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PAF procures 2 more C-130 aircraft

Aviation Updates Philippines – The Philippine Air Force is procuring two more Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport aircraft from the United States to beef up its logistics to aid in the government's efforts in suppressing COVID-19.

Department of National Defense (DND) spokesperson Arsenio Andolong told the Philippine News Agency: "Based on our current status reports, one of the C-130s is expected to arrive this month (July) while the other one will arrive before the end of the year. Both have no specific (arrival) dates yet."

The acquisition of the C-130s, valued at P2.5 billion, is co-financed by the US through the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program. Andolong said the PAF, on its part, would shoulder P1.6 billion while the US would finance the remaining P900 million.

Only two out of the five C-130s on the air force's inventory are currently air-worthy as others have undergone maintenance. The delivery of the transport aircraft is a "welcome addition" to the fleet because it will also be used to transport medical equipment amid the pandemic.

According to MaxDefense Philippines, the PAF's procurement did not come "out of the blue" since it was already planned back in 2017; however, the air force originally proposed only acquiring one. The two aircraft will have upgraded avionics, which made the project a bit costly.

Photo from Dirk Salcedo, AUP

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