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Philippine Air Force receives two Lockheed C-130H from the US

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) on Friday formally welcomed one of the two Lockheed C-130H aircraft it has acquired through a grant from the United States government.

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Philippine Air Force receives two Lockheed C 130H from the US Philippine Air Force officials pose in front of the Lockheed C-130H aircraft that arrived at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on January 29. The airplane is the first of two C-130H aircraft granted to the Philippines by the US government through the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency. (Picture source: PAF)

The aircraft, which came from Tucson, Arizona and had a tail number of 5125, was welcomed in a simple arrival ceremony in Villamor Air Base, Pasay City that was graced by PAF vice commander Maj. Gen. Florante M. Amano.

"The C-130H with (tail number) 5125 is the first one of the two C-130H aircraft granted by the US government through the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency. The aircraft will provide enhanced capability in terms of heavy airlift missions to support the movement of troops and cargoes during territorial defense security and stability and humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations," PAF spokesperson Lt. Col. Aristide Galang said in a statement on Saturday.

Galang said a series of technical inspections by concerned committees and home station checks by flight and maintenance crew would be conducted in the next two weeks.

"The PAF will then conduct a formal acceptance, turnover, and blessing of the C-130H aircraft at Villamor Air Base, Pasay City," he said.

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. 

The aircraft is capable of operating from rough, dirt strips and is the prime transport for airdropping troops and equipment into hostile areas.

Using its aft loading ramp and door, the C-130 can accommodate a wide variety of oversized cargo, including everything from utility helicopters and six-wheeled armored vehicles to standard palletized cargo and military personnel. In an aerial delivery role, it can airdrop loads up to 42,000 pounds (19,000 kg) or use its high-flotation landing gear to land and deliver cargo on rough, dirt strips.

The C-130H was introduced in 1974 with the U.S Air Force with with the more powerful Allison T56-A-15 turboprop engine. Nearly identical to the C-130E externally, the new engine brought major performance improvements to the aircraft.