Second KC-130J Airplane Delivered to the Air Force
(Source: French Armed Forces Ministry; issued Feb. 07, 2020)
(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
All of France’s two KC-130J Super Hercules tankers and two C-130J transports have now been delivered, and from 2021 will be integrated with six C-130Js ordered by Germany into a new, joint air squadron intended to support both countries’ special operations. (LM photo)
PARIS --- On February 7, 2020, the French Air Force took delivery of its second KC-130J, a tanker version of the Super Hercules C-130J, at Orléans-Bricy Air Base 123.

Manufactured by Lockheed Martin, this aircraft is the last of the four Super Hercules C-130J ordered in January 2016 by the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) under a State-to-State contract concluded with the United States. The first two aircraft in this series, the C-130J-30 (stretched version of the C-130J), were delivered in 2017 and 2018. The first KC-130J tanker aircraft was delivered in September 2019.

The acquisition contract also includes support, training and maintenance in operational condition for a period of two years.

The acquisition of this fleet of C-130J Super Hercules aims to strengthen the tactical transport capabilities of the Air Force, in complementarity with the other fleets made up of C-130H Hercules, C-160 Transall and CN-235 Casa. While these aircraft are in high demand in external operations and especially in the Sahelo-Saharan strip, the acquisition of two KC-130J will effectively support operational activity from 2020.

These two KC-130Js will provide the Air Force with a unique capability in Europe. By allowing in-flight refueling of helicopters, in particular of the H225M Caracal helicopters, it will give them greater range and increased loiter time.

A series of trials for the definition of procedures and employment doctrine were carried out by the Military Air Expertise Center (CEAM) in collaboration with the teams of DGA Flight Tests. The two KC-130Js will be operated by 2/61 "Franche-Comté" Transport Squadron (ET) from Orleans-Bricy Air Base 123, which already has the two C-130J-30s.

The four C-130Js are scheduled to move to Evreux Air Base 105 in the summer of 2021. They will be deployed alongside six German Super Hercules and will be operated by a joint, Franco-German binational squadron.

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Lockheed Martin Delivers Second KC-130J Aerial Refueler to France’s Armée de l'Air
(Source: Lockheed Martin; issued Feb. 7, 2020)
MARIETTA, Ga. --- Lockheed Martin delivered the second of two KC-130J Super Hercules aerial refuelers to representatives from France’s Armée de l'Air on Feb. 4, at the company’s Aeronautics facility in Marietta, Georgia.

France has received 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 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 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 pre-eminent 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 the first operator relationship of this type in C-130J history.

The C-130J Super Hercules is the global standard in tactical airlift, providing a unique mix of versatility and performance to complete any mission — anytime, anywhere. The Super Hercules worldwide fleet has more than 2 million flight hours and is the airlifter of choice for 20 nations.


Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 110,000 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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