The US Air Force has signaled its intention to award Lockheed Martin a second multi-year procurement deal for 79 C-130J Hercules tactical transports.
“The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is planning for the procurement of seventy-nine C-130J aircraft or C-130J variants, associated mission equipment, and related support for all systems for FY14-FY18 [fiscal year 2014-fiscal year 2018] multi-year buy, with an option to purchase the USCG [US Coast Guard] five HC-130J aircraft,” says a USAF document.
The 79 aircraft are to be delivered between FY2016 and FY2020. According to Pentagon budget documents, the procurement would primarily cover the construction of USAF special operations aircraft, including 43 HC/MC/AC-130J variants. The remaining airframes would consist of 29 conventional C-130Js and seven US Marine Corps KC-130J tankers.
Lockheed has so far delivered more than 290 C-130Js to 13 countries. The company hopes to deliver its 300th example before the end of this year.