Philippine Air Force to Acquire C-130J Super Hercules Tactical Airlifter
To replace the ageing fleet of heavy transport aircraft of the Philippine Air Force, they are now seeking to acquire the latest variant of C-130J from the United States.
A U.S. Air Force C-130J-30 Super Hercules at Avalon Airport in Australia.
The Philippine Air Force (P.A.F.) has been using old transport or cargo planes for years. Within their fleet are old variants of the Hercules aircraft made by the United States. They are using these aircrafts for troop transport, humanitarian aid and disaster response (H.A.D.R.), etc.
The Department of National Defense (D.N.D.) has confirmed in a budget hearing with the country's Congress, that the Philippine Air Force (P.A.F.) is planning to procure five (5) new Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules. The C-130J Super Hercules is the latest and most capable aircraft within the C-130 family made by United States' Lockheed Martin.
This is to be procured under the Brand New Additional Transport Aircraft Acquisition Project of the P.A.F., which is part of the 2nd List of Horizon 2 phase of the Revised Armed Forces Modernization Program.
According to a defense outlet, MaxDefense Philippines, this was the mystery project they were talking about a few months ago. And their sources confirmed that the Super Hercules the Philippine Air Force is interested in acquiring are the extended C-130J-30 variant. The variant is a few meters longer than the standard C-130J.
According to the P.A.F. chief Lt. Gen. Allan Paredes, the arrival of 5 new C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft will allow the P.A.F. to transport 1 rapid deployment battalion at one stroke, while also provide sufficient capability to ferry personnel, equipment and supplies during disasters.
"This would be enough to serve our mandate to be able to transport one rapidly deployable battalion at one stroke," Mr. Paredes said.
Mr. Paredes said the tactical airlifters would cost the Philippines, P37 billion and would be paid under a multi-year contract.
Also as part of a separate project, the Philippine Air Force is also expecting the delivery of two refurbished C-130H Hercules they acquired from the United States, with assistance from the U.S. government. The delivery has already encountered delays, with the first unit expected to be delivered to the PAF before the end of 2020, and the second aircraft by 2021.
Moreover, the Philippines is nearing the contract for acquiring a squadron of F-16s, also manufactured by Lockheed Martin. The new F-16V variant - the P.A.F. is trying to get - with the V suffix for its Viper nickname features an active electronically scanned array (A.E.S.A.) radar, a new mission computer and electronic warfare suite, automated ground collision avoidance system, and various cockpit improvements.