The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Friday said it received a Short Sherpa military transport aircraft from a mining firm that can provide support to its ground troops. It was designed to operate from unpaved runways and make short takeoff and landings (STOL). Previously owned by the Semirara Mining and Power Corporation, the Short Brothers and Harland SD3-30 aircraft was turned over to the Philippine Army in a ceremony held at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Pasay City on Thursday. Present in the turnover and signing of the deed of donation were AFP chief, Gen. Andres Centino; Army vice commander Maj. Gen. Henry Doyaoen; and Defense Undersecretary Cardozo Luna.
“Donating the Short SD3-30 Sherpa aircraft is the most sustainable means of developing the Philippine Army’s aviation force aside from procurement. Likewise, this will greatly impact the accomplishments of the unit’s mission of providing aviation support to its ground forces,” Cardozo Luna said.
The Semirara Mining and Power Corporation, owned by the Consunji family, cited in the deed of donation its desire to assist the Philippine Army in responding to the needs of the Filipinos. The Philippine Army, on the other hand, expressed its appreciation and gratefulness for the donation. The aircraft will be added to the existing air assets of the Philippine Army, enhancing its capability in providing support to its ground troops. The twin-engine turbo-prop aircraft has a maximum speed of 291 kilometers per hour and can accommodate 27 passengers. The aircraft currently has 10,846 + 24 hours with a total cycle of 15,141.
The Short C-23 Sherpa is a small military transport aircraft built by Short Brothers. It features a large squared fuselage with a full-width rear cargo door/ramp. In U.S. military service, the Short 330 was designated C-23A Sherpa. The C-23B Sherpa is similar to the C-23A, but with cabin windows. The C-23B+ Short 360 derivative was created by replacing the rear fuselage of Short 360s obtained on the second-hand market with the twin tail and rear loading ramp of the Short Sherpa. The C-23 was produced at the Short Brothers’ facility in Belfast, Northern Ireland for the U.S. Department of Defense.