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Israel makes request to buy 9 C-130Js, swelling Lockheed's backlog

The US government today announced plans to sell 9 Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 to Israel only two days after disclosing another proposed sale of six C-130Js to Iraq.

The combined deals could be worth $3.4 billion, including $1.9 billion for the Israeli sale, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).

Israel has requested the nine aircraft and an assortment of equipment that includes the special operations AAQ-22 Star Safire III suite, AAR-47 missile warning and countermeasure systems and the ALR-56M advanced radar warning receivers.

If approved, the deal would extend a recent expansion of Lockheed’s C-130J order backlog.

In addition to the 15 C-130Js requested by Israel and Iraq, the US Air Force signed a $490 million order in June for six HC/MC-130J aircraft to start the recapitalization of 115 older-model C-130s performing the same mission.

Earlier this year, India also signed a contract to buy six C-130Js.

The expanding backlog has prompted a senior Lockheed executive to discuss ramping up the C-130J production rate. Lockheed has delivered six C-130Js through 29 June this year.

“It wouldn’t surprise me sometime in 2010 or 2011 that we’re double the rate that we are today,” said Bruce Tanner, Lockheed’s chief financial officer, told Wall Street analysts in April.

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