Oman gets ready to induct C-130J
Lockheed Martin has started deliveries of the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft to the Royal Air Force of Oman.
The first aircraft built for the Sultanate of Oman (actually a stretched C-130J-30 model) conducted its maiden flight in early August 2012 and was photographed on approach to Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas, on August 6.
Above: (left to right) Colonel John Drohan, United States Air Force, Commander, Defense Contract Management Agency-Marietta; Commander Suleiman Al-Brashdy, Omani Government official; and George Shultz, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager C-130 Programmes at the acceptance ceremony at Lockheed Martin’s Marietta facility in Georgia on 30 August 2012 .
This aircraft was formally accepted in a ceremony at Lockheed Martin’s Marietta facility in Georgia on 30 August 2012 in the presence of Commander Suleiman Al-Brashdy, representing the Omani government; Colonel John Drohan, the US Air Force CO of the Defense Contract Management Agency in Marietta; and George Shultz, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager of C-130 programmes.
This first Omani C-130J departed the Lockheed Martin facility at Marietta on September 13, transiting to Oman via the UK’s Stansted airport, where it was seen on September 14.
The C-130J-30 is the first of three second-generation Hercules on order; the contract for it having been announced on June 5 2009. Two unstretched C-130Js (announced on August 16 2010) will also be delivered.
The Royal Air Force of Oman currently operates three C-130H models delivered between 1981 and 1983. These equip No.16 Squadron at Seeb.
The new J-models will augment the older C-130H models, rather than replacing them, and will largely be used to support internal country operations, accessing remote, austere and inhospitable airstrips within Oman.
• Meanwhile, the first of six C-130J-30s for the Iraqi air force made its maiden flight from Lockheed Martin’s Marietta site in mid-August. This first C-130J-30 for Iraq is scheduled for delivery later this year and will join three refurbished C-130Es, which currently equip the Iraqi air force’s transport arm.