PARIS: India set to order six more C-130Js

Singapore
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India is poised to sign a letter of request for six additional Lockheed Martin C-130J aircraft, which would bring its total fleet of the type to 12.

The company is confident of concluding the deal for additional aircraft this year, said Jim Grant, vice-president of customer engagement for air mobility and special operations programmes at Lockheed Martin.

Grant was speaking to journalists in the cargo hold of the USAF C-130J on static display.

 © Lockheed Martin

He indicated that India could be interested in additional C-130Js for roles such as border patrol and weather monitoring. After receiving its first C-130J at the Aero India show earlier this year, India took delivery of two additional aircraft this month.

Grant dismissed the possibility of Indonesia obtaining C-130Js in the near future. He said Jakarta is mainly interested in keeping its fleet of C-130B/H models operational. He also confirmed media reports that the southeast Asian nation could purchase used C-130s from neighbouring countries.

Long term, Grant is confident about prospects for the aircraft, and said no new variant is now planned beyond the current C-130J model.

"Over the next 10 years we will add capabilities to ensure the C-130J stays the world's best tactical transport," said Grant.