The Bangladesh Air Force (Bangladesh Biman Bahini) is to receive the last of five Royal Air Force (RAF) surplus Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules transport aircraft in the coming weeks. All of the ‘short-bodied’ C-130Js (designated C5 in Royal Air Force service) were originally due to be with the Bangladesh Air Force by the end of 2019, the final one is now expected to be handed over in March. Bangladesh ordered the surplus C-130Js in two batches of two and three aircraft in 2018 and earlier in 2019.
The deals were initially revealed via maintenance contracts announced by Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group (ADG). The first of the five aircraft was rolled out by Marshall ADG during an official ceremony in mid-July 2019. As Marshall ADG noted at the time, the company is carrying out comprehensive depth maintenance and important modifications on all the aircraft including capability enhancements such as medical evacuation, avionics upgrades, and the provision of a passenger transport configuration.
The Bangladesh Air Force has previously noted that the acquisition of C-130J aircraft from the RAF provides a key enhancement to its current airlift capability. As well as performing in-country support of the aircraft, Marshall ADG will also be modifying the aircraft, including designing, developing, and installing medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) capability to enable the Bangladesh Air Force to carry out tasks within the country and overseas in support of UN missions.
Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group is an aircraft maintenance, modification and design company located at Cambridge Airport, which it also owns and operates. The company covers all aspects of design, manufacture, maintenance, modification, conversion and logistic support of military, commercial and business aircraft. It employs over 4,400 people and is based on an 800-acre (3.2 km2) site with 1,200,000 square feet (110,000 m2) of covered hangar space. It works on a large variety of aircraft types and projects. Formerly known as Marshall’s of Cambridge, the Marshall companies have been involved in aerospace and specialist vehicle engineering since the early 20th Century.