Israel will sign a contract for the purchase of three Lockheed Martin C-130J tactical transports by early April, with its acquisition to include an option for six more.
The Israeli air force plans to receive its first C-130J in 2013, with sources saying the type will be delivered with a three-person cockpit configuration, similar to some examples used by US special forces.
The new transports will also be modified for the future installation of some Israeli-sourced systems, including classified equipment.
Israel has an active fleet of 11 C-130E/H transports, plus five KC-130H tankers, as listed in Flightglobal's MiliCAS database. Its E-model Hercules will be phased out with the new acquisition, while Israel Aerospace Industries will conduct structural work to extend the service lives of its younger C-130Hs.