A second Lockheed Martin C-130J tactical transport will be delivered to the Israeli air force soon, following a lead example that was received by the service on 9 April.
The Israeli service has four C-130Js on order and calls the new-generation Hercules the "Samson". Sources in Israel say that a follow-on contract for another two of the aircraft is also in final stages of processing.
Israel's C-130Js have a three-seat cockpit configuration, similar to that used by the US special forces community. Its first aircraft has already been equipped with dedicated mission systems, and crews from its "Elephants" squadron are now busy developing operational tactics for tasks such as low-level and night-time flight.
The availability of the unit's second new transport will enable it to expand this work to explore different tactics for the potential missions that it may be asked to perform.
Israel's C-130 fleet – which also currently includes 18 E- and H-model aircraft – is an important element in the long-range missions that are performed by its Depth Command.