Philippines announces acquisition of three C-130J-30 Super Hercules tactical freighters

Lockheed Martin aircraft have an elongated fuselage, 15 feet (5 meters) longer than the standard version

The Department of National Defense of the Republic of the Philippines has selected the Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Super Hercules as its new tactical transport aircraft.

The government announced this week the acquisition of three aircraft of the elongated version, which has 15 feet (5 meters) more cargo space.

The Philippine Air Force has been an operator of old C-130s since the early 1970s and would have four aircraft of versions B, H and T, according to Flight Global.

“Philippine Air Force aircrews have long demonstrated what the C-130 was designed to do: go anywhere – in any conditions – to bring hope and help where it’s needed most,” said Rod McLean, vice president and manager general of Air Mobility at Lockheed Martin.

Philippine Air Force C-130 Hercules (Diego Roxas)

According to the Philippine government, the contract foresees the delivery of the first aircraft in July 2026, followed by the second C-130J in October and the third in January 2027.

Department of Defense spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said in a statement that “the acquisition began 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.”

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Lockheed Martin claims to have 26 operators of the C-130J, an improved version of the Hercules, who fly in 22 countries. To date, more than 525 C-130J Super Hercules have been delivered across 10 mission variants.


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