WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The LM-100J is the civilian version of Lockheed Martin’s veteran C-130J Super Hercules aircraft and will be offered to operators as a commercial, multi-purpose air freighter, the release said.
"Recent production accomplishments include the completion of the aircraft wings; delivery of the empennage [tail assembly]… commencement of cab-top construction; and the arrival of the LM-100J’s cargo deck," the release stated on Thursday.
The tail assembly is being manufactured by the Tata Lockheed Martin Aerostructures joint venture in India, the release added.
"The first LM-100J will progress through final production phases over the next few months, with an anticipated first flight in the first half of 2017."
Lockheed Martin, the number one supplier to the US Defense Department, is looking to adjacent markets and foreign orders for its weapons to offset weaker US and European defense spending.