The Israeli air force has begun talks with Lockheed Martin about the possible purchase of another three C-130J tactical transports.

A first contract signed in 2010 includes three of the new-generation Hercules, but the air force has asked for a formal proposal to double the size of its future fleet. Israel is due to receive its first C-130J next year.

Israel's aircraft will be modified for the future installation of some locally produced systems, and will have a three-seat cockpit configuration, similar to that used on some US examples flown to support operations involving special forces personnel.

The Israeli air force already operates 18 C-130E/H transports, with the fleet having undergone fatigue tests with the assistance of Lockheed within the last few years. The E-model Hercules will be phased out, while the Hs will receive structural treatments.

Source: Flight International