Philippine Department of National Defense OKs purchase of three C-130 aircraft

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The Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) has issued a Notice to Proceed for the acquisition of three brand new C-130J-30 aircraft units for the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

The DND will purchase the units from US aerospace, arms defense, information security, and technology company Lockheed Martin through a direct commercial sale.

The three C-130J-30 Super Hercules aircraft are scheduled to arrive in the Philippines in July 2026, October 2026 and January 2027.  

The three aircraft will be added to PAF’s current mixed fleet of C-130s used to support Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) efforts and military operations.

“The additional cargo space of the C-130J-30, coupled with the reliability of C-130 aircraft we have in our current fleet, will provide our Air Force with greater operational flexibility,” DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong told CNN Philippines.

“These features will empower our PAF to meet the demands of the AFP’s tactical missions more effectively,” Andalong added.

“Philippine Air Force crews have long demonstrated what the C-130 is designed to do: go everywhere — in any condition — to deliver hope and help where it’s needed most,” Rod McLean, Vice President and General Manager of Lockheed Martin’s Air Mobility & Maritime Missions line of business, said in a release.

“It is an honor to continue serving the Philippines with the most advanced and capable C-130 ever produced. The Super Hercules provides the Philippine Air Force with unmatched interoperability and capability, supporting challenging mission requirements across the Pacific region,” McLean added.

The C-130J is the newest variant of the venerable C-130 and is equipped with new engines, flight deck and other systems. It is capable of transporting 92 to 128 passengers and has a maximum allowable load of 40,000.

The Philippines is a long-standing C-130 operator, receiving its first Hercules in the early 1970s.

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