As the Philippine Air Force (PAF) formally accepted the first of two Lockheed C-130H cargo transport aircraft acquired through a grant from the US government Thursday, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana called the arrival of the airplane a “timely augmentation” to the country’s existing C-130 fleet.
“Certainly, this will make our Air Force soar higher since this new asset will enhance its heavy aircraft capability in missions to support the movement of troops and cargoes during territorial defense and internal security,” Lorenzana said during the turnover ceremonies of the aircraft at Villamor Air Base, Pasay City.
He said the arrival of the C-130H plane came at an opportune time as the PAF was tapped, since the beginning of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, to facilitate the transport of millions of medical and non-medical supplies nationwide.
“With the government’s upcoming vaccination program to start in the next few months, the Air Force will be very much involved in the transportation of vaccines to all parts of the archipelago,” he noted.
The C-130, with tail number 5125, arrived in the country last January 29.
The cost of acquiring the two C-130H aircraft was earlier placed at PHP2.5 billion, with the Philippines contributing PHP1.6 billion and the US about PHP900 million.
The C-130 is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed, now Lockheed Martin.
Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medical evacuation, and cargo transport aircraft. PNA.GOV.PH