Coulson purchases five C-130H aircraft from Norway

They will be converted to air tankers
Norwegian C-130H aircraft in storage. Coulson photo.

Coulson Aviation (USA) Inc. has bought five C-130H transport planes from the Norwegian Defense Materiel Agency (NDMA) and will convert them into firefighting air tankers. The formal takeover is planned for the end of this year or early in 2020.

The NDMA is Norway’s commercial and technical designated procurement and divestment authority for their Department of Defense.

In March 2018, the NDMA sales process began with a Request for Proposal. Six companies responded, however only Coulson Aviation was able to provide the required documentation, including the current government contracts, which was part of the sales regulations. The sales have been approved by U.S. Authorities, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Norwegian Ministry of Defense.

“These C-130H’s have been maintained to the highest standard and with our modifications, along with a new glass cockpit, they will continue to serve the public for years to come,” said Britt Coulson, President of Coulson Aviation.

The five C-130Hs have been stored at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona.

“These airplanes have been very important for the Norwegian Defense, and I am pleased that they will now also be useful for civilian purposes, said Frank Bakke-Jensen, Minister of Defense in Norway. Mette Sørfonden, Director General for NDMA, added “This is the most significant material sales project finalized after the establishment of NDMA, and it has been an important achievement […].”

Coulson has been operating C-130Q  and C-130H models since at least 2013. In 2017 the company purchased six 737-300’s with the intention of converting them into 4,000-gallon “Fireliner” air tankers. Britt Coulson said they saw an opportunity when Southwest Airlines made a decision to replace their 737-300’s with the new 737-Max. Conversions on at least two 737-300s are complete, with one being sold to the government of New South Wales Australia. The other has a call when needed contract with the U.S. Forest Service.

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3 thoughts on “Coulson purchases five C-130H aircraft from Norway”

  1. Should be interesting to watch how quickly they are able to get these aircraft in service. They have been parked for 11 almost 12 years. Coulson I would think has at least 2 tanks ready out of the leased C-130s. The other question will be how long will they have to wait for a CWN or EU contract to put them on. The available fleet is starting to grow quite substantially.

  2. Thank you for letting me comment, Living in Australia I am horrified with our total lack of interest in Large tankers for fire fighting, we have 12 C130 aircraft doing nothing to help! C130’s were used to ferry the public and politicians during a pilot strike for weeks, we have Blackhawks and 8 C17’s. Every day on TV huge fires with Koalas and wildlife on fire! They just don’t care, Our state government last night announced a bid for 23 Billion for a Olympic Bid! Thanks Alan Stewart.

    1. Alan the govt cant send defence aircraft to fight fires, they have to be fitted out and the pilots need to be trained in fire bomber tactics, the majority of these fires started in national parks which have been locked up and not had controlled burns for decades, as for the Olympics Qld taxpayers will be slugged for that not Canberra, and the koalas, are you aware they are euthanized on kangaroo island south Australia because of over population.

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