An HC-130J Combat King II takes off for Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., from the Lockheed Martin facilities in Marietta, Ga., on Nov. 29, 2012. Saudi Arabia is buying two KC-130Js, an aerial refueling version of the plane. (Thinh D. Nguyen/Lockheed Martin)
Saudi Arabia has purchased two Lockheed Martin KC-130J tanker aircraft, a deal worth $180 million for the company.
The Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract was awarded Oct. 3, but due to the US government shutdown, it was not announced by the Pentagon until Oct. 18. The planes will be delivered by April 2016.
Last November, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Saudi FMS purchase of 20 C-130J cargo planes and five KC-130Js. That combined package, which included the two KC-130J sales announced last week, was estimated at $6.7 billion for the planes, engines and support.
“These are two new aircraft,” Stephanie Stinn, a Lockheed spokeswoman, confirmed in an email. “This is an FMS sale, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a legacy C-130 operator. Saudi Arabia will be the 16th C-130J operator.”
Based on the C-130 airframe, the KC-130J carries more than 12,000 gallons of fuel. Primarily used by the US Marine Corps, it is capable of refueling two planes in the air at once.