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Saudi Arabia to Upgrade C-130 Fleet

by: Matthew Potter
November 14, 2012

Category: Business Line, Companies, Contract Awards, Countries, Events, FMS, Lockheed Martin, logistics, Military Aviation, production program, Saudi Arabia | RSS 2.0

The U.S. Defense Department informed Congress this week that they intend to sell to Saudi Arabia 25 C-130J and KC-130 aircraft. The aircraft are made by Lockheed Martin (LMT) outside Atlanta. If Congress does not object in 30 days, which they most likely will not, then the contract will begin. Estimate of the value including spares, support and other services is almost $7 billion.

It represents the largest C-130 Foreign Military Sale (FMS) contract in value.

The C-130J is the latest version of the venerable propeller driven transport which has been in use since the Fifties. Several hundred of the model are now in service with the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps and many different nations around the world. The fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan which due to the vehicle threat emphasized tactical transport with aircraft like the C-130 and rotary wing assets drove some of the sales in the last 10 years.

Saudi Arabia already operates 50 older versions of the aircraft so this contract represents a significant upgrade to that capability.

With the potential for less domestic contracts U.S. contractors will be looking overseas for more sales.

Photo from kingair42’s flickr photostream.

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