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PICTURE: India's first three C-130Js near completion

India’s first three of six C-130Js are pictured together for the first time at Lockheed Martin’s Marietta, Georgia facility.

The US manufacturer says the tactical transports have now been moved to their final positions on its production line, and that the first will be delivered to India next February.

“The six C-130Js will give the Indian army and air force new special operations capabilities,” the company says. Its production deal also includes the provision of support services.

© Lockheed Martin

Lockheed has so far delivered 195 of the 288 C-130Js ordered. The company is currently considering increasing production of the type from a current rate of 26 per year, says Jim Grant, its vice-president customer engagement, air mobility and special operations programmes.

“We feel we have got sufficient backlog, and the market opportunities are such that a ramp-up is possible,” says Grant. However, Lockheed will make a “controlled and conservative” decision, he adds.

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