Thursday, April 15, 2021

Poland to receive five surplus C-130H Hercules planes

 The Polish and US governments have signed an agreement for the supply of five ex-US Air Force Lockheed Martin C-130H tactical transports to Warsaw. The first machine will land at the 33rd Transport Aviation Base in 2021, and all deliveries will be completed by mid-2024.

The Polish Ministry of Defense applied for the acquisition of used C-130Hs in September 2019 during the International Defense Industry Exhibition in Kielce. Two inquiries were then made: the first about the possibility of obtaining Javelin anti-tank missiles and the second about five Hercules. The used machines were to be procured "on short notice" and from surplus US forces.

The value of the contract signed on April 12, 2021 is USD 14.3 million, which is less than a quarter of the machines themselves' value, estimated at USD 60 million. The contract concerns the acquisition of 5 C-130H aircraft and their partial retrofitting and restoration of airworthiness, as well as a flight to the Republic of Poland's territory. Further works, including retrofitting and possible modernization, are to be carried out in Poland by WZL No. 2 plant in Bydgoszcz, under a separate contract. The planes were manufactured in 1985 and ended USAF service in 2017.