SAUDI ARABIA HAS opened talks with Lockheed Martin on the possible purchase of up to 70 C-130J Hercules 2 transports over ten years. The Saudi fleet of more than 40 C-130E/Hs would be replaced and additional KC-130 aerial-refuelling tankers acquired.

Lockheed Martin rolled out the C-130J on 18 October unveiling the first of 25 stretched C-130J-30s on order for the Royal Air Force. The first, standard-length C-130J for the US Air Force, was rolled out at the company's Marietta, Georgia, plant on 20 October.

The USAF finally signed the contract for its first two C-130Js on 13 October, launching what Lockheed Martin hopes will be a 400-aircraft fleet-replacement programme.

A Royal Australian Air Force team is in Marietta, evaluating Lockheed Martin's offer of C-130J-30s, and expects to place an order for 12 aircraft in April 1996.

See Defence, P15.

Source: Flight International