The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of C-130J-30 Super Hercules and KC-130J tanker aircraft to Saudi Arabia.

Under the estimated $6.7bn FMS, Saudi Arabia has requested 20 C-130J and five KC-130J refueling aircraft along with 120 Rolls Royce AE2100D3 engines, including 100 installed and 20 spares and 25 Link-16 multifunctional information distribution systems (MIDS).

Communications equipment, tools, spare and repair parts, publications and technical data, test and maintenance equipment, as well as training and other related elements of logistical support services have also been requested.

The aircraft will help Saudi Arabia modernise its aging aircraft fleet by improving reliability and by boosting the Royal Saudi Air Force’s (RSAF) capabilities.

The sale will also contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the US by enhancing the security of Saudi Arabia, which continues to serve as an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.

Lockheed-Martin, General Electric Aviation Systems and Rolls Royce will serve as prime contractors for the programme.

A stretched version of C-130J Hercules, the C-130J-30 is a four-engine, medium-lift military transport aircraft designed to carry out military, civilian and humanitarian aid operations.

Powered by four Rolls-Royce AE 2100D3 turboprop engines, the Lockheed Martin KC-130 Harvest Hawk is an extended-range tanker version of the C-130 Hercules and is used for aerial refueling and tactical airlift missions.

The RSAF currently operates a fleet of 50 C-130 Hercules aircraft variants for military transport, airborne refueling and VIP transport operations.

Image: the Lockheed Martin-built C-130 Hercules aircraft conducting mission. Photo: courtesy of Eagleamn.