Last week, the first Israeli “Shimshon” (C-130j Super Hercules) flew to the “Lockheed Martin” factory in Greenville, USA, for installation of special systems. The next aircraft which will land this year will absorbed by the “Elephants” Squadron with the systems installed ahead of time
“The installations combine advanced Israeli systems which will be installed on the first two aircraft and will significantly improve its qualifications for the missions it is designated to execute”, explained Lt. Col. Yoav, the “Elephants” Squadron Commander.
“Crossing the Atlantic with a ‘Shimshon’ makes things simple”
Flying to the U.S in the winter is a challenging task for any aircraft – therefore the first “Shimshon” aircrew was required to deal with phenomena which do not appear when flying in Israeli airspace. “The transportation of the aircraft from Israel to the U.S took two days, in which we made stops in France and Canada for rest and refueling”, shares Lt. Col. Yoav. “The flight included bad weather which included icing, strong wings and low clouds which we usually don’t experience in Israel. Despite all of these, it was a very smooth flight with close to no malfunctions. The aircraft is built to deal with bad weather and has automatic anti-icing and forecasting systems. Crossing the Atlantic with a ‘Shimshon’ makes things simpler and more comfortable, the aircrew is a reduced one and the aircraft’s automation supports the flight”.
A Year of Meaningful Work
The “Elephants” Squadron faces a year of meaningful work in which the squadron will undergo special qualifications inspection and absorb additional “Shimshons”. “By the end of the year the number of aircraft in the squadron will multiply”, says Lt. Col. Yoav. “We will open another aircraft ‘line’, increase the number of crews, qualify more servicemen/women in the technical division and enter a regular squadron’s operational routine”.