Posted on February 11, 2016 linda strong aircraft engines
The French defense procurement office has placed an order for four Lockheed Martin C-130 aircraft, for the purpose of transport and mid-flight refueling of their helicopters.
“Direction Générale de l’Armement ordered on Jan. 29, 2016 from the US Air Force four new Hercules C-130Js,” the DGA confirmed in a statement made earlier this week.
The deal was given the okay by Defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian at a meeting for the ministerial investment committee back in December. The deal will include two standard C-130J transports (which are to be delivered either late next year or in early 2018), and two KC-130Js (due in 2019). The contract was written up under the foreign military sale guidelines. These aircraft will fill a crucial need for the French military, and now they will be able to drop troops and supplies via parachute. In the meantime, Airbus Defense and Space are looking for ways to get their A400M to refuel helicopters mid-flight and allow paratroopers to jump from side doors.
Monetary terms of the contract were not disclosed, but United States Army Colonel John “Walt” Kennedy was able to give an estimated value.
“The contract is significantly less than $650 million,” said Kennedy, the chief of the Office of Defense Cooperation in Paris. “This is a very important capability for the French.”
The amount of $650 million is derived from the maximum value of the offer, as determined by the United States Defense Security Cooperation Agency back in November. The figure covers additional costs, such as potential upgrades to the aircraft and equipment, spare parts, and training. The estimated core value of the four C-130 aircraft and their Rolls-Royce AE-2100D turboprop engines (including the spare engines) is $355 million.
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