Friday, August 1, 2014

Initial Details on the Upcoming ex-US Marine Corps C-130T Hercules for the Philippine Air Force

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has recently issued a news release pertaining to the possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of 2 Lockheed C-130T Hercules to the Philippine government, with an estimated worth of $61 million. This deal may include 10 Rolls Royce Allison T56-16 aircraft engines (8 installed and 2 spares), logistical sustainment support for 3 years, modification equipment and labor costs, spare and repair parts, support equipment, publications and technical documentations, aircraft ferry support, personnel training and training equipment, US government and contractor logistics and technical support services, and other related of logistics and program support.

MaxDefense sources from the DND confirms that the airframe was granted by the US government, and the estimated $61 million costs under FMS may cover the refurbishing and ancillary works included together in the deal, similar to what was done on the 2 Hamilton-class cutters received by the Philippines a few years ago. Being an estimated value, MaxDefense believes that the costs may still increase due to unseen circumstances, or additional expenses incurred during actual refurbishing works. Previous deals with other countries on the sale of EDA legacy C-130 Hercules aircraft shows such increase in actual costs.


A US Navy C-130T doing touch-and-go runs.
Photo taken from Goleta Air & Space Museum website.


The Lockheed C-130T Hercules are actually limited in numbers, with only around 20 units produced and are used by either US Navy and US Marine Corps for logistics support requirements and aerial refueling operations. They were built between 1991 and 1996, and are the last legacy C-130s delivered to the US military before Lockheed Martin proceeded to build the new C-130J Super Hercules. 19 units are operated by various US Navy logistics support squadrons, while 1 was used with the Blue Angels precision aerobatic team as the current "Fat Albert". 19 units were upgraded by BAE Systems with a glass cockpit system, and are equipped with a Garmin GNS 480 GPS system, an electronic flight bag, electronic horizontal situation indicator and engine instrument display system. One unit was reportedly not included in the said upgrades, and MaxDefense believes that unit is the Blue Angels' "Fat Albert".


The Blue Angels' "Fat Albert" exhibition aircraft, although with USMC markings, the aircraft is actually with the US Navy.
Photo taken from Airliners.net c/o Kevin Scott - Jetwash Images.


Upgrades made by Lockheed Martin to the C-130T is said to extend the mission capabilities of the aircraft for another 20 years - and that's according to US standards. This means the PAF has a modern C-130 in its hands, systemtically almost comparable to early Super Hercules at a small fraction of the price.

US Navy C-130T are different from the KC-130T being operated by the US Marine Corps, although both are closely related to the Air Force's C-130H. The US Navy intends to replace the C-130T with the newer C-130J Super Hercules, and it is expected that more C-130Ts will be retired from service, which can also be offered for FMS or grants to friendly countries like the Philippines. Previous MaxDefense blog entries discussed these plans for more C-130s and this current deal might be the first of few more to come.

Being an additional transport asset, it is expected to be operated by the the 220th Airlift Wing based in Benito Ebuen Air Base in Cebu. MaxDefense sources confirms that the offer was made by the US government in the aftermath of the Typhoon Haiyan, although there was a long standing request for EDA C-130s by the Philippines to the US government. It is expected that the US government will offer more C-130s in the near future, depending on the Philippine government's capacity to acquire and maintain more. There are also reports of acquiring C-130H from Australia, but may prove false since Indonesia has reportedly paid for the acquisition of all 9 excess units formerly operated by the Royal Australian Air Force even after the spying scandal between Australia and Indonesia cooled down.


The C-130T's updated cockpit, which was changed to glass cockpit recently by Lockheed Martin. This is a huge difference from the PAF's own C-130B & H models.
Photo taken from Lockheed Martin website
.


Although there were reports that the upcoming C-130T are being optimized for dual mission duties as a heavy tactical transport and a long range maritime patrol and surveillance aircraft using palletized systems, MaxDefense has not received confirmation on this. If this was true, MaxDefense will provide updates on the blog entry. But this set-up won't be impossible as Lockheed Martin already made earlier confirmation of offering the DND and PAF of using its C-130s or any other aircraft as a platform to integrate maritime patrol surveillance systems. 



Not really an SC-130J, but a C-130T fitted with palletized MPA mission systems can be a welcome addition to the PAF's capability, although smaller aircraft like the C-295 can be a cheaper and more practical alternative.
Photo taken from Lockheed Martin website
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MaxDefense believes though that the C-130 is not the best platform for MPA duties for the PAF, even with its proven track record, reliability, range and stability on adverse weather. This is due to the lack of enough transport assets within the PAF where additional C-130s in the transport role are sorely needed. Its massive size and higher operating costs makes it impractical, especially when compared to contemporary new MPA platforms being offered for the upcoming Long Range Patrol Aircraft. Still, it would be a welcome addition to the PAF's limited capability, and the responsibility to make decision would be PAF's call as they know their requirements better than those outside the system, including MaxDefense. 


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UPDATES:
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January 12, 2015:
The US Embassy released information last January 9, 2015 that the Philippine Air Force has completed a second inspection of two C-130T that are being offered for transfer to the aforementioned armed service. Photos from the US Embassy press release shows the Philippine officials with one of the aircraft with number 022, and was said to be in Joint Reserve Naval Air Station Fort Worth in Texas. The press release also indicated that the Philippine government, through Maj. Gen. Victor Bayani, has already signed the Letter of Offer and Acceptance signifying the approval to procure the inspected aircraft. Expected delivery was placed by 1st quarter of 2016.

Also, there appears to be changes in the C-130T the PAF will be acquiring. Originally is was reported that it would come from the US Navy, but photos show that the C-130T are actually coming from former US Marine Corps stock. The aircraft 022 is actually a 1984-built KC-130T formerly with the USMC, and may not sport the glass cockpit we discussed in the main blog article.

More of this will be discussed in a new MaxDefense blog entry.


PAF and US officials during the inspection of C-130T at Fort Worth, Texas.
Photo taken from US Embassy in the Philippines website.


There appears to be differences from expected several months ago, which will better be tackled more on a separate MaxDefense blog entry coming out soon.

==========
October 7, 2016:

Media outlets reported the departure of the second C-130T Hercules heavy tactical transport aircraft from the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona on the way to the Philippines.

It is expected that the aircraft will arrive in Benito Ebuen Air Base in Mactan, Cebu on Sunday, October 9, 2016.

Originally MaxDefense received information that the C-130 T was supposed to arrive in the Philippines in late September. No reason was given on the change or delivery date.

The C-130Ts are sporting a different paint scheme from the rest of the PAF's C-130 fleet and is expected to conduct dual mission as transport aircraft, and surveillance missions upon the arrival of roll-on/roll-off palletized Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR). These ISR kits were promised by the US government under its Maritime Security Initativr for Southeast Asia announced early this year. 

With the rocky PH-US relations now, this remains to be seen, although the C-130T on its own will be very useful for transport and support missions for the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The PAF is expected to acquire more C-130s in the near future.

Check out our main FB page wall for more details on the aircraft's arrival.


58 comments:

  1. I agree sir that the C-130T should be used only for transport purposes with patrolling only as a secondary priority. During the Yolanda crisis, our C-130s were already overtaxed although only 3633 went out for a while (but currently back in service). We already had LRPA and MPA programs in the pipeline for that mission anyway.

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    1. It would be better if the DND increase the MPA budget to allow 2 more aircraft instead of buying only 2. DAP could be a very important source of funds.

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    2. I agree with Sir, Max, and strategically it should be based on Region 7 Base like in Mactan Airport. The location is perfect for Cargo and you can easily reach any places in the phil. if you fly within this region.

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    3. The DND should pursue that venue on 2 additional MPA aircrafts . It would be a more feasible idea to have 4 instead of 2 in alternating in patrolling the EEZ area. The 2 C130T additions because of maintenance cost would be better off as a primary role in strategic airlift . With the ongoing MPA project the C295 MPA/Persuader IMO would be a better overall choice among the existing DND choices. This is based on support and maintenance cost as well as performance , weapons and sensors capabilities. The AFP command at this point should have a substantial plan in maintaining all new assets additions base on the upkeep and proper storage . They should have a better stewardship program compared to the previous situation. Because of how social media access, more and more Filipinos are getting involve on the outcome and developments of the AFP modernization programs. For one thing being a tax payer I would like to know where and how are they utilizing the peoples money.

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    4. Mactan is the home of the 220th Airlift Wing so naturally any transport aircraft asset will be based there. I did not propose to put the C-130s there, that was the PAF's decision.

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    5. On DAP. I assume the Aquino administration advanced DAP money to the DND given their budget will increase 29% next year. P115 billion is still 0.8% of GDP though :/

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    6. Yes, Mactan, the former US Airforce Base, A very strategic place where the island is sorrounded by bodies of water perfect for Air Training.It is also the place where USAFmastered the Cargo Dropping Technique, which they implemented on the Vietnam War. The Base is very suitable for Cargo/Airlift/Para-Training/Pilot Training. The base is currently planned to be renovated to met the Growing number of Cargo aircrafts it can accomodate and to address the improper way of the AFP in storing it's Aircrafts. It is also home for the Huey's.

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  2. PAF still have more than 10 of the C-130 in Mactan, Cebu. By the look of it, some might still able to be salvage. Why aren't the government of Philippines order a feasibility study on this. Who know, with a small investment into this, PAF could have another additional 5 to 6 units of this workhorse in their assets. AIROD which successfully refurbish ex-Tunisia AF C-130 for PAF should be able to do the assessment. Just my 2 cents
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=323204987714909&set=oa.189557114478592&type=3&theater
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=323205221048219&set=oa.189557114478592&type=3&theater

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    1. Only 3 non flying C-130s remain in Cebu. All the others were already sold as scrapped due to poor storage and negligence by the PAF. If only the PAF were able to store them properly, they might be able to bring most of them back to service if budget allows them. That's one rrason why the US is reluctant to grant us equipment - because the PAF has a poor track record of maintaining its assets.

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    2. Dude, None of them is repairable, a team from Lockheed came to inspect them but lucky the airframes are deemed unrepairable.

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    3. The supposedly deal between DERCO and PAF for the procurement of an ex-Tunisia AF C-130H did not go through in the end. The thing is, if you do your calculation, this deal were reported to be at US$34 million, inclusive of the air frame and full restoration by AIROD. Since PAF still have 3 non flying Charlies, I would estimate the cost to get one of it restore to service will be less than half the cost of DERCO deal. Mind you these Charlies are dependable work horse which can provide Philippines many years of service. It's worth a thought.
      http://malaysiaflyingherald.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/dercos-charlie-moved-out/
      http://malaysiaflyingherald.wordpress.com/2014/04/08/philaf-c-130h-nearing-completion/

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    4. Hi Ed Liew, according to my sources, there were several reasons why the deal for the ex Tunisian AF Herc did not push through. There were doubts om the airframe itself, as the aircraft was involved in a major accident before. The PAF could have gotten an accident-free airframe for the same price. Another is the availability of other options, which included the C-130T deal. If the price estikated by the US DSCA is correct, this is even cheaper than the DERCO offer, with a newer airframe and more updated features like avionics upgrades. There are even more offers to the PAF recently for Hotel variants that are less than what DERCO offered some years ago.

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  3. Very nice deal. Interesting to note that a brand new C-130XJ will cost 10-15% less than a C-130J.

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    Replies
    1. Correction: 10-20% cheaper. It's a cheaper C-130J without the advance communication, defense and cargo handling system. The cargo system will be of the H-model. However it still retains the range, fuel efficiency of the C-130J. Apparently, it's marketed for countries with smaller budgets.

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    2. Thank you. I saw the online product paper.

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  4. Last night I had been Crossing shaw boulevard at around 9:30pm and I saw 8x40 container van with military convoy. 1 truck full of armed soldier with 1 APC and I was so curious because it was heavily guarded. Anyone knows whats inside those container van?

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  5. it's the new remington rifle my friend..

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    Replies
    1. Possibly. Let's just wait for the AFP to do the official announcements of its arrival.

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    2. It's already on the news, the first batch of new rifles just arrived.

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  6. I believe we should have atleast three C-17 Globemaster cargo plane. This will be more effective in the time of Disaster like Yolanda typhoon devastation. Philippine government can acquire this by utilizing the DAP funds. =- SaudiBoy -=

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, PH should have at least 2-3 Heavy Lift Cargo Plane like C-17 or A400M but PH does not have the budget to buy nor the budget for its maintenance so PAF will have to do with the C-130s for now, plus DAP was deem unconstitutional by the all knowing SC who likes to declare everything unconstitutional.

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    2. We ven have problems maintaining C130, what more that big plane?
      Plus the production line of C17 is closed and it's a lot more expensive to buy.

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    3. I would like to address to you Mr Anonymous 2 that Mr. Anonymous 1 and Mr. Jendrich Goson is addressing our problem of reaching our kababayan abroad like what happened in Syria and Iraq where we rented Planes just to evacuate our Kababayan's.

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    4. SaudiBoy, although the C-17 is a very useful and desired aircraft, the PAF would have problems with this. It is too costly to acquire, maintain, operate. And its too large for the PAF's current requirements. The PAF should beef up its limited tactical transport assets first like acquiring more C-130, C-295 and NC-212 before looking for strategic types.

      For evacuation in the ME, it can still be done using C-130s. They could do bring out the evacuees from the crisis torn country to a friendly neighboring coubtry where chartered civilian airliners are waiting for the final leg back to the Philippines. I've tried riding on RAAF C-17 before, and I can't recommend it for civilians on an 8-hour trip.

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  7. Sir Max, Ito ba yung sabing ibibigay bg US sa atin and iba pa to sa planong bilhin ng PAF?

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    Replies
    1. It is the same. But the PAF is planning to acquire more.

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  8. Who the Hell will think that C-130 will be used for maritime patrol. I don't know who spread the rumors but I believe that person is nuts. Using a platform with 4 Turboprop engines for MPA is nuts... Waste of time discussing this topic.

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    1. Considering that the PAF was planning to acquire EDA P-3C Orions just a few months ago, this is not really a crazy idea. But if there are other ways to acquire similarly capable MPA but can be acquired, operated and maintained for less, then why not.

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    2. O sorry, the P-8 by the way has 4 turbo props. The C-130 is designed for Airlift and not for MPA.

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    3. Yes it was not designed for MPA, but unfortunately there is a Version that can do that, the SC-130J Sea Herc. 2 required for Patrol Aircrafts but deniably 4 is a much better number considering the Fast Deployment and Rapid Escape from a possible breach Scenario.

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    4. The P-8 is powered by jet turbofans. The C-130 platform can do any task if properly modified, including MPA. But with limited assets, the PAF should rather use the C-130T as a heavy tactical transport. Better to acquire smaller and cheaper to operate MPA aircraft, as the PAF may fly these MPA on a daily basis.

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  9. While it is good to see that the PAF is acquiring these, I would strongly advise against getting any more Hercs after these. They are outdated gas guzzlers from hell and it's not like the Philippines needs to transport tons of Leopard tanks or hardcore self-propelled howitzers. These Hercs will be great for disaster relief whenever the next mega typhoon hits, but it would make much more sense to acquire 3 to 4 brand new Embraer KC 390's or Antonov An-178's for medium to heavy transport needs. The life cycle costs with those will be far, far lower than with Hercs and they can do almost everything that Hercs can. In essence, the PAF Hercs should be used sparingly and only to transport the heaviest of cargos or in an emergency situation like the Typhoon Yolanda Catastrophe.

    And Hercs are just about the last platform one would want to use as a mpa. If anyone in the Philippine Govt. is seriously considering that option, then they need to have their head examined and/or leave office a.s.a.p., as the costs would be out of this world.

    Laurence

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    1. How can you be so sure that Herc's are gas guzzlers from hell? both the KC 390 and AN 178 are jet powered..

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    2. Dude, don't go full retard. The Aircrafts you mentioned are one's that are the Gas guzzlers. The C-130's Engines are annually upgraded so it is more modern and Gas saving besides the C-130's are more reliable and has more than enough range to reach any places in our country. A very versatile Platform for any Mission the AFP has to face. Dude, I would advice you to do some research on the subjects you have to comment to. Don't just Criticize without knowledge of the things you are about to scrutinize. You must be knowledgeable.

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    3. Anonymous #1 -

      It's common knowledge that the Hercs are gas guzzlers. Don't get me wrong - it's a quality plane that is reliable and has a proven track record. Another advantage of the Herc is that spare parts are readily available, which keeps operating costs down. It is, however, also a 4 engine plane that was designed in the 1960s, unlike the others, which are modern twin engine planes. That's why the twin-engined C-295 is such a good buy for the PAF - Operating costs for that platform are 1/2 or less of the operating costs with the Hercs and they are going to save tons of money when they replace Hercs in troop ferrying and cargo duty.

      Used aircraft are generally also going to have higher operating costs because of the increased frequency of necessary repairs. The Hercs are great for ferrying around the heavier, bulky stuff, but they should definitely generally not be performing the tasks that other platforms can perform at a much lower cost, such as MPA duties and troop carrying.

      Anonymous #2 - You need to learn how to address others in a more polite manner. Virtually every medium-lift platform "has more than enough range to reach any places" in the Philippines, as the Philippines is not a large country in terms of geographical area. And twin-engined aircraft will often be able to perform the task in a far more economical manner than a 4 engined platform that was designed in the 1960s.

      Laurence

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    4. Addendum:

      I stand corrected on the KC390 - although more capable than the Hercs, it is also a gas guzzler and has similar lifecycle costs to new Super Hercs . Obviously neither of those should be used as a MPA since the C295 MPA is quite capable and has far, far lower operating and fuel costs. Furthermore, as much transport as possible should be done with the C-295.... it's reliability and low operating costs for most transport and tactical tasks are unbeatable.

      The PAF should keep a close eye on the Antonov AN-178 development, though, as there is potential there for a capable bargain basement price transport aircraft for cargo that is too bulky or heavy for the C-295.

      Laurence

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    5. Well the KC 390's advantage on the hercs is speed,. But on the Payload, they are almost even.

      http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z160/keesje_pics/cargoaircraft.jpg?t=1194647006

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  10. The AFP is better off acquiring the retiring C-160 Transalls of the French and German air forces, as the A400M replaces them. Wide heavy cargo aircraft with just 2 engines, more economical than the expensive C-130s.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transall_C-160

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sir, FYI Transalls has shorter range and much more expensive to get than the propose C130T though if ever the DND could consider why not try France/Germany govt offers them? Beside it will take a lot of retrofitting and modification on it in accordance to PAF specifications and for new pilot training that means NEW COST...besides it As of 2012, the global C-160 fleet was approaching the end of its service lifeas mention in your link while C130 already proven and flown already by our own PAF pilots.

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    2. According to a source, the PAF checked some German Transalls 2 years ago. They are not in good condition anymore, and getting them means getting almost no manufacturer's support and maintenance headache. That's why the PAF settled for a mix of used C-130s and brand new C-295. Expect more C-295 requirements in the near future.

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    3. It really is too bad that an upgraded version of the C-160 isn't being manufactured, as it would be a good fit for the PAF.

      I can confirm that the German airframes are now just too old and heavily used.

      Laurence

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    4. We could acquire the KC 390 in the future. It is a good alternative on the Hercs. Estimated cost would be $ 50M each. And a lot of countries are now interested with these birds.

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    5. These C-130T's are very expensive at $30+ million each. That's almost a brand new 737. Let the 410th do the MRO and reduce the cost by half.

      The French C-160 Transalls are newer and there is still support from some companies. With this $61 million you can already standup at least 6 fully operational MRO'ed C-160 Transalls. Buy 10 and use the least fit for spares. But we all know DND/AFP think differently. Look where we are now.

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    6. The Brazilians, specifically Embraer, Mectron and Avibras offered their wares to the AFP and DND, including the KC-390. But until Brazil can get more buyers for it, the acquisition ruling on number of users stand. For the short term goal, the C-130 is the best bet for the PAF.

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    7. As I said, the C-160 is a dying aircraft. The PAF is not interested in investing in an aircraft with no good future in sight. If the PH government can afford, it would still be best to acquire the C-295.

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    8. The KC-390, although confirmed by several countries, need to prove itself first. It is unwise for the PH, with its limited money, to invest on a platform that has not even been delivered to anyone yet. That's the limitations of the PH because of funding - it needs to be very sure on what it is buying.

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    9. Yeah, From what I know only two prototypes of KC 390 are in operation in Brazil. But a lot of countries has already planned and commit to acquire the KC 390 like Argentina, Czech and Portugal to replace their C 130's.

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  11. Maybe the spare engines ( I do not know really if 2 or 10) will be used to refurbish the 3 idle C130 aircraft parked on Mactan Airbase.If so, then we should expect 1 to 3 aircrafts more to be in active status in the coming years

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    Replies
    1. No, the spare engines are to support the 2 aircraft to be acquired. Besides, there are some differences between the engines used by the C-130B, H and T.

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  12. Suggestions: Can we use the 2 out of 3 new CN295 Medium Transport Planes from Spain as MPA and let the two C130T for heavy lift and support requirements. And we may ask for additional order of two CN295 later.

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    Replies
    1. There's a reason why the PAF is buying 2 MPAs, its because they don't want to bother borrowing the transport variant C-295 and C-130. From the specs provided before and discussed in MaxDefense entries, the PAF is inclined to get C-295 MPA.

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  13. Thanks Max for C-295 MPA clarifications.
    Suggestions: Please update us on Ulugan Bay Naval Base and Subic Bay Naval Base construction works.

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  14. Why dont we also schedule for repair and upgrade the three mothballed c 130 at cebu and then convert the two planes to a gunship plane so that we can also have an equipment same as the USAF pang deter sa mga Chinese Vessel

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    Replies
    1. The C-130s you mentioned are being evaluated and processed. But converting one to a gunship is not feasible. The PAF needs a lot of transport aircraft assets, while gunship roles can be done by other aircraft like the upcoming CAS, LIFT/SAA, and MRF.

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  15. Now that oue govt is supportive of AFP Modernization they should invest on new breed of aircraft instead of second hand equipment when refurbished cost half of new equipment. They should try the new EMBRAER KC390 from Brazil also the maker of Embraer Super Tucano. it cost around P 50M dollars . with the acquisition of new breed of aircraft then we are pretty sure that we are for the Modernization and not for Modification.

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