Refurbished C-130 plane from US arriving this month

Jaime Laude - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – One of two refurbished C-130 Hercules planes that the United States government is handing over to the Philippines under its Excess Defense Article (EDA) project is on its way to Manila, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) said yesterday.

Col. Araus Robert Musico, newly installed PAF spokesman, said that the military cargo plane took off from California following its transfer to a contingent of Air Force personnel sent to bring home the aircraft.

“The plane has touched down in Hawaii and is due to arrive either last night or today in Manila,” Musico said, adding that official acceptance of the aircraft is tentatively set on April 13.

A second C-130 plane is expected to arrive in September.

The US government handed over two C-130s Hercules planes to the Philippines to bolster the airlift capabilities of the PAF, which once had only one C-130 plane in operation.

Currently, the PAF has three C-130 cargo planes, three C295 brand new medium lift aircraft to meet the lift requirements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

“The two additional aircraft would provide what we call heavy lift capabilities for rapid deployment of logistics and troops,” Musico said.

Prior to the flight to the Philippines, the C-130 aircraft underwent reconfiguration at a US air force facility in Tucson, Arizona and passed the test flights in the US.

Aside from bolstering its lift capabilities, PAF is also training additional fighter pilots using the newly delivered two supersonic FA50A lead-in fighter jets out of a squadron the Philippines has acquired from South Korea.

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