(NSI News Source Info) MARIETTA, Ga. - June 7, 2009: Lockheed Martin has signed a contract with the Sultanate of Oman for a C-130J Super Hercules. The aircraft, to be delivered in mid-2012, is in the longer C-130J-30 configuration. The Indian Air Force purchased six C-130Js in early 2008 at a cost of up to US$ 1.059 billion. It is a package deal with the US government under its Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, and India has retained options to buy six more of these aircraft for its special forces for combined army-air force operations. A C-130J Super Hercules is cleaned in the new wash system at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. The Canadian Forces signed a US$1.4 billion contract with Lockheed Martin for 17 new C-130J-30s on 16 January 2008, as part of the procurement process to replace the existing CC-130E and H models. The C-130J will be officially designated CC-130J Hercules in Canadian Forces service. The Royal Norwegian Air Force has decided to purchase four C-130Js to reinforce their transport capacity when it was discovered that their forty-year-old C-130s were unserviceable during a wing change. The first aircraft was delivered in November 2008. The Government of Qatar has also placed an order for four C-130Js, spare parts and training for the Qatari Emiri Air Force for a total of US$393.6 million. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2011. The Iraqi Air Force has requested six new C-130J-30s, while the Israeli Air Force is seeking to purchase nine C-130J-30s. The United Arab Emirates Air Force announced an order for twelve C-130J transport aircraft at the 2009 IDEX, with an announced value of US$1.3 billion. "The C-130J is ideally suited to the operating conditions found in Oman and other areas of the Gulf," said Jim Grant, vice president for business development at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. "Again we see a country that has recognized all the proven qualities of this world–leading airlifter purchasing additional aircraft." Oman currently operates a fleet of three C-130Hs purchased in the early 1980s. The new C-130J will be used to further support Omani operations where its ability to operate out of remote austere airstrips will be invaluable. This order for Oman brings to 11 the number of countries that have acquired C-130Js. Other nations which are operating or have ordered the C-130J include Australia, Canada, Denmark, India, Iraq, Italy, Norway, Qatar, the United Kingdom and the United States. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 146,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.
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