Lockheed Martin has delivered the first of eight C-130J-30 Super Hercules tactical airlifters to the Georgia Air National Guard on 22 January 2024, which first received earlier variants of the long-serving design in 1975.

The 165th Airlift Wing of the Georgia Air National Guard will be the first all-C-130J-30 Super Hercules fleet in the US state of Georgia, with the stretched variant adding 15ft of additional cargo space compared to other iterations of the platform.

According to manufacturer Lockheed Martin, the delivery marks the first US Air Force C-130J-30 aircraft to receive the Block 8.1 configuration during its initial production. The Block 8.1 configuration improves interoperability across the fleet with features such as a new flight management system, enhanced navigation and inter-communication systems and updated friend-or-foe identification, Lockheed Martin states.

The US Air National Guard continues to operate a mixed C-130J and C-130H fleet.

To date, 26 operators in 22 nations are part of the C-130J global fleet, with manufacturer Lockheed Martin delivering more than 530 C-130J Super Hercules in 18 mission variants.

Fixed-wing transport sector forecast shows growth

According to GlobalData’s ‘The Global Military Fixed Wing Aircraft Market 2023-2033’ report, military transport aircraft is only second behind fixed-wing combat aircraft in terms of market share for the sector with an 8.7% holding, forecasting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.6% from 2023 to 2033.

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The expected cumulative spending for military transport aircraft over the 11-year period of the report was forecast to be up to $88bn, according to GlobalData analysis. Dominating the segment is the Asia-Pacific region with 47.7% and Europe with 28.3% with CAGRs of 3.6% and 3.8% respectively.