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France and Germany will operate binational C-130J squadron
France and Germany have been increasing their cooperation in the defence area and will operate a fleet of C-130J Super Hercules in a binational squadron.
The ministers of defence of the two countries signed an agreement on 30 August to create a new facility and a training centre at Évreux Air Base, Northern France.
IOC for the squadron is expected later in 2021 and FOC is planned for 2024.
In a press release, the French MoD stressed that this collaborative effort will strengthen interoperability between the armed forces of the two countries and will allow French and German soldiers to work in mixed teams, regardless of their nationality.
‘This is a level of integration rarely achieved in the field of military aviation. The implementation of this initiative is a major step in Franco-German military cooperation,’ the press release pointed out.
Apart from carrying out purely national missions, the new squadron also enable mixed French and German crews to operate the C-130J.
The Super Hercules is the latest model of the C-130 four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft and performs airlift missions.
According to Shephard Defence Insight, France purchased two C-130J-30 and two KC-130J aircraft in February 2016 for $520 million, including sustainment.
Germany ordered three C-130J-30s in August 2018 as part of a wider $959 million deal including three KC-130Js and three years of contractor logistical support.
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