The Israeli air force has issued a request for information for the purchase of six stretched-fuselage Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 tactical transports, with national interest in the type having risen following a recent fall in unit price.
"The air force has issued the RFI, and we hope that it will result with a contract and deliveries in 2010," said Robert Weiss, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics' vice-president business development, during a visit to Israel last week. Service officials also recently visited Lockheed to receive new data on the C-130J, including a $65 million price tag.
Israel's operational C-130 fleet comprises 15 E/Hs and KC-130H tankers, according to Flight's MiliCAS database. The air force has conducted fatigue tests on the aircraft as part of a study into conducting a life-extension programme. Israeli sources say the service may still invest in sustaining some C-130Hs to maintain its fleet size.