Israel has purchased a second C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft from manufacturer Lockheed Martin, a year after it ordered its first C-130J. The U.S. government has approved the sale, as well as funding for advance procurement of items for a third aircraft.
The IAF will be receiving the stretched fuselage version of the aircraft, C-130J-30, which it has reportedly named Shimshon. The first of the three C-130J transports is scheduled to arrive in Israel in the spring of 2013. The second is scheduled for delivery in late 2013, and the third for 2014.
According to the Defense Update website, Israel's aircraft are being modified with an enhanced durability center wing - a part of the aircraft that has to endure high stress. The Shimshons will also come with two embedded global positioning systems and an aerial refueling system.
"We are providing Israel with the most flexible and capable airlifter in the world as that country continues to expand its advanced airlift fleet. The multi-role and multi-mission capability and performance of the C-130J are ideally suited to the unique requirements of the Israeli Air Force," said Jim Grant, Lockheed Martin vice president of business development for Air Mobility.
In 2008, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Israel of nine C-130J-30 aircraft as well as associated equipment and services, and said the total value of the purchase could reach $1.9 billion.
While anti-Israel propaganda, like the billboards that appeared in Seattle this week, calls on Americans to cancel military aid to the Jewish State, it fails to note that this aid comes with strings attached that require Israel to use the money to purchase U.S.-manufactured military hardware, thus assisting the U.S. military industry as well.