Oman signs contract for one C-130J transport

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Lockheed Martin has received a contract to supply Oman with one C-130J tactical transport, representing the type's selection by a third operator in the Middle East region.

Announced on 5 June, Oman's order is for one stretched-fuselage C-130J-30, to be delivered from mid-2012. However, it is believed that the nation could eventually look to expand the deal, as its air force currently flies three H-model Hercules. These were introduced to service between 1981 and 1983, according to Flight's MiliCAS database.

"The C-130J is ideally suited to the operating conditions found in Oman and other areas of the Gulf," says vice-president for Air Mobility and Special Operations Forces Programmes Jim Grant, in a statement issued by Lockheed. The company will supply the aircraft under a direct sale, with the deal having been done outside the US government's Foreign Military Sales mechanism.

Lockheed's other confirmed customer in the region is Qatar, which signed a $394 million deal for four C-130Js last October. The United Arab Emirates also announced its intention to buy 12 during February's International Defence Exhibition & Conference in Abu Dhabi, and negotiations are taking place to firm up the arrangement.

norweigan air force c-130j 
© Lockheed Martin

Oman's contract boosts Lockheed's confirmed customer base for the C-130J to 11 nations, with its deal following earlier sales made to Australia, Canada, Denmark, India, Iraq, Italy, Norway (above), Qatar, the UK and the USA.