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France orders C-130J Super Hercules transports

France has placed an order with the U.S. Air Force for new Lockheed C-130J aircraft.

By
Richard Tomkins
A C-130J of Britain's Royal Air Force. Photo: Sgt Jack Pritchard RAF
A C-130J of Britain's Royal Air Force. Photo: Sgt Jack Pritchard RAF

PARIS, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- France has ordered four new-build Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules aircraft from the U.S. Air Force for delivery between late 2017 and 2019.

The order was placed late last week by the Directorate General of Armaments, or DGA, following a December decision of Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian at a meeting of the government's Ministerial Investment Committee.

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DGA said two of the tactical transport aircraft will be capable of in-flight refueling of helicopters.

"These aircraft will strengthen the central segment of the tactical transport fleet of the Air Force, currently composed of the C-160 Transall and the C-130H Hercules," DGA said. "These aircraft are particularly over-worked and fatigued by various overseas operations, where environmental conditions are straining the equipment."

Additional details of the order, placed through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program, were not disclosed.

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