The first of three Lockheed Martin C-130J tactical transports on order for the Royal Air Force of Oman has been flown to the Middle East.

Pictured on its departure from Lockheed's Marietta, Georgia, production facility on 12 September, the new-generation Hercules carries the service registration 525. The transport had been accepted at the site on 30 August, and made its first flight early the same month.

Muscat's remaining two aircraft are due to be delivered during 2013 and 2014. Lockheed says the fleet will be used "to support internal country operations".

Royal Air Force of Oman C-130J

 Lockheed Martin

Oman already operates three C-130H transports, which Flightglobal's MiliCAS database says were delivered between 1981 and 1983. The nation also in May 2012 signed a deal to acquire five C295 medium transports and three C295 maritime patrol aircraft from Airbus Military. Deliveries will start next year.

Source: Flight International