

Jack Browne, Technical Contributor, has worked in technical publishing for over 30 years. He managed the content and production of three technical journals while at the American Institute of Physics, including Medical Physics and the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology. He has been a Publisher and Editor for Penton Media, started the firm’s Wireless Symposium & Exhibition trade show in 1993, and currently serves as Technical Contributor for that company's Microwaves & RF magazine. Browne, who holds a BS in Mathematics from City College of New York and BA degrees in English and Philosophy from Fordham University, is a member of the IEEE.

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