Lockheed Martin delivered the first C-130J Super Hercules to the Republic of Tunisia April 4, marking the first delivery to an African country. Lockheed Martin signed a contract in 2010 with Tunisia to deliver two C-130Js between 2013 and 2014, in addition to providing training and an initial three years of logistics support.
“Again we see a nation recapitalizing its airlift resources with the proven, unequaled C-130J,” said George Shultz, vice president and general manager of C-130 programs at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company. “Throughout aviation history, no aircraft, either developed or under development, can match the flexibility of the C-130 Hercules. Fifteen countries have already selected the C-130J to meet their airlift requirements. Be it recapitalization of existing fleets or new operators seeking proven airlift performance and capability, the C-130J is the low-risk, affordable solution.”
Tunisia’s two Super Hercules are the longer fuselage or “stretched” variant of the aircraft. The Tunisian Air Force currently operates a fleet of C-130Hs and C-130Bs, first purchased in the mid-1980s. The new C-130Js will support Tunisian operations across the mission spectrum, including relief efforts around the world, firefighting and traditional airlift sorties.
In addition to Tunisia, other nations that are operating or have ordered the C-130J include Australia, Canada, Denmark, India, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Kuwait, Norway, Oman, Republic of Korea, Qatar, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The C-130J is the standard by which all other airlift is measured in terms of availability, flexibility and reliability. C-130Js are currently deployed in two combat theaters and operate at a very high tempo efficiently and reliably. In non-combat, but equally harsh environments, the C-130Js are often the first to support humanitarian and disaster relief efforts.