Le Bourget, France Lockheed Martin is preparing the business case for launching the L-100J, a new commercial freighter aircraft based on the company’s C-130J military transport, Jack Crisler, company vice president for new business in air mobility, special operations, and maritime programs, said here on Monday. “We hope to have the business case analysis done before the end of the year, and we should have [an FAA] certification plan by early next year,” he told reporters during a briefing on the first day of the 50th Paris Air Show. The approach that Lockheed Martin is taking is akin to what the company did decades ago in offering the L-100 model, a commercial derivative of the C-130H, that “found a very comfortable niche market out in the air freight community,” said Crisler. Lockheed Martin built a total of about 115 of L-100s decades ago, he said. About 70 of those airframes are still flying and their operators came to the company seeking the opportunity to recapitalize them with an airplane that leverages the C-130J’s “payload, range, and avionics,” he said. Lockheed Martin sees a demand for “70-plus” L-100Js, said Crisler. “We are very excited about this. That represents a fairly sizable market for us,” he said.
As the U.S. continues to pursue a diplomatic resolution with Russia over its troop buildup on the Ukraine border, the Defense Department is looking into what capabilities it will need to reassure NATO allies if Russia does launch an invasion, its top spokesperson said Jan. 21.