MANILA, -- The Philippine Air Force (PAF)'s fourth Lockheed C-130 cargo aircraft has safely landed at Benito Ebuen Airbase, Mactan, Cebu on Tuesday.
This was confirmed by PAF spokesperson Col. Araus Roberto Musico in a message to the PNA.
"It has arrived at around 11:25 p.m. last night (Tuesday) at Benito Ebuen Air Base in Mactan," he added.
The C-130T, the first out of a pair acquired from through the US Excess Defense Articles Program, was flown by Filipino pilots headed by Col. Alejando Baclayon, Lt. Col. Ian Earth Lamzon, Major Ian Dexter Danes, Major Anthony Amora, and Major Ramil Daet.
The two C-130Ts are worth USD61 million.
It is expected to be transferred to the PAF by April 13, tentatively.
Musico said second aircraft is expected to arrive by this September or October, said PAF spokesperson Col. Araus Robert Musico.
The aircraft took off from Tucson, Arizona early this week and made stopovers in California, Hawaii, Wake and Guam Islands before heading for the Philippines.
Arrival of these planes will boosts the PAF's heavy lift capability.
"Remember if we need to move a big number of troops and supplies (especially) heavy equipment for rapid deployment, it will be much easier as we have additional (C-130) aircraft," Musico pointed out.
Originally, these two C-130Ts were configured for tanker missions and were later converted for transport missions before being acquired by the Philippines.
Aside from the C-130s, the PAF has three Airbus Military C-295 medium and three Fokker F-27 transports for its logistics and lift missions.
The Philippine Air Force Lockheed C-130T cargo aircraft.