Lockheed Martin delivered the first C-130J Super Hercules to the Republic of Tunisia today, marking the first delivery to an African country. Lockheed Martin signed a contract in 2010 with Tunisia to deliver two C-130Js between 2013 and 2014, in addition to providing training and an initial three years of logistics support.
"Again we see a nation recapitalizing its airlift resources with the proven, unequaled C-130J," said George Shultz, vice president and general manager of C-130 programs at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company. "Throughout aviation history, no aircraft, either developed or under development, can match the flexibility of the C-130 Hercules. Fifteen countries have already selected the C-130J to meet their airlift requirements. Be it recapitalization of existing fleets or new operators seeking proven airlift performance and capability, the C-130J is the low-risk, affordable solution."
Tunisia's two Super Hercules are the longer fuselage or "stretched" variant of the aircraft. The Tunisian Air Force currently operates a fleet of C-130Hs and C-130Bs, first purchased in the mid-1980s. The new C-130Js will support Tunisian operations across the mission spectrum, including relief efforts around the world, firefighting and traditional airlift sorties.
C-130Js are currently deployed in two combat theaters and operate at a very high tempo efficiently and reliably. In non-combat, but equally harsh environments, the C-130Js are often the first to support humanitarian and disaster relief efforts.