MARIETTA, Ga., Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Canada is buying 17 C-130J Super Hercules from Lockheed Martin worth $1.4 billion, the company said Friday.
"We are extremely proud that the C-130J has been selected as Canada's next tactical air-lifter. The Super Hercules will be the new work horse of the Canadian Forces," said Jim Grant, Lockheed Martin vice president for Air Mobility and Special Operations Forces business development. "The C-130J is a proven, available, rugged aircraft capable of performing a full spectrum of tactical airlift missions in demanding environments."
"The Canadian Forces' new Super Hercules will be the longer fuselage or 'stretched' variant of the C-130J, similar to those being delivered to the U.S. Air Force. Deliveries to Canada will begin in 2010. Canada joins the growing number of nations with C-130J fleets. Allied operators include the United States, Australia, Denmark, Italy, Norway and (Britain)," Lockheed Martin said in a statement.
"This contract begins the process for working with Canadian industry to establish a 20-year In-Service Support -- ISS -- program for the new fleet," said Grant.
Lockheed Martins aid that under the terms of the agreement, it was "required to conduct a series of competitions to select the Canadian companies that will make up the ISS capability in Canada."
"We look forward to utilizing this acquisition to further strengthen our relationship with Canada. This program represents an outstanding opportunity to grow the capabilities and expertise of the Canadian aerospace industry," Grant said.
"The new C-130J generates much greater operational efficiency than the older C-130s, such as Canada's E and H model, by flying farther, faster, with more payload and higher reliability," Lockheed Martin said.
"The C-130J only requires three crew members for most missions so fewer flight crew members are exposed to potential threats in-theater. C-130Js are currently deployed in several theaters and are operating at a very high tempo efficiently and reliably. C-130Js are being used daily for troop and equipment re-supply via ground delivery and airdrop, for air-to-air refueling, ground refueling and humanitarian relief," the company said.