Bangladesh is to receive five UK-surplus Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules transport aircraft by the end of 2019, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) told Jane’s on 24 July.
The ‘short-bodied’ C-130Js (designated C5 in Royal Air Force [RAF] service) were ordered in two batches of two and three aircraft in 2018 and earlier in 2019. The deals were initially revealed via maintenance contracts announced by Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group (ADG), although it was the MoD that confirmed to Jane’s the total number.
The Bangladesh Air Force has previously noted that the acquisition of C-130J aircraft from the RAF provides a key enhancement to its current airlift capability. As well as performing in-country support of the aircraft, Marshalls will also be modifying the aircraft, including designing, developing, and installing a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) capability, to enable the Bangladeshi Air Force to carry out tasks within the country and overseas in support of UN missions.
The acquisition of the C-130Js will enable the Bangladeshi Air Force to retire the four C-130Bs that it has fielded since 2001 (these were acquired secondhand from the United States) at the same time as augmenting its three Antonov An-32 ‘Cline’ and three L-410UVP-200 transport aircraft that date from 1989 and 2015 respectively.
Further to the air force’s transport fleet, the Bangladesh Army has received a single Airbus Defence and Space (DS) C295W tactical transport aircraft that it ordered in 2016.
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