The Philippine Air Force needs funding to acquire five C-130J cargo planes to boost its transport capacity. At a budget hearing at the House of Representatives, Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Allen Paredes said President Rodrigo Duterte approved the plan to acquire five C-130J military transport aircraft in May. The planes would be sufficient to transport one rapidly deployable battalion, equipment, and supplies . The procurement of additional five C-130Js is currently part of the “unfunded priority projects” for 2021 and would cost P37 billion and would be paid under a multi-year contract. The C-130J Super Hercules is the newest variation of Lockheed Martin’s C-130 aircraft.
Currently, there are four C-130 cargo planes in the Philippine Air Force fleet — two are operational while the other two are undergoing scheduled maintenance in Cebu and Portugal. The Air Force is also expecting the delivery of two refurbished C-130H Hercules from the US in 2020 and 2021. Both planes cost P2.5 billion but the Philippines would pay only P1.6 billion while the US would bankroll the rest of the amount or P900 million. The Philippine Air Force has been using its C-130s nonstop to transport personal protective equipment and other medical supplies to support the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. The C-130J is a comprehensive update of the Lockheed C-130 Hercules, with new engines, flight deck, and other systems. As of February 2020, 400 C-130J aircraft have been delivered to 17 nations. The C-130J is the newest version of the C-130 Hercules and the only model still in production. The largest operator of the new model is the U.S. Air Force, which has ordered the aircraft in increasing numbers. Current operators of the C-130J are the USAF , United States Marine Corps United States Coast Guard, Royal Air Force, Indian Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Danish Air Force, Royal Norwegian Air Force, Israeli Air Force, and the Italian Air Force.
The C-130J’s crew includes two pilots and one loadmaster, while specialized USAF variants (e.g., AC-130J, EC-130J, MC-130J, HC-130J, WC-130J) may have larger crews, such as navigators/Combat Systems Officers or other specialized officer and enlisted air crew. Externally similar to the classic Hercules in general appearance, the J-model features considerably updated technology. These differences include new Rolls-Royce AE 2100 D3 turboprop engines with Dowty R391 composite scimitar propellers, digital avionics for each pilot), and reduced crew requirements. These changes have improved performance over its C-130E/H predecessors, such as 40% greater range, 21% higher maximum speed, and 41% shorter takeoff distance.