Philippine Air Force to Buy 3 C-130J-30 Airlifters

The order is part of an ongoing fleet modernization effort and an enhancement of the PAF’s tactical and transport capabilities.

The Republic of the Philippines Department of National Defense announced the acquisition of three new C-130J-30 Super Hercules tactical airlifters from Lockheed Martin through a Direct Commercial Sale. [Credit: Todd R. McQueen/ Lockheed Martin]

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has ordered three C-130J-30 Super Hercules tactical airlifters as part of an ongoing fleet modernization program.

The Department of National Defense (DND) of the Philippines on Tuesday issued a notice to proceed with the purchase, which marks an enhancement in the PAF's tactical and transport capabilities.

“The acquisition started in 2021, as part of the Second Horizon of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program. The project was awarded to Lockheed Martin, an American aerospace, arms defense, information security, and technology corporation,” DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong told the Philippine News Agency.

PAF first began operating C-130 aircraft in the 1970s and uses its mixed fleet for humanitarian, military, and natural disaster relief missions in the Indo-Pacific region.

“The addition of the C-130J-30 to the inventory is a significant leap forward in terms of achieving a credible defense posture,” Andolong said.

The C-130J-30 variant is a stretch version of the C-130J, boasting an additional 15 feet of cargo space. Deliveries will begin in 2026, according to Lockheed Martin.

"Philippine Air Force crews have long demonstrated what the C-130 is designed to do: go everywhere—in any condition—to deliver hope and help where it's needed most," Rod McLean, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin's air mobility and maritime missions, said in a statement. 

With the PAF order, the C-130J Super Hercules will operate in 22 countries.

Kimberly is managing editor of FLYING Digital.

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