On Tuesday April 28, French Air Force Transport Squadron 02.061 “Franche-Comté” stationed on Air Base 123 at Orleans-Bricy carried out for the first time a tactical training mission involving three C130J Super Hercules transport aircraft in an environment simulating a complex theater of operations. Taking off a few seconds apart, a C-130J-30 and two KC-130Js carried out, after low-level navigation, a simulated parachute drop in the Le Mans region, before carrying out an assault landing in formation at Air Base 105 in Évreux. This maneuver consists in landing the aircraft about twenty seconds apart in order to reduce their time on the runway, in order to minimize their vulnerability on the ground.
French Air Force (Armée de l’Air Française) has two Lockheed Martin C-130Js and two Lockheed Martin KC-130Js, to be based at Évreux-Fauville Air Base in joint Franco-German unit. First C-130J inducted into service in January 2018. The latest addition to the Air Force’s fleet of transport aircraft, the C-130J provides the forces with intermediate tactical mobility capability. Operating both in mainland France and on foreign operations, this new fleet of aircraft continues to work up at Air Base 123. The KC-130J version will also shortly allow in-flight refueling of helicopters and fighters.
The Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. The C-130J is a comprehensive update of the Lockheed C-130 Hercules, with new engines, flight deck, and other systems. The Hercules family has the longest continuous production run of any military aircraft in history. During more than 60 years of service, the family has participated in military, civilian, and humanitarian aid operations. The Hercules has outlived several planned successor designs, most notably the Advanced Medium STOL Transport contestants. As of February 2018, 400 C-130J aircraft have been delivered to 17 nations.