India is poised to sign a letter of request for six additional Lockheed Martin C-130J aircraft, which would bring its total fleet of the type to 12.
The company is confident of concluding the deal for additional aircraft this year, said Jim Grant, vice-president of customer engagement for air mobility and special operations programmes at Lockheed Martin.
Grant was speaking to journalists in the cargo hold of the USAF C-130J on static display.
© Lockheed Martin
He indicated that India could be interested in additional C-130Js for roles such as border patrol and weather monitoring. After receiving its first C-130J at the Aero India show earlier this year, India took delivery of two additional aircraft this month.
Grant dismissed the possibility of Indonesia obtaining C-130Js in the near future. He said Jakarta is mainly interested in keeping its fleet of C-130B/H models operational. He also confirmed media reports that the southeast Asian nation could purchase used C-130s from neighbouring countries.
Long term, Grant is confident about prospects for the aircraft, and said no new variant is now planned beyond the current C-130J model.
"Over the next 10 years we will add capabilities to ensure the C-130J stays the world's best tactical transport," said Grant.