Israel reorganises transport squadrons ahead of C-130J deployment

Tel Aviv
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Israel's air force has begun reorganising the composition of its Lockheed Martin C-130 squadrons, ahead of deployment of its new J-model aircraft.

The service will consolidate 'Elephants' squadron and 'Yellow Bird' squadron into one unit. However, the former will operate C-130Js - known as Samson in Israeli service - while the latter will fly the upgraded H-model aircraft.

In June, Lockheed Martin delivered the first of three C-130Js ordered by Israel, which is currently being outfitted in the USA to Israeli air force standards.

Formal handover to the service is anticipated in early 2014.

Jerusalem plans to order an additional three aircraft.

The Israeli air force operates 12 C-130s, all E- or H-model variants, with the former due to be phased out.