Two more C-130s from US to join PAF fleet

  • The PAF has acquired two more refurbished C-130 Hercules cargo planes
  • The first unit will be delivered next week and the second will arrive in September
  • The planes are refurbished and purchased from the US for P1.6-billion

MANILA, Philippines –  Two more refurbished C-130 Hercules cargo planes from the United States is expected to join the Philippine Air Force (PAF) fleet this year; with the first unit expected to arrive next week.

Outgoing PAF chief Lt. Gen. Jeffrey F. Hidalgo announced on Tuesday that the first of the two second-hand C-130s will be delivered on March 14 from US.

The aircrafts were purchased through the US’s Excess Defense Articles Program in a contract worth P1.6-billion. The second Hercules will arrive in September this year.

The two C-130s are the tactical airlifter basic models or “T” model.

“These C-130s are refurbished,” said Delgado; who will be retiring on March 9. “We bought it at a reduced price. We spent P1.6 billion for that.”

Delgado said he takes pride in the fact that his two-year service as PAF chief saw the service’s boosting its fleet of operational aircraft from 40 in 2014 to 90 this year; a more than 100% increase in operational aircraft in just two years.

Over the last two years, the PAF acquired 34 aircraft –  Agusta 109 multi-role attack helicopters, the Bell 412 helicopters, the C295 medium lift transport planes, the UH-1D helicopters,  the first two of the dozen-unit FA50 lead-in fighter trainer jets that arrived in November — which are all part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’  (AFP) ongoing modernization program.

Meanwhile, Delgado will be replaced by Deputy Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Edgar Fallorina.

He will step down 9 days before his mandatory retirement age to give President Aquino sufficient time to appoint his preferred choice before the constitutional ban on appointment of government officials on March 25, or two before the next presidential election.