Lockheed Martin delivered the State of Israel’s first C-130J Super Hercules airlifter during a ceremony June 26 at its Aeronautics Company’s production facility in Marietta, Ga.
This is first of three C-130Js currently on order for the Israeli Air Force, which has operated legacy C-130s since 1971.
The IAF has bestowed the nickname “Shimshon” on its C-130Js. Shimshon is Hebrew for Samson, who was a judge and leader for the people of Israel. Samson’s mother called him Shimshon, which is derived from the Hebrew word for sun, because she felt he was destined to be as bright and mighty as the sun and would deliver the Jewish people from their enemies.
“Israel’s new C-130J builds on the tradition of its predecessors and offers the IAF unique capabilities that are not only proven, but without equal,” said George Shultz, vice president and general manager, C-130 programs at the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company. “With its glass cockpit and modern digital avionics, the C-130J has proven it performs in all environments: hot, cold, dirt and sand.†Shimshon will serve the IAF as the C-130 always has anywhere, anytime.”
Israel ordered its C-130Js through a Foreign Military Sale contract with the U.S. Government. Upon delivery, this aircraft will move into a modification program and receive Israeli-unique systems.
An in-country delivery for this C-130J is scheduled for spring 2014.
While Israel is the newest member of the C-130J worldwide operator family, this Super Hercules has the distinction of being one of 290 C-130Js that contributed to the worldwide fleet’s first 1 million flight hours. Shimshon’s test flight hours were included in this tally, which spans the C-130J’s first flight on April 5, 1996 through April 30, 2013.
Fifteen countries have chosen the C-130J Super Hercules to meet their air mobility needs. The C-130J is the standard by which all other airlift is measured in terms of availability, flexibility and reliability. C-130Js currently are deployed in two combat theaters where they operate at a very high tempo efficiently and reliably.
In non-combat but equally harsh environments ó C-130Js are often the first to support humanitarian missions such as search and rescue, aerial firefighting in the U.S., and delivering relief supplies after earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons and tsunamis around the world.