Philippine Air Force (PAF) chief Lieutenant General Allen Paredes said during House of Representatives committee hearing on 2021 proposed budget of Department of National Defense (DND) that President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the acquisition of five new C-130J Super Hercules military transport aircraft.
“The President has directed in May this year that the Air Force, the DND and DBM, acquire five C-130Js, the newer model,” Lieutenant General Paredes said.
“We are of the opinion that this would be enough to serve, specially our mandate to be able to transport one rapidly deployable battalion at one stroke and this would also be consistent with the historical demands of like for example typhoon Yolanda when we had to carry in personnel, equipment, and supplies,” he added.
However, the Air Force chief said the C-130J acquisition project worth 37 billion pesos is included in the proposed unfunded tier 2 priority projects of DND-AFP.
“The proponent is willing to – we can have a financing agreement. What they need is 15% down payment or about 5.5 billion for the first year, hopefully for 2021,” Paredes said.
He also said that currently, PAF has “a total of 4 C-130s, only 2 are operational, the other 2 are undergoing scheduled maintenance, one in Portugal and one in Cebu.”