The Israeli air force received its first C-130J tactical transport at Lockheed Martin's Marietta site in Georgia on 26 June. The first of three stretched fuselage -30-model aircraft currently on order for the service, the asset is scheduled to be flown to Israel in "spring 2014", Lockheed says.
Israeli preparations to operate the new-generation Hercules have involved the deployment of a US Air Force C-130J to its Nevatim air base in January 2013. The transport was used during a joint training exercise with Israeli squadrons operating legacy examples. The nation has a current inventory of 16 E/H-variant transports and tankers, as recorded by Flightglobal's MiliCAS database. Flown since 1971, the oldest of these will be phased out, while the others will undergo structural treatment.
Lead aircraft 661 is from a contract signed during 2010, but the air force late last year began talks with Lockheed about the possible purchase of another three C-130Js.
Israel is acquiring its aircraft with cockpits adapted for three crew members, in a configuration similar to that used by US special forces. Its aircraft will also be modified for the future installation of some Israeli-developed systems.
Source: Flight International