The first of six new-build C-130J transports on order for Israel touched down at Nevatim Air Base in the Mideast nation, announced manufacturer Lockheed Martin. Named Shimshon, the Bible’s Samson, by the Israelis, the C-130J arrived at Nevatim on April 9, according to the company’s release. “We feel privileged to bring you the world’s most advanced technology to meet the complex and dynamic security challenges of this region,” said Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin president, at the arrival ceremony. “This aircraft is worthy of its given name,” she said, noting how Shimshon “used his power to combat the enemies of Israel and perform heroic feats” and “in the same way, this aircraft will support the defense of Israel.” The company delivered this airframe to the Israelis at a ceremony at its production plant in Marietta, Ga., in June 2013, but the aircraft remained in the United States for post-production modifications to the Israeli configuration.
Boeing’s receipt of the 10th lot contract award for the KC-46 Pegasus this week leaves just three lots left to complete the Air Force’s buy of the tanker, although a further buy of 75 additional aircraft as a “bridge” to the Next-Generation Aerial-refueling System (NGAS) seems increasingly likely.