C-130s for the Philippines
The Philippine Air Force has devolved in many ways since the 1980s, but China’s ongoing pressure is finally focusing high-level attention on the need to rebuild it. A country of islands means a special premium for sea and air transport, but the country’s aerial transport fleet has declined especially badly. At the high end, it has crashed from a high of 18 C-130 medium transports to just 3 aged C-130B and L-382 (converted civil C-130H) aircraft. Poor storage and practices mean that only 3 other PAF airframes can even hope for refurbishment now, and the country is also looking to buy second-hand C-130s from the United States.
Contracts & Key Events
July 24/14: C-130Ts. The US DSCA announces the Philippines official request for 2 ex-US Navy C-130T Hercules medium tactical transports, 10 T56-16 engines (8 installed and 2 spares), 3 years of sustainment and support, modification equipment and labor costs, spare and repair parts, support equipment, publications and technical documentation, aircraft ferry support, personnel training and training equipment, and other US Government and contractor support. The estimated cost is $61 million.
“Contractor requirements are still being researched, and will be fulfilled through open competition. Should USG representatives or contractor support in-country be required in support of the case, length of time in-country will be minimized to the maximum practical extent. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.”
C-130Ts are US NAVAIR’s designation for planes the USAF would classify as C-130H models, with some changes. the Navy bought 20, and the type reached Initial Operating Capability in 1991. They, and their dual-role KC-130T counterparts, are being replaced by new KC-130J transport/ tankers. Sources: US DSCA #14-24, “Government of the Philippines – C-130T Aircraft”.
DSCA request: 2 C-130Ts
Nov 27/13: Will buy 2. Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin says that they’ll buy 2 used C-130s from the USA:
“He said the current C-130s are overused given the scale of the operations in Visayas–particularly Leyte and Samar–the region that was battered by Yolanda and a 7.2 magnitude quake in October. The secretary said buying brand-new planes is not a priority at this time because the country cannot afford the tag price…. The Air Force is down to three functioning C-130 from a high of 18. It will cost around P500 million [DID: $11.5 million] to fix the non-functioning planes.”
Sources: “Philippines to buy 2 used C-130s”
June 10/13: Fleet to 9? The Philippine blog MaxDefense says that the country could have as many as 9 C-130s again by 2015:
“For those who passed by the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, you may have seen three parked C-130s on the apron. These three aircraft are currently not operational, and are the only units found by PAF and Lockheed Martin specialists as acceptable for re-commissioning after extensive refurbishment and repair… According to MaxDefense sources, these 3 units (2 C-130B and an L-100 civilian version) will undergo in-house refurbishing and repair similar to what was done last year to C-130B tail no. 3633. It will be done by the PAF’s 410th Maintenance Wing…. Information given to MaxDefense regarding these 3 C-130s is not yet final though…. According to MaxDefense sources, the DND and PAF are in talks with the US government to get at least 3 units of “H” models from US EDA stocks.”
Sources: MaxDefense, “More C-130 Hercules transport planes for the PAF staring 2014”.
Aug 10/12: 1 operational. PH Defense Today is still on top of key RFPs, and places them in the context of the fleet’s current condition. When this RFP is done, the country’s fleet will rise to 3 C-130s in service:
“An unidentified Philippine Air Force C-130 is due to undergo its 24th Year Scheduled Maintenance Program (SMP). On August 1, 2012, the PAF Bids and Awards Committee invited suppliers to bid for tools and equipment related to the SMP on PhilGEPS…. as of writing, the Air Force only had one operational Hercules: #4726, making it the logical object of this effort.
Two other PAF C-130s are undergoing maintenance programs. The long suffering #4704, which had been the AFP’s lone operational C-130 for years, is currently in the United States for a protracted repair effort. The second, #3633, is nearing the end of its maintenance cycle at the 410th maintenance wing…. The text of the bid invitation appears below…”
Sources: PH Defense Today, “Another PAF C-130 due to undergo Scheduled Maintenance Program (SMP)”.
Jan 6/12: PH Defense Today pulls some official data to illustrate a problem:
“The 305th Contracting Office of the AFP Procurement Service currently has P7,928,421.13 [DID: about $181,000] worth of bid invitations on PhilGEPS that dramatically illustrate the challenges that AFP logisticians face. Instead of establishing service support agreements with aircraft suppliers, the service is inviting potential suppliers to 18 individual bids for C-130 components. These appear in the table below…”
Sources: PH Defense Today, “The PAF’s piecemeal acquisitions”.
- US NAVAIR – C/KC-130T Hercules.