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First LM-100J (c/n 5818 )Commercial
Freighter Taking Shape
Components for the first LM-100J commercial freighter version of Lockheed
Martin’s C-130J Hercules airlifter are being manufactured, with final
assembly to begin in Marietta, Georgia, later this year.
The aircraft is scheduled to fly in early 2017, and the FAA certification flight-test program
is expected to take 12 months, says Ray Fajay, vice president of business development
for air mobility, special forces and maritime programs.
The first aircraft will then be delivered to an unnamed customer after certification.
None have been identified, but Faray says Lockheed has both launch customers and other
potential opportunities that range from exploratory discussions to advanced negotiations.
Lockheed built 115 L-100 civil Hercules freighters based on the earlier C-130E, and sees
a market for 75-100 LM-100Js. “Existing operators say the only replacement for a Hercules
is a Hercules,” Faray says. LM-100J sales will augment production of the military C-130J in
Marietta, now running at 24 a year. A multiyear contract signed in 2015 covers production of
78 aircraft over five years for the U.S. military, plus five options, with deliveries from 2016-2020.
Beyond the multiyear, Lockheed sees U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps requirements
for another 100-110 aircraft to complete procurement plans. “Beyond that there is Guard
and Reserve recapitalization, so we still believe a fair amount of aircraft will be needed.”
– Graham Warwick, [email protected]

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