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C-130T Hercules Acquisition Project of the Philippine Air Force

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) raised a requirement to purchase two (2) Lockheed C-130 Hercules heavy tactical transport aircraft needed to improve its ability to provide logistics support to the PAF and the entire Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Prior to this program, the PAF only has three C-130s in service consisting of a C-130B acquired from the US several years ago, and two C-130H purchased by the PAF in the late 1970s.

Our of the proposed plan to boost the C-130 fleet from 3 to 9 by 2018, only this acquisition of two aircraft pushed through. Plans to rehabilitate and revive 3 mothballed C-130B and L-100 Hercules aircraft did not push through after the airframes were found to be in very poor condition. 

PAF C-130T Hercules, formerly USMC 163022 as it prepares for departure from Davis-Monthan Air Base en route to the Philippines for delivery. Photo taken from 

Project Summary:

C-130T Hercules Acquisition Project (Horizon 1)

* End User: Philippine Air Force (220th Airlift Wing)

Quantity: 2 aircraft

* Modernization Phase:
 Horizon 1 Phase of RAFPMP

* Project ABC:

Acquisition Mode: US Foreign Military Sales (US FMS) and US Foreign Military Financing (US FMF) Programs

* SARO Release:
 SARO-BMB-D-16-0001973 dated 04 March 2016 (1st tranche payment)

* Winning Proponent:
 US Department of Defense

Product for Delivery: Lockheed C-130T Hercules

* Contract Price:

* First post by MaxDefense:
 30 November 2013

Delivery Status: Delivery of 1st aircraft made on  March 2016, delivery of 2nd aircraft completed as of November 2016. PROJECT COMPLETED.

U P D A T E S:

10 June 2013:

In a blog released by MaxDefense, discussions were underway between the US and Philippine defense departments on the transfer of at least three (3) used C-130H Hercules heavy tactical transport aircraft through the US Excess Defense Article (EDA) Program, to help beef up the transport capabilities of the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

The PAF plans to have at least nine (9) C-130 Hercules by 2015-2016, from the current three (3) operational units.

Solutions to meet this goal include this acquisition of EDA units, and the revival of several mothballed PAF C-130s in Cebu, which are now being inspected to see the viability of such proposal.

Our blog entry for this can be accessed through the link below:

"More C-130 Hercules transport planes for the PAF staring 2014" - first posted on 10 June 2013.

Three non-operational Lockheed C-130 and L-100 aircraft in Cebu, as taken in 2013. Photo credited to Pinoy Daily Journal.


26 November 2013:

In the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda in November 2013 that devastated several cities and communities in the Visayas region, MaxDefense made a blog proposing what the Philippine government can do to improve the capabilities of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations. This was after the PAF and the entire Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was caught off-guard by the situation due to lack of equipment. 

Thankfully our ally the US, security partners like Japan and Australia, and friends like Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, and others, plus even friends from faraway like UK, Sweden, and Russia provided assistance.

Among those proposed by MaxDefense includes the acquisition of more C-130s from friendly sources, either new, used, or a combination of both.

In an HADR point of view, the PAF and the Philippine government in general lacks the air assets it needs, considering that the country is a disaster-prone one that requires mobilization of the government to assist communities. And that can be done quickly through the use of air assets like the C-130 Hercules.

The blog entry can be accessed on the link below:

Building-up the AFP's Equipment Needs for Disaster Response and Military Operations" - first posted on 26 November 2013

C-130s from Indonesia, Sweden, and the Philippines during relief operations in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). Taken and credited to Lt. Col. Francis Neri (PAF) Facebook page.


30 November 2013:

MaxDefense released a new blog as a follow-on to its earlier blog on improving the PAF's HADR-capable air assets, but this time focusing on the C-130 Hercules.

Defense Sec. Voltaire Gazmin confirmed that the DND is in the process of procuring two (2) C-130s for the PAF worth Php1.6 billion (US$37 million) starting 2014. This was also confirmed by AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista in a separate interview that also mentioned the need for the PAF to have at least 9 C-130 aircraft.

Based on the budget of Php800 million (US18.5 million) per aircraft which may also include an Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) package and training for the crew, MaxDefense believes that this could be used legacy C-130 Hercules and not new units which could cost in excess of US$100 million each.

The blog entry can be accessed on the link below:

"Fulfilling the Immediate Needs for Additional C-130s for the Philippine Air Force" - first posted 30 November 2013


01 August 2014:

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) released information on the possible Foreign Military Sales (FMS) of two (2) Lockheed C-130T Hercules aircraft for the Philippine Air Force in a deal worth US$61 million. The deal includes two complete C-130T aircraft, plus two spare Rolls Royce Allison T56-16 aircraft engines, logistical support for 3 years, modification equipment and labor costs, spares and repair parts, support equipment, publication and technical documentations, aircraft ferry support, personnel training, and training equipment.

It turns out that the PAF's budget of Php1.6 billion (US$37 million) was only for 1 aircraft, while the US government, through its US Military Assistance to the Philippines, will shoulder the cost of the other aircraft worth US$34 million.

With the aircraft identified as a Tango version, which is not in service with the US Air Force , our search is now limited to those used by the US Navy and US Marine Corps.

The blog entry can be accessed on the link below:

Initial Details on the Upcoming ex-US Marine Corps C-130T Hercules for the Philippine Air Force" - first posted on 01 August 2014

A US Navy C-130T doing touch-and-go runs. Photo taken from Goleta Air & Space Museum website.


January 12, 2015:

The US Embassy released information last 09 January 2015 that the Philippine Air Force has completed a second inspection of two C-130T that are being offered for transfer to the aforementioned armed service. Photos from the US Embassy press release shows the Philippine officials with one of the aircraft with number 022, and was said to be in Joint Reserve Naval Air Station Fort Worth in Texas. The press release also indicated that the Philippine government, through Maj. Gen. Victor Bayani, has already signed the Letter of Offer and Acceptance signifying the approval to procure the inspected aircraft. Expected delivery was placed by 1st quarter of 2016.

Also, there appears to be changes in the C-130T the PAF will be acquiring. Originally is was reported that it would come from the US Navy, but photos show that the C-130T are actually coming from former US Marine Corps stock. The aircraft 022 is actually a 1984-built KC-130T formerly with the USMC, and may not sport the glass cockpit we discussed in the main blog article.

PAF and US officials during the inspection of C-130T at Fort Worth, Texas. Photo taken from US Embassy in the Philippines website.


14 January 2015:

Due to earlier developments wherein MaxDefense was able to identify the C-130T Hercules bound for the PAF identified, other ideas came out on what the PAF could be planning.

The two (2) C-130T Hercules from the US Marine Corps were actually KC-130T multi-purpose tanker-transport aircraft with a drogue-type refuelling system.

While the PAF has no aircraft with an aerial refuelling capability, it seems that its either the KC-130Ts would be reconfigured back to standard C-130T transport aircraft, or the PAF is being readied to have aerial refuelling capability using the newly acquired KAI FA-50 Fighting Eagle light combat aircraft, or something else.

Even if the refuelling system is removed, the aircraft has plumbing that allows such capability to be returned when needed. The blog entry can be accessed on the link below:

More on the Philippine Air Force C-130T Acquisition: Is the PAF Acquiring Aerial Refueling Tanker?" - first posted on 14 January 2015

A US Marine Corps KC-130T Hercules tanker-transport aircraft refuelling two F/A-18 Hornets using the probe-and-drogue method. The PAF's upcoming C-130T is formerly a KC-130T aircraft.

EDIT as of November 2016:

The PAF's two C-130T Hercules won't be having aerial refuelling capability, but they are still plumbed for such capability. In case the PAF decides to re-convert them to aerial tankers, the conversion won't be difficult.


28 August 2015:

In our latest blog entry dated 28 August 2015, we mentioned that based on the statements made by US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg, the first C-130T will arrive by the 1st quarter of 2016.


8 March 2016:

In our MaxDefense @ Facebook page post, PAF Chief Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Delgado confirmed that the first C-130T Hercules will be arriving soon, with PAF pilots already undergoing familiarization training in the US.


9 March 2016:

Inquirer.net posted a photo of the first C-130T Hercules bound of for the PAF, This is the first publicly-available photo of the aircraft, which sports an interesting grey paint scheme similar to those used by the US Marine Corps C-130T but with PAF markings.

The photo posted by Inquirer.net, of the first C-130T Hercules for the PAF while still in the US. Photo taken from Inquirer.net.


05 April 2016:

First reports on the arrival of the first C-130T Hercules from the US, with an estimated time of either tonight or tomorrow morning.


06 April 2016:

The PAF's Public Information Office (PIO) released photos of the first C-130T Hercules from the US after it arrived at Benito Ebuen Air Base in Cebu at the night of 05 April 2016.

The C-130T after it arrived at Benito Ebuen Air Base in Cebu from the US. Photos from PAF PIO.


13 April 2016:

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) formally accepted and put into service the first C-130T Hercules it acquired from the US on 12 April 2016. The aircraft's tail number is 5011.

The event was graced by Defense Sec. Voltaire Gazmin and US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg.

It was also announced that the second C-130T will arrive in the Philippines on or before September 2016.

The C-130T with T/N 5011 was formally accepted and put into service with the PAF on 12 April 2016. Photos taken from PAF PIO.


07 October 2016:

Media outlets reported the departure of the second C-130T Hercules heavy tactical transport aircraft from the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona on the way to the Philippines. The aircraft has the tail number 5040.

It is expected that the aircraft will arrive in Benito Ebuen Air Base in Mactan, Cebu on Sunday, October 9, 2016.

Originally MaxDefense received information that the C-130 T was supposed to arrive in the Philippines in late September. No reason was given on the change or delivery date.

The C-130Ts are sporting a different paint scheme from the rest of the PAF's C-130 fleet and is expected to conduct dual mission as transport aircraft, and surveillance missions upon the arrival of roll-on/roll-off palletized Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR). These ISR kits were promised by the US government under its Maritime Security Initiative for Southeast Asia announced early this year. 

With the rocky PH-US relations now, this remains to be seen, although the C-130T on its own will be very useful for transport and support missions for the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The PAF is expected to acquire more C-130s in the near future.

The second C-130T Hercules with T/N 5040 as it prepares to depart the US for the Philippines.


10 October 2016:

MaxDefense received reports on the arrival of the 2nd and final aircraft at Benito Ebuen Air Base in Cebu at 2030H of 09 October 2016. 


24 October 2016:

The second C-130T Hercules heavy tactical transport aircraft obtained from the US, with T/N 5040 was formally accepted and put into PAF service today.

This means the PAF now has 5 serviceable C-130 Hercules, consisting of a C-130B, two C-130H, and two C-130T. This is the most number of C-130s ever in PAF service in more than a decade.

MaxDefense posted the news report from the Philippine News Agency on this development.

Happy pilots from the 220th Airlift Wing with their newly acquired C-130T Hercules, and other existing Hercules in the PAF fleet.


November 2016:

The PAF's two C-130T Hercules won't be having aerial refuelling capability, but they are still plumbed for such capability. In case the PAF decides to re-convert them to aerial tankers, the conversion won't be difficult.


With the aircraft already delivered and in service with the Philippine Air Force, MaxDefense Philippines and Philippine Defense Resource can confirm that the C-130T Hercules Acquisition Project of the Philippine Air Force as COMPLETED.

x x x x x x x x x x x


First posted and released on 19 April 2019 @ MaxDefense Philippines.
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource

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