The Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) has formally accepted the first of three C130J-30 Super Hercules military transport aircraft from Lockheed Martin at its Marietta facility in Georgia, US.
The aircraft completed its maiden test flight at the same facility in August 2012.
Oman ordered the first long configuration C130J-30 Super Hercules in July 2009, followed by two additional short configuration aircraft in August 2010, to help support the air force's internal country operations and also to enable operation out of remote and rundown airstrips.
A stretched version of Lockheed built C-130J Hercules, the C-130J-30 is a four-engine, medium-lift military transport aircraft designed to perform military, civilian and humanitarian assistance missions.
The aircraft is equipped with an advanced two-pilot flight station with fully integrated digital avionics, colour multifunctional liquid crystal and head-up displays (HUD), digital auto pilot, as well as advanced navigation, which includes a dual inertial navigation system (INS) and global positioning system (GPS).
With an extended cargo floor length ranging from 40ft to 55ft, the aircraft also features an enhanced cargo-handling system that support accommodation and transport of eight 463L pallets, 97 litters, 24 container delivery system (CDS) bundles and 128 equipped combat troops or 92 paratroopers.
The aircraft is currently operational with the US, UK, Norway and Italy, and has also been ordered by the Australian, Italian, Danish, Indian, Israeli, Iraqi and Kuwaiti, Qatar and Tunisian air forces.
A fleet of three C-130 Hercules aircraft acquired in the early 1980s is currently used by Oman for transport operations.
Image: Lockheed, Omani and US Air Force officials during C130J-30 Super Hercules acceptance ceremony. Photo: courtesy of Damien Guarnieri, Lockheed Martin.