Philippines proceeds order for three new C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft


A C-130J-30 stretched Super Hercules, this example with the US Air Force. Photo c/o US Air Force.

The Philippines’ Department of National Defense (DND) has confirmed that it has proceeded with its order with American defense giant Lockheed Martin for three new C-130J Super Hercules tactical transport aircraft.

The DND confirmed that it has released the Notice to Proceed (NTP) in favor of Lockheed Martin, which gives the signal to start the contract to deliver the new aircraft for the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

The PAF will be getting the C-130J-30, which is the stretched version of the versatile Super Hercules aircraft, which is 15 feet longer than the standard model and allows for 2 additional pallet to be loaded.

The DND confirmed that the first aircraft will be delivered by July 2026, the second by October 2026, and the third by January 2027.

According to Philippine Defense Resource, the acquisition of new C-130J Super Hercules have been planned since 2019 and five aircraft was supposed to be funded under the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program in FY 2021, but was delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic. The procurement was restarted in FY 2022 but only covers 3 aircraft, with more aircraft as options. The funding was released on June 2022, and the project awarded to Lockheed Martin on December 2022.

According to Philippine defense page Pitz Defense Analysis, the Contract between the DND and Lockheed Martin was signed on 09 February 2023, and the Notice to Proceed was actually released last 05 June 2023.

The Philippines will become the second country to purchase the C-130J Super Hercules after Indonesia, as the PAF modernizes its air fleet including its airlift capabilities. Currently it has 4 legacy C-130H/T Hercules and has a pending delivery of one more C-130H procured from US excess defense articles (EDA). The US Government has also made a commitment to transfer more C-130H from US EDA as part of its military assistance to the Philippines.

According to Lockheed Martin, the C-130J-30 Super Hercules has a maximum allowable payload of 19,958 kilograms, a maximum range with normal payload of 2,100 nautical miles, and a maximum range with 40,000 pounds of payload at 2,390 nautical miles. It can carry 9 pallets of 97 litters, or 24 CDS bundles or 128 combat troops or 92 paratroopers, or a combination of men and cargo up to the compartment capacity or maximum allowable weight.

[1] Philippine Defense Resource

[2] Pitz Defense Analysis

[3] Lockheed Martin

Philippines proceeds order for three new C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft Philippines proceeds order for three new C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on October 18, 2023 Rating: 5

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