Lockheed Martin is offering the Israeli air force a mixed fleet of C-130J Hercules and Lockheed Martin/Alenia C-27Js to meet its transport requirements.

Israel operates 22 C-130Hs, some of which are 30 years old. Although the C-130J is viewed as the only option, the expense has prevented a deal being concluded.

Lockheed Martin has responded by offering the air force a mix of 10 to 12 C-130Js and eight to 10 C-27Js. Company sources say this combination will lower the cost and provide the required flexibility.

Israeli sources say the mix is the best answer but decline to suggest when a deal could be concluded, although they say US defence grants that would be part of a peace deal with Syria could hasten a buy.

Alenia has offered a similar deal to Greece, which is considering the C-27J alongside the C295 from EADS's Spanish arm, formerly CASA. Alenia has included two used C-130Hs in its proposal.

Source: Flight International