Israel is planning to replace its ageing C-130s with new Lockheed C-130J-30s. The C-130J is the newest tactical inter-theater transport aircraft in service with the U.S.A.F. The 130J-30 is the 'stretched' version, operated by several foreign air forces. The Israeli Air Force presently flies two squadrons of 16 C-130 E/H and 5 KC-130H refueling tankers in it's inventory. Some of these aircraft became famous during the dramatic Entebbe, Uganda commando-rescue mission in 1976 - flying the freed hostages to safety.
According to a planned sales notification made by the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Israel is interested in acquiring nine 'Super Hercules' transport planes at a total value of $1.9 billion.
To improve operations at night and under adverse weather conditions, the aircraft will be fitted with the AN/AAQ-22 Star SAFIRE III electro-optical payload. This payload is fully integrated as part of the aircraft's standard avionics, allowing night operations. Previously this configuration was reserved for Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) aircraft only.
The aircraft will come fully configured with self-protection suite, comprising the AN/AAR-47 missile warning systems (MWS), AN/AAR-47(RWR) and AN/ALE-47 chaff-flare dispensing system. Its communications suite will comprise HF radios and AN/ARC-210 secure VHF/UHF radios.