Norway has taken delivery of a new C-130J tactical transport from Lockheed Martin, with the aircraft to replace an example that was destroyed in a fatal crash earlier this year.
Handed over during a 27 September ceremony at Lockheed's Marietta production site in Georgia, USA, the airlifter - named Froya - restores the Royal Norwegian Air Force's Hercules inventory to four aircraft. Oslo also has an option for another example, included with an order placed in the wake of the 15 March accident. Five air force personnel died when their aircraft crashed near the summit of Kebnekaise mountain in Sweden while taking part in a NATO exercise.
The cause of the crash has still to be explained, although the aircraft's digital flight data recorder was recovered from the Rabots glacier on 14 August. The device's memory module "was relatively undamaged", according to the Swedish Accident Investigation Authority, which subsequently sent it to the UK for analysis, along with the cockpit voice recorder. The agency expects to complete its investigation before the end of this year.
The rapid availability of the replacement aircraft was made possible by the US Air Force, which agreed to divert one of its C-130J already in the advanced stages of production for use at Dyess AFB in Texas.