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 on 19 September 2019.
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.
|Length||97 feet 9 inches/29.61 m|
|Height||38 feet 10 inches/11.84 m|
|Wingspan||132 feet 7 inches/40.41 m|
|Powerplant||4 Rolls-Royce AE 2100D-3 GE-Dowty Aerospace R391 6-blade propellers, all composite|
|Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW)||164,000 lbs./74,389 kg|
|Payload (2.5 g)*||50,000 lbs./22,670 kg|
|Operating Weight Empty||81,000 lbs./36,740 kg|
|Zero Fuel Weight**||131,000 lbs./59,420 kg|
|Landing Distance (135,000 lbs./61,235 kg)||3,100 feet/945 m|
|Range (40,000 lbs./18,144 kg payload)||2,390 NM/2,750 miles/4,425 km|
|Maximum Cruise Speed||355 KTAS/410 mph/660 km/h|
* Higher payload allowable with wing relieving fuel
** Higher zero fuel weight allowable with wing relieving fuel