The French Air Force (Armée de l’Air) has received the second of two KC-130J Super Hercules aerial refuelers from Lockheed Martin.
The aircraft was handed over to French representatives on February 4, at the company’s Aeronautics facility in Marietta, Georgia.
France now has a total of four Super Hercules aircraft — two C-130J-30 combat delivery airlifters and two KC-130J aerial refuelers — through a Foreign Military Sale with the US government. The two C-130J-30 airlifters were delivered in 2017 and 2018, and first KC-130J delivered in September 2019. All of these Super Hercules are operated in conjunction with France’s existing C-130H fleet.
“France’s C-130 crews have long demonstrated the unmatched and proven performance of the Hercules aircraft in support of critical missions,” said Rod McLean, vice president and general manager, Air Mobility & Maritime Missions at Lockheed Martin. “This additional KC-130J expands the Armée de l‘Air’s already robust airlift and refueling resources to not only serve as a national asset, but a global resource as well.”
France is the 17th country to choose the C-130J for its airlift and refueling needs. The KC-130J refuels both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft as well as conducts rapid ground refueling.
With this delivery, France joins a global community of KC-130J operators. In 2018, Germany announced the acquisition of a C-130J-30/KC-130J fleet, to be operated in partnership with France — making this the first operator relationship of this type in C-130J history.