France or­ders four C-130J air­craft


An Ital­ian Air Force (Aero­nau­tica Mil­itare) F-35A Light­ning II air­craft com­pleted very first transat­lantic ocean cross­ing, ar­riv­ing at Naval Air Sta­tion Patuxent River, Mary­land, from Cameri Air Base, Italy, on Fe­bru­ary 5.

F-35A air­craft AL-1, the first in­ter­na­tional jet fully built over­seas at the Cameri, Italy, Fi­nal As­sem­bly and Check Out (FACO) fa­cil­ity, was pi­loted across by the first Ital­ian Air Force F-35 pi­lot, who com­pleted train­ing at Luke Air Force Base, Ari­zona, last Novem­ber and had 50 hours of flight time on the F-35 Light­ning II. The air­craft will be­gin three months of elec­tro­mag­netic en­vi­ron­men­tal ef­fects (EEE) eval­u­a­tion and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion while at Naval Air Sys­tem Com­mand’s In­te­grated Bat­tlespace Sim­u­la­tion and Test (IBST) fa­cil­ity.

The Di­rec­torate Gen­eral of Ar­ma­ments (DGA) on Jan­uary 29, 2016, or­dered four new-build C-130J Her­cules from the United States Air Force (USAF). Two of the four air­craft will be able to re­fuel he­li­copters in flight.

This or­der fol­lows the de­ci­sion by JeanYves Le Drian, the Min­is­ter of De­fence, on De­cem­ber 15, 2015, dur­ing the lat­est meet­ing of the Min­is­te­rial In­vest­ment Com­mit­tee. The first two air­craft will be de­liv­ered by the end of 2017 and in early 2018, and the two tanker air­craft in 2019.

Th­ese air­craft will strengthen the cen­tral seg­ment of the tac­ti­cal trans­port fleet of the Air Force, cur­rently com­posed of the C-160 Transall and the C-130H Her­cules. Th­ese air­craft are par­tic­u­larly over­worked and fa­tigued by var­i­ous over­seas op­er­a­tions, where en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions are strain­ing the equip­ment.

A key mea­sure in the up­dat­ing of the cur­rent mil­i­tary pro­gramme law, this ac­qui-

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