Israel Signs $170M C-130 Maintenance Contract
Some of the most famous and respected combat aircraft in Israel’s Cheyl Ha’Avir have never shot down an enemy plane, and never dropped a bomb. The C-130 Hercules (“Karnaf” or Rhino to the IAF) achieved fame by being the transport that carried Israeli troops into the heart of Africa, during the dramatic hostage rescue at Entebbe. Their 8 C-130E aircraft have been refurbished and given C-130H wings, and are up for sale. The remaining 10 aircraft, which include 4 KC-130 dual-role aerial refuelers, retain their customary roles.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)’s Bedek Aviation Group has signed a 9 1/2 year contract with the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMOD) to provide “comprehensive and continuous maintenance services to the Israel Air Force (IAF) Heavy Transport Aircraft Wing,” which is to say its C-130s, and possibly some of Israel’s 14 707-300 “Re’em” (Oryx) and “Phalcon” (AWACS variant) aircraft. IAI estimates that the total full value of these maintenance services could reach $170 million. Services will begin at both the IAF’s base and Bedek’s facilities, but eventually tall services will be provided on base. The base was not specified, but according to Scramble all IDF C-130s and 707s are based at Ben-Gurion/Lod, near Tel Aviv. IAI release.