Tunisia signs for two Lockheed C-130Js

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Tunisia has become the latest customer to commit to Lockheed Martin's C-130J Hercules, having signed a contract to acquire two of the aircraft.

Announced on 2 March, the deal will cover the delivery of two stretched-fuselage C-130J-30s in 2013 and 2014, says Lockheed. The company will also be responsible for providing an initial three-year logistics support package under the acquisition.

Lockheed says it signed a contract with the Tunisian defence ministry in Tunis during February, but has not disclosed the value of the transaction.

Flightglobal's MiliCAS database lists the Tunisian air force as having eight roughly 50-year-old C-130Bs and one newer C-130H in its active inventory. "The new C-130Js will support Tunisian operations across the mission spectrum, including relief efforts around the world, firefighting and traditional airlift sorties," says Lockheed.

Current C-130J operators include Australia, Denmark, Italy, Norway, the UK and the USA, while Lockheed also now has orders to supply the type to the air forces of Canada, India, Iraq, Oman, Qatar and Tunisia. The United Arab Emirates has also selected the type for a 12-aircraft tactical transport requirement.