A couple of items recently on the C-130J.
India has agreed to buy six Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) C-130J military transport planes in a breakthrough deal with the United States worth about $1 billion that opens a door to closer strategic ties, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.
India and the U.S. signed an agreement on Jan. 31 for Lockheed to start delivering the four-engine Super Hercules turboprop aircraft in 2011, said Bruce Lemkin, who handles U.S. Air Force international affairs.
The deal marks a major shift in weapons-buying policy by India, which for decades has relied heavily on Russian arms and transport aircraft.
There had been some doubt as recently as a few weeks ago whether this deal would really go through.
Capt. Ben Robins raised his hands in the air and cheered from his perch on a concrete barrier near the edge of the Little Rock Air Force Base flight line Monday as he watched the C-130J slowly roll toward the runway.
Shortly before 6 p.m., as the evening sun set the sky ablaze with streaks of pink and orange, Lt. Col. Dan Tulley, 41st Airlift Squadron commander, coaxed Tail No. 3145 airborne, the first C-130J cargo plane in the active Air Force to deploy to war.
There’s nothing like using something in the real deal, though I wasn’t aware that no C-130Js had been there yet. Maybe Js with the AF Reserve or Air National Guard have served in the combat zone already?
Meanwhile, last month the Canadians also decided to go with the J: Lockheed Martin Receives $1.4 Billion Contract for 17 C-130J Super Hercules Aircraft for Canada
But I’m not sure why the Indians are paying $1 billion for six while the Canadians are paying $1.4 for seventeen. The Canadian number comes out to $82 million per plane, which is probably about right. The Indian number is $166 million per, which cannot be correct. Or, at least, it cannot be right if we want them to buy more from us later. Both news stories indicate that related equipment and support costs are included, but maybe the Indian contract has a lot more of that stuff?