IAF for six more C-130JS, type crosses mil­lion flight hours glob­ally


The In­dian Air Force can­not wait to get its next six Lock­heed-Martin C-130J Su­per Her­cules medium trans­port air­craft, a deal that is in its fi­nal stages of con­fir­ma­tion. Com­ing as a boost to C-130J cus­tomers world­wide, the type soared past the one mil­lion flight hours mark this month. “Thir­teen coun­tries op­er­at­ing C-130Js, and mem­bers of Lock­heed Martin’s Flight Op­er­a­tions and the US Govern­ment’s De­fense Con­tract Man­age­ment Agency (DCMA) teams con­trib­uted to this achieve­ment. Hours were tracked be­gin­ning with the C-130J’s first flight on April 5, 1996, through the end of April 2013,” said Lock­heedMartin in a state­ment. Ge­orge Shultz, Vice Pres­i­dent and Gen­eral Man­ager of C-130 pro­grammes at Lock­heed Martin Aero­nau­tics Com­pany, said, “Not only is this mile­stone a tes­ta­ment to the ca­pa­bil­ity of the C-130J Su­per Her­cules, it’s also a re­flec­tion of the ded­i­ca­tion dis­played by crews and main­tain­ers each day they fly a C-130J. Once again, the Su­per Her­cules fam­ily con­tin­ues to prove why the C-130J’s flex­i­bil­ity and ver­sa­til­ity re­mains with­out equal.”

The C-130J has come in for high praise in In­dian ser­vice, with the fleet de­ployed across theatres across mis­sions and in all-weather con­di­tions. The fleet’s avail­abil­ity has also proved to be a great re­as­sur­ance to its pi­lots and op­er­a­tors. The type has been fielded in ev­ery ma­jor ex­er­cise since its in­duc­tion, and con­tin­ues to be the first re­sponse air­craft now for hu­man­i­tar­ian re­lief mis­sions.

Else­where, ac­cord­ing to Lock­heed-Martin’s state­ment, “C-130Js cur­rently are de­ployed in two com­bat the­aters and are op­er­at­ing at a very high tempo ef­fi­ciently and re­li­ably. In non-com­bat—but equally harsh en­vi­ron­ments—C-130Js are of­ten the first to sup­port hu­man­i­tar­ian mis­sions such as search and res­cue, aerial fire­fight­ing in the US, and de­liv­er­ing re­lief sup­plies af­ter earth­quakes, hur­ri­canes, ty­phoons and tsunamis around the world. Coun­tries with C-130Js con­tribut­ing to th­ese flight hours in­clude (in or­der of de­liv­ery) the United King­dom, United States, Aus­tralia, Italy, Den­mark, Nor­way, Canada, In­dia, Qatar, Oman, Iraq, Tu­nisia and Is­rael (now in flight test for a sum­mer 2013 de­liv­ery). In the US, C-130Js are flown by the Air Force, Air Force Re­serve Com­mand, Air National Guard, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard units. Fif­teen coun­tries have cho­sen the C-130J as an air­lifter of choice —in­clud­ing Kuwait and the Repub­lic of Korea, which will join the fleet with C-130J de­liv­er­ies in 2014.”

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