Lockheed Martin has unveiled the LM-100J commercial freighter for the first time at its Marietta, Georgia facility.
The LM-100J, a civil derivative of the C-130J Super Hercules military airlifter, had its rollout ceremony on February 9.
The company said the aircraft was scheduled to make its first flight later in 2017.
“Today’s rollout not only marks another accomplishment for Super Hercules, but it also reflects the aircraft’s capability to evolve to meet customer requirements,” Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager for air mobility and maritime missions George Shultz said in a statement.
Lockheed Martin first applied to the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in February 2014 for a civil-certified version of the C-130J-30 Super Hercules.
In July 2014, Ireland-based ASL Aviation Group signed a letter of intent (LoI) for 10 LM-100Js.
Schultz said the LM-100J program had “exceeded all expectations” during its development to date.
“We are at this point thanks to hard work and dedication of Lockheed Martin employees and suppliers, who have literally designed and built this new chapter of Super Hercules operations,” Schultz said.
“The FAA has been an essential partner in this aircraft’s production and we look forward to continuing to work together as we move into the LM-100J’s critical flight test phase.”
More than 100 units of the L-100, the commercial variant of the first-generation C-130, were produced between 1964 and 1992. Many of these aircraft are still in service around the world with a range of commercial and government customers.
Lockheed Martin has said previously the LM-100J would be able to operate from short, unprepared airfields without ground support infrastructure and require only minimal cargo-handling equipment.
The aircraft was set to be built on the existing C-130 production line, with first delivery expected in 2018.
The Royal Australian Air Force’s 37 Squadron operates a fleet of 12 C-130J-30 Hercules from RAAF Base Richmond.
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