Qatar Buys C-130Js

Qatar has signed a $393.6 million contract with Lockheed Martin for the purchase of four C-130J transports, plus associated training, support equipment, services and spares, the company announced Oct. 7. Deliveries of the aircraft, which will be the long variant of the J model, will start in 2011. “This acquisition … will provide our country with a highly flexible airlift capability,” said Brig. Gen. Ahmad Ibrahim Al-Malki, chairman of the Qatar Emiri Air Force airlift evaluation committee. Qatar joins the list of nations comprising Australia, Britain, Canada, Demark, India, Italy, Norway, and the United States that operate the C-130J or have it on order. Lockheed Martin said the worldwide fleet of C-130Js has now flown nearly half a million flight hours, with some C-130J operator countries flying as much as 1000 hours per month.