MARIETTA - The Libyan government wants to be compensated for eight C-130 aircraft that Lockheed Martin built and sold to the Middle Eastern country in 1972, but were never delivered due to a U.S. embargo, according to the Secretary of Defense's office.

Lockheed Martin accepted a $70 million order from the Libyan government with no objections raised at the time by the U.S. State Department.

However, relations between Libya and the U.S. deteriorated in the early 1970s, leading the State Department to claim that Libya had become anti-American. As a result, the planes were never delivered and continue to sit in disrepair at the aeronautics plant, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

Lockheed declined to answer questions about the status of the airplanes, referring inquiries to the Pentagon. The Secretary of Defense's public affairs office recently answered questions sent early this month by the Journal.

According to the public affairs office, the aircraft, which were paid in full, are no longer flyable, but are salvageable. However, since Lockheed Martin does not own the planes, the company "cannot undertake a third party resale," according to the office. "Only the government of Libya can do that."

The Libyans want to be compensated for their loss, according to the public affairs office.

As for the short- or long-term plans for the aircraft, "A commercial contract has been offered to the Libyan government for an engineering survey that would determine the cost to reconstitute the aircraft or their value in spare parts," the office reported.

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