The Philippine Air Force will get five new Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules transport aircrafts to boost its fleet next year for humanitarian and disaster relief operations. The House of Representatives has approved the request of the PAF for additional funding for the acquisition of the new planes as part of modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), which is a priority measure of the Duterte administration. Upon endorsement by Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, the committee tasked to amend the 2022 General Appropriations Bill has realigned P5.5 billion budget to the AFP for downpayment on the cargo planes.
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 Philippine Air Force 222nd Airlift Squadron, which is under the command of the 220th Airlift Wing, currently fields four C-130s (two C-130Ts, one C-130B, and one C-130H) all of which operate from Cebu. The C-130B is expected to be retired in the near future. The 222nd Airlift Squadron will acquire two more Lockheed C-130 “Hercules” cargo aircraft to add to its existing fleet of five used to transport medical supplies and personnel tasked to contain the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
The Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. The C-130J is the newest version of the C-130 Hercules and the only model in production. Current operators of the C-130J are the USAF (including the Air Force Reserve Command and the Air National Guard), United States Marine Corps (being their fourth variant after KC-130F, KC-130R and KC-130T,) 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. By 2021, 450 had been delivered with 26 operators in 22 countries.
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 (including head-up displays (HUDs) 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. The J-model is available in a standard-length or stretched -30 variant.