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.
Stay up to date
Subscribe to the free Times Aerospace newsletter and receive the latest content every week. We'll never share your email address.