First Tunisian C-130J emerges from the paint shop


Lockheed Martin has completed painting the first of two C-130J-30 Super Hercules on order from the Tunisian Air Force. Delivery is expected later this year.

Tunisia currently operates a fleet of one C-130H and seven C-130Bs, which are decades old.

In a statement, Lockheed Martin said that the new C-130Js would support Tunisian operations across the mission spectrum, including relief efforts around the world, firefighting and traditional airlift.

Dennys S Plessas, Vice President Business Development Initiatives at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics said that the C-130J was a proven aircraft that caters well to growing demand for air mobility. “Air Forces today have to do more with less and need the flexibility and adaptability of a multipurpose aircraft,” he added.

Tunisia ordered the two stretched C-130J-30s in February 2010, together with an initial three years of logistics support. One will be delivered this year and the second in 2014.

Lockheed Martin is offering the C-130J to the South African Air Force, which is seeking new maritime patrol aircraft and will need to replace its existing C-130BZs in around a decade’s time.

Last year Plessas told defenceWeb that there was a lot of appetite but little funding for the C-130J in Africa, although North African countries had an appetite and some funding – for instance, Nigeria is refurbishing some of its C-130s.