The Ministry of the Armed Forces Receives its First KC-130J Aircraft
(Source: French Armed Forces Ministry; issued Sept 19, 2019)
(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
To make up for certain shortcomings in its A400M airlifter, France ordered four C-130J for its special operations command, including two tanker versions, the first of which was delivered yesterday. (FR AF photo)
PARIS --- Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, welcomes the delivery of the third C-130J Super Hercules aircraft that landed on Thursday, September 19 at Air Base 123 at Orléans-Bricy.

This aircraft delivered in its KC-130J tanker version will now allow – for the first time - the French Air Force to have an in-flight refueling capability for helicopters, which will especially benefit its H225M Caracal helicopters.

The delivery of this aircraft to the Air Force contributes to the current rise in power of the Armed Forces in terms of equipment: between 2019 and 2025, it is 295 billion euros that are devoted to the French defense budget.

A second KC-130J tanker aircraft will be delivered in 2020.

This KC-130J is a fast-track acquisition to enhance the complementarity of the Air Force’s tactical transport fleet, which comprises the A400M, the C-130J Super Hercules and C-130H Hercules, the C-160 Transall as well as the Casa CN-235.

This fleet is very much in demand for external operations, especially in the Sahelo-Saharan Band.

The C-130J is a four-engine turboprop tactical transport aircraft, of which the KC-130J is the tanker version. This is the first aircraft to allow the Air Force to refuel its H225M Caracal helicopters in flight, and thus give them a longer reach. This capability is unique in Europe.

The two KC-130Js will be operated by the 2/61 "Franche-Comté" air transport squadron, based Air Force Base 123 at Orleans-Bricy, which already operates two C-130J-30s transport aircraft.

Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, welcomed this delivery. "For the first time, the French armed forces will have aircraft capable of refueling helicopters. Until now we were totally dependent on American capabilities. I am proud to see the Air Force acquire such a capability. Our commitment in foreign operations as well as in national territory requires capabilities that are up to the missions that are carried out by our forces.”

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France’s Armée de l'Air Receives First KC-130J Super Hercules Aerial Refueler
(Source: Lockheed Martin; issued Sept 19, 2019)
ORLÉANS, France --- Lockheed Martin delivered the first of two KC-130J Super Hercules aerial refuelers to representatives from France’s Armée de l'Air's 62st Transport Wing at Orléans-Bricy Air Base today.

France will receive 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 U.S. government. The two C-130J-30 airlifters were delivered in 2017 and 2018, and a second KC-130J will deliver in 2020. All of these Super Hercules are operated in conjunction with France’s existing C-130H fleet.

“The KC-130J provides Armée de l'Air crews with a proven solution that delivers much-needed fuel in any environment, at any time,” said Rod McLean, vice president and general manager, Air Mobility & Maritime Missions at Lockheed Martin. “In choosing to operate both the C-130J-30 and the KC-130J, France has built a diverse airlift fleet that expands both the capabilities and global reach of the French Armed Forces.”

France is the 17th country to choose the C-130J for its airlift needs. The C-130J Super Hercules is the most advanced tactical airlifter in operation today, offering superior performance and enhanced capabilities with the range and versatility for every theater of operations and evolving requirements.

As the preeminent tactical aerial refueling tanker, the KC-130J is a battle-tested solution that takes full advantage of the tremendous technological and performance improvements inherent in the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft. A true force multiplier, 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 first such operator relationship in C-130J history.


Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 105,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.

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