Tunisia gets first C-130J in Africa


Tunisia will early next month become the first African country to operate the stretched version of Lockheed Martin’s Super Hercules.

The North African country ordered two multi-mission C-130J-30 aircraft, with the second scheduled for delivery later this year, according to Dennys Plessas, Vice President Business Development Initiatives at Lockheed Martin.
“Tunisia is taking two standard airlifters and has ordered two MAFFS (modular airborne firefighting system) systems to enhance the usefulness of the aircraft,” he said.

The Tunisian airlift fleet is currently made up of a single C-130H and seven old C-130Bs.

The new addition, scheduled for delivery on April 4, will go onto the inventory of 21 Squadron based at Bizerte-Sidi Ahmed and will boost the country’s ability to take part in operations including humanitarian relief, firefighting and airlift.

The pair of stretched C-130J-30s were ordered in February 2010 and come with an initial three year logistics support package.

Plessas sees the C-130J as a proven aircraft particularly well-suited to the growing demand for air mobility and multi-mission tasking.
“Air Forces today have to do more with less and need the flexibility and adaptability of a multi-purpose aircraft.”

In addition to the firefighting module, there are other modules available which can be speedily fitted to the C-130J, further proving its multi-role capabilities. These include air-to-air refuelling, VIP passenger capsules, maritime patrol and reconnaissance and medevac.