According to mena defense, the Algerian air forces is about to receive first Hercules C-130J cargo planes to join air force in the closed club of African nations with Lockheed’s C-130J Hercules cargo aircraft.
The Algerian contract has taken its time to come to fruition because of the slowness of negotiations and the passage through the FMS (foreign military sales) regime for certain sensitive equipment which has been added by Algeria to the aircraft. The contract should in principle relate to four to six aircraft which will be delivered this year.
The first four C-130Js will arrive in Algeria at the end of March or the beginning of April and will enter directly into service.
If it looks like the ancient Hercules, the C-130J has only the exterior appearance, the avionics and engines have been completely redesigned and performance increased. The range of action of the Super Hercules exceeds 3300km range when fully loaded.
The Algerian air forces are currently operating 15 C130H and H-30 acquired in the late 1980s, the majority of which have recently been modernized. The national company Air Algérie has aircraft of the same type and lost one during a crash in Italy. In all Algeria has lost four Hercules during the last 20 years.
About C-130J Hercules
There are around 240 tactical airlifters currently operating in the Middle East and north Africa with the most dominant being the C-130 Hercules.
The tactical workhorse has proved hugely popular flying around many of the big countries like Algeria, Egypt, Niger, chad, Tunisia, Morocco, UAE and Saudi Arabia. Landing in hot-and-high conditions, as well as austere airfields, has only added to the Hercules’ popularity, when needing a transport aircraft to visit military outposts and civilian communities when needed.
Today, the bulk of them are still operating, although several of African C-130J have gone through cockpit upgrades with Saudi’s Alsalam Aerospace Industries or the UAE’s Advanced Military Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Center (AMMROC).
Spare parts are easily accessible, which is a necessity when an aircraft has an average age of 40. But Lockheed Martin’s rule over the tactical transport market has slipped a bit in recent years because most countries cannot afford to stump up the alleged $150 million for a new C-130J.
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