Lockheed Martin has delivered the first of two KC-130J Super Hercules aerial refuelers to France’s Armée de l’Air.
France will receive a total of four Super Hercules aircraft — two C-130J-30 combat delivery airlifters and two KC-130J aerial refuelers — through a Foreign Military Sale with the US. government.
The two C-130J-30 airlifters were delivered in 2017 and 2018, and a second KC-130J will deliver in 2020. All of these Super Hercules are operated in conjunction with France’s existing C-130H fleet.
“The KC-130J provides Armée de l’Air crews with a proven solution that delivers much-needed fuel in any environment, at any time,” said Rod McLean, vice president and general manager, Air Mobility & Maritime Missions at Lockheed Martin.
“In choosing to operate both the C-130J-30 and the KC-130J, France has built a diverse airlift fleet that expands both the capabilities and global reach of the French Armed Forces.”
Lockheed say that as the preeminent tactical aerial refueling tanker, the KC-130J is a “battle-tested solution that takes full advantage of the tremendous technological and performance improvements inherent in the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft”.
In 2018, Germany announced the acquisition of a C-130J-30/KC-130J fleet, to be operated in partnership with France — making this first such operator relationship in C-130J history.