Lockheed Martin has completed the production of the first C-130J-30 Super Hercules heavy-lift tactical transport for the Luftwaffe (German Air Force).
The Luftwaffe announced on July 22 that the aircraft – c/n 5930 – had been rolled off the production line and towed to the paint shop. It is the first of six Super Hercules being acquired by Germany for a joint French-German unit, which will operate from Base Aérienne 105 (BA 105, Air Base 105) Évreux-Fauville in France’s Normandy region. The Luftwaffe aircraft will comprise three ‘stretched’ C-130J-30s and three KC-130J tactical tanker-transports.
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced that US State Department approval had been given for this Foreign Military Sale (FMS) on May 4, 2018. The first aircraft is expected to be delivered to the German air arm in late 2021 or early 2022, with all six scheduled to be in service by 2023, before being declared fully operational by 2024.
The new unit – which has yet to be given an official designation – will also include four Armée de l’Air et de l’Espace (AAE, French Air and Space Force) aircraft, comprising two C-130J-30s and a pair of KC-130Js. These have already been delivered to Escadron de Transport 2/61 (ET 02.061) ‘Franche-Comté’ at BA 123 Orléans-Bricy but have now begun to progressively relocate to Évreux-Fauville. The first aircraft to make the transfer, KC-130J – serial 5890 ’61-PR’ (c/n 5890) – flew into its new home on July 16, 2021.