Greece to acquire used C-130Js amid unavailability of its aging Hercules fleet – reports

Hellenic Air Force has suffered for several years from the lack of availability of transport aircraft and is also analyzing an order for new airlifters such as the KC-390

The urgent need for transport aircraft has led the Greek government to request the immediate supply of six used Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, according to the country’s press.

Recent reports indicate that only one of the nine C-130 Hercules freighters of the Hellenic Air Force is in operational condition. The situation of the fleet of Alenia C-27 Spartan turboprops is also worrying, as only three of the eight aircraft in the country would be available.

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The lack of transport aircraft in Greece has been evident in recent days. Last week, a Hercules suffered a breakdown in flight and had to return to Elefsina. The aircraft was heading towards Turkey with a team of rescuers and humanitarian aid for the victims of the earthquake that recently hit the central and southern regions of the country.

Hellenic Air Force C-130 (John Taggart)

In order to solve the problem as soon as possible, the Prime Minister of Greece, Kyri√°kos Mitsotakis, would have decided to immediately purchase second-hand aircraft while evaluating a future order.

Although there is still no official confirmation from the Greek Air Force, the local press speculates that the six C-130Js intended by the country will be acquired from stockpiles in Italy. The Hercules in service in Greece are the C-130B and C-130H versions, delivered to the country from 1975 onwards.

Hellenic Air Force C-27 ( Eduard Marmet)

Greece is also studying a new order

Greece’s urgent decision to purchase used Hercules freighters currently rules out the possibility of the country negotiating the purchase of Embraer’s C-390 Millennium jets.

At the end of January, the Greek Ministry of Defense confirmed that representatives of the Hellenic Air Force had met with a team from Embraer Defense and Security. At the meeting, the Greeks requested information about the capabilities of the C-390.

Greece’s plan to renew its fleet of tactical transport aircraft has been in the works for some time. In 2022, the country showed interest in acquiring second-hand C-130J Super Hercules freighters from the United Kingdom air force (RAF), which intends to decommission the aircraft of the type by March 2023.

Brazilian Air Force KC-390 (FAB)

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