Swedish Air Force C-130H

C-130J or C-390? Sweden plans to choose new airlifter soon

The Air Force operates six aging C-130Hs and has been looking for a replacement for some time. Embraer jet is considered potential winner

The Swedish Air Force is close to choosing the tactical transport aircraft that will replace its aging C-130H Hercules, according to Brigadier General Tommy Petersson.

“We intend to replace them and I hope the decision will be made very soon,” the service’s deputy commander told Flight Global.

Sweden has five C-130Hs with an average age of 43 years, in addition to a KC-130H, an aerial refueling aircraft, which is 55 years old.

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Hungarian Air Force first KC-390 (Levente Benedek)

The Lockheed Martin C-130J and the Embraer C-390 Millennium compete for an order estimated at six aircraft.

The Air Force even announced a possible agreement to acquire second-hand copies of the C-130J, but abandoned the plan at the beginning of last year.

It was at the same time that the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) began talks with Saab for a second batch of Gripen E/F fighters. Since then, the governments of Brazil and Sweden have been negotiating a possible exchange.

Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules (USAF)

Saab and Embraer

Saab itself has teamed up with Embraer to offer the C-390 as a replacement for the C-130H.

Sweden is one of the new members of NATO, led by the United States. The country, which has always had an independent position from the European bloc, decided to join the military alliance after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Thanks to the change in status, the Swedish defense forces have received more financial resources.


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