PAF acquires 3 US transport aircraft for P22.1B
American defense contractor Lockheed Martin has officially sealed a P22.1-billion contract to supply three C-130J-30 Super Hercules aircraft to the Philippine Air Force.
The Department of National Defense (DND) on Tuesday said it already issued a notice to proceed—which means the implementation of the contract can already begin. The aircraft are set to be delivered by July 2026, October 2026 and January 2027.
The C-130J—the most advanced variant of the C-130 aircraft—will meet the demands of the military’s tactical missions more effectively, said Arsenio Andolong, spokesperson for the DND.
At least 25 countries are currently using the Super Hercules, according to Lockheed Martin.
“The addition of the C-130J-30 to the inventory is a significant leap forward in terms of achieving a credible defense posture,” Andolong said.
The acquisition of three brand new C-130 multi-mission aircraft will add to the mixed fleet of refurbished C-130s in the PAF inventory that were acquired through US military financing. Transport aircraft such as the C-130s are widely used in disaster relief operations and even counterinsurgency missions.
The PAF originally called for the acquisition of five C-130Js during the Duterte administration but this was trimmed down due to funding issues. At the time, then Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the COVID-19 highlighted “the inadequacy of air transport.” Only the PAF planes were flying at the peak of the pandemic in 2020 because civilian planes were not allowed to fly under COVID-19 quarantine rules.
The PAF missions then included the transport of personal protective equipment (PPE), stranded passengers and medical supplies. The PAF planes also flew to China several times to speed up the transport of PPEs. INQ