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Bangladesh receives final upgraded C-130J

The overhauled and upgraded Lockheed Martin C-130J will support the Bangladesh Air Force's humanitarian aid programmes and UN peacekeeping operations, the Bangladesh government said. (Marshall ADG)

The Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) has inducted the last of five Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules transport aircraft following an upgrade and overhaul programme.

The aircraft is part of a batch of five ex-Royal Air Force (RAF) C-130Js purchased by the Bangladesh government in two batches of two and three aircraft in 2018 and 2019 respectively. The fleet was retained in the United Kingdom. Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group (ADG) said it was awarded a “multimillion-pound” contract to overhaul and enhance the aircraft.

“The most substantial work packages have included decommissioning the aircraft from their previous service within the UK RAF's fleet while integrating state-of-the-art avionics and installing capability enhancements including passenger transport and survival equipment,” Marshall ADG said on 25 June.

The BAF received its first upgraded C-130J (serial no 99-5479) from Marshall ADG on 25 August 2019. Two additional C-130Js were handed over to the BAF in 2020 and one in 2022.

“All five aircraft are now in active service with the BAF,” Marshall ADG said on 25 June.

Images of the fifth aircraft being handed over to the BAF at Marshall ADG's Cambridge facility show the aircraft has the serial number 99-5481. Janes assesses this aircraft had the registration number ‘ZH883' in RAF service.

The BAF has previously said that modern avionics were required to transform the fleet into “technically advanced transport aircraft” to allow them to be used in “humanitarian aid programmes and UN [United Nations] peacekeeping operations”. According to Bob Baxter, chief growth officer at Marshall Group, the upgraded C-130Js have the “mission readiness to support UN peacekeeping missions”.

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