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-